Prime Ministers national security adviser to be grilled by MPs

OTTAWA — National security adviser Daniel Jean says it was important to brief the media about the prime ministers visit to India to dispel "co-ordinated misinformation" about the presence of a convicted attempted assassin at an event on the trouble-plagued trip.

Jean appeared Monday before the House of Commons public safety and national security committee to explain his role in the controversy, which has plagued Justin Trudeaus government for weeks.

Will he be accompanied by a full entourage of PCO officials and, if so, will they flank him at the table, or join the rest of the audience in the public seating section? On a similar theme, are there any ministerial — or prime ministerial — staffers in the room? Its a good bet that at least one person from PMO will be on hand to monitor the situation, most likely from what they will be hoping is a suitably inconspicuous vantage point along the wall.

Security adviser says he tried to dispel misinformation about India controversy

Jean has been at the centre of a political uproar over the trip after giving a background briefing to reporters in which he suggested factions in the Indian government were behind the embarrassing revelation that a convicted attempted assassin had been invited to two prime ministerial events.

On a similar note, once the question-and-answer phase begins, its worth keeping tabs on how heavily MPs pre-load their queries with preamble. As difficult as it seems to be for MPs — of any stripe — to voluntarily use up less than the maximum allotted time, short, targeted questions are usually the best way to actually elicit helpful responses, as it allows for more probing lines of inquiry, including follow-ups.

Jaspal Atwal, a B.C. Sikh convicted of attempting to assassinate an Indian minister in 1986 during a visit to British Columbia, was photographed at one event in Mumbai with the prime ministers wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.

Raising such a request in relation to an appearance by a civil servant, particularly one in as senior a role as Jean, would effectively serve to preemptively accuse either him or the government of trying to cover up the truth, which would up the stakes dramatically — not to mention carry the risk of a sizeable backlash against the MP and party who pushed for it, depending on what he says.

His invitation to a second event was rescinded after news of his presence broke.

Still, given the lengths to which the Conservatives, in particular, were willing to go to get the chance to question Daniel Jean over that off-the-record briefing he reportedly provided to journalists on alleged mischief-making by factions within the Indian government, theres likely to be a capacity crowd for his appearance before the House public safety committee.

Process Nerd: What to watch during Daniel Jeans appearance at committee

During the media briefing, Jean advanced the theory that rogue factions in India may have arranged for Atwals attendance in a bid to prevent Prime Minister Narendra Modi from becoming too cosy with a foreign government they believe is sympathetic to extremist Sikh separatists.

Daniel Jean, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser, will testify at the House of Commons national security committee, where he’ll attempt to explain, or perhaps clarify, his role in a media briefing that claimed factions in the Indian government attempted to sabotage Trudeau’s state visit to India earlier this year. Maclean’s columnist Terry Glavin called the episode a “tangled web of conspiracy theories.”

Jean said Monday the briefing was intended to dispel public suggestions that Canadian agencies could have acted sooner to ensure Atwal did not attend the first event.

Jean’s road to the committee required a parliamentary marathon of votes and weeks of pressure from the opposition in Ottawa. That the Liberals have sunk to second in the polls surely hasn’t helped. Watch Jean’s testimony live here at 12 p.m. ET.

"I provided information to counter the false allegations," Jean said.

Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser will attempt to explain his role in a media briefing gone wrong during the PM’s trip to India. Watch it here.

"We take the relationship with India very seriously. We remain vigilant to any potential threat."

Jean has been at the centre of a political uproar over the trip after giving a background briefing to reporters in which he suggested factions in the Indian government were behind the embarrassing revelation that a convicted attempted assassin had been invited to two prime ministerial events.

iPolitics AM: PM heads to Paris as Daniel Jean makes much-anticipated appearance at committee

Daniel Jean, National Security and Intelligence Adviser to the Prime Minister, prepares to appear at a Commons national security committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, April 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tan

During the media briefing, Jean advanced the theory that rogue factions in India may have arranged for Atwals attendance in a bid to prevent Prime Minister Narendra Modi from becoming too cosy with a foreign government they believe is sympathetic to extremist Sikh separatists.

At committee today: Daniel Jean faces MPs over PMs India trip, Senate still pondering pot bill

A pedestrian walks by Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

OTTAWA — National security adviser Daniel Jean says it was important to brief the media about the prime ministers visit to India to dispel "co-ordinated misinformation" about the presence of a convicted attempted assassin at an event on the trouble-plagued trip.

National security adviser Daniel Jean says it was important to brief the media about the prime ministers visit to India to dispel “co-ordinated misinformation” about the presence of a convicted attempted assassin at an event on the trouble-plagued trip.

National security adviser Daniel Jean says it was important to brief the media about the prime ministers visit to India to dispel “co-ordinated misinformation” about the presence of a convicted attempted assassin at an event on the trouble-plagued trip.

Don Martin talks to people and players who dominate the political scene.

Also on the Hill media circuit today:  Citizenship and Immigration Minister Ahmad Hussen hits the Commons Foyer alongside his cabinet colleagues Kirsty Duncan (Science) and Carla Qualtrough (Public Services) to update reporters on the current policies for dealing with immigration applicants rejected due to medical inadmissibility, a practice that has come under heavy criticism for effectively blocking entire families from moving to Canada because of one ailing member.

PMs national security adviser testifies on India trip

Hosted by CTVs Don Martin, Power Play is a must for political insiders.

While its definitely far too early to declare the Trans Mountain pipeline standoff crisis officially averted, it would appear that the Sunday morning mini-summit in Ottawa may have put a temporary pause on further escalation of the cross-border hostilities between British Columbia and Alberta, which have been steadily rising in both volume and intensity since Kinder Morgan announced that it would be suspending non-essential work on its planned expansion.

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The prime minister’s national security adviser is testifying before a House of Commons committee about Justin Trudeau’s troubled trip to India.

Back in Ottawa, the House public safety committee will focus its collective attention on a previous prime ministerial trip — specifically, his recent trek through India, and the role of his national security advisor, Daniel Jean, in attempting to convince reporters that factions within the Indian government may have orchestrated Indo-Canadian businessman and convicted attempted assassin Jaspal Atwals addition to a Canadian High Commission guest list.

He is being grilled about how an attempted assassin was able to appear at an official event.

For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who not only hosted the closed-door session with New Democrat premiers John Horgan and Rachel Notley, but has now officially tasked his finance minister with reaching out to the Texas-based company to discuss how the federal government could assuage its concerns over the long-term prognosis for the project — thats probably as close as he can realistically hope to get to a win, at least for now.

The big issue for National Security Adviser Daniel Jean surrounds a briefing he gave to reporters in which it was reported that he blamed elements of the Indian government for Jaspal Atwal’s attendance at the event.

But Jean tells the National Security Committee he never blamed the Indian government, although he was trying to clear up misinformation that was being spread that the RCMP, CSIS and the High Commission were aware ahead of time about Atwal’s invitation.

“I think that if you have actors who are trying to fabricate a narrative that is totally untrue and are using three of our most respected public institutions to do that, I think that there has to be someone who is neutral who can come in and alert the media on that.”

National Security Advisor Jean says there was a coordinated effort to spread misinformation about the Jaspal Atwal affair after the story broke. Specifically discussing stories that RCMP was warned ahead of time about Atwal's past, but he was still allowed to attend #cdnpoli

Jean says reports that the government and law enforcement knew and didn’t act are not true. He calls the invitation a faux pas.

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