MONTREAL, Dec. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - In response to the unauthorized disclosure of the Deloitte report and cancellation of the meeting of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, the President of Rights & Democracy, Gérard Latulippe, has issued the following statement:
"We deplore the unauthorized disclosure of the Deloitte report after it was submitted to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. When I sent the Sirco and Deloitte reports to Ottawa in compliance with the order issued by the Committee, I was aware of the risks of unauthorized disclosure. I could not have imagined, however, that a report submitted to a Standing Committee of the House of Commons, under subpoena, would find its way into the hands of the media.
We do not know why the Committee meeting was cancelled. I was in Ottawa, together with the Chairman of the Board of Directors, prepared to testify. What is certain is that we have been denied an important opportunity to shed light on the events that plunged Rights and Democracy into a crisis situation.
With regard to the Deloitte Report in particular, I wish to say that Deloitte was never given a mandate to identify fraud or embezzlement within Rights & Democracy. Instead, its mandate was to analyze certain governance practices on which the directors sought an independent audit after realizing that they were not being provided proper information by the Centre administration.
While the Deloitte report did not identify any illegalities, fraud or embezzlement during the period under review, it did reveal serious problems of governance.
In fact, I must say that the Deloitte report is a vital tool that is useful to me now, and will continue to be of use. The report will enable us to save a considerable amount of money, which is nothing trivial, as well as improve some of our governance procedures.
However, it is high time we turned the page and gave Rights and Democracy a fresh start.
My objective is to bring the organization out of this crisis, not dwell on it or prolong it unnecessarily. It is therefore important to refocus the organization on its original mission: promoting democratic development on the one hand, and advocating for and defending human rights on the other. The success of this endeavour will depend on our ability to preserve the legacy of the past 20 years, bequeathed by those who worked in the organization before us, and to make the transition needed to better serve our mission."
Mr. Latulippe will meet with the media today, upon request, to provide further information regarding his position on the Deloitte Report and his appreciation of recent events.
About Rights & Democracy
Rights & Democracy is a non-partisan, independent Canadian institution created by an Act of Parliament in 1988 to promote democratic development and to advocate for and defend human rights set out in the International Bill of Human Rights. In cooperation with civil society and governments in Canada and abroad, Rights & Democracy initiates and supports programs to strengthen laws and democratic institutions, primarily in developing countries.
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Stéphane Théberge 514.449.1897