When the then-Liberal government began belatedly, timidly asking for Arar's release from his Syrian torture chamber in the fall of 2002, opposition leader Stephen Harper was dismissive. The Liberals, he claimed, were "hitting the snooze button on security matters". His colleague, Stockwell Day, even argued the government's "lack of vigilance" had allowed a notorious terrorist like Arar to avoid detection and detention in the first place. [source]
"I have in my possession a letter from the former Commissioner dated November 2, in which he notes his intention to clarify his initial testimony," said Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion today. "Given that the Prime Minister's national security advisor must have known about these inaccuracies, why did the Minister of Public Safety tell Canadians on Monday (Dec 4) that the commissioner ‘still has the confidence of the government’?"
Today, in Question Period, Stockwell Day had this to say:
"Why these folks across the way refused to deal with it then and let an innocent man languish in prison?"
Ignatieff's response was smack on.
"This government, when it is in a tight position, has become accustomed to blaming the previous government."
"You are the government now. When are you going to start to act like one and take responsibility?