OTTAWA (CUP) -- Canadians may never get a chance to read the final report of the APEC inquiry, the newly appointed Solicitor General said Tuesday.
"The report is given to me, and then I will decide whether it will become public or not," said Lawrence MacAulay barely 24 hours after being assigned to the post left vacant by Andy Scott, who resigned Monday under the heat of allegations he prejudged the APEC investigation.
"What I want to happen is to have the (RCMP) Public Complaints Commission do their job and submit their report to me, and then I'll deal with (the report)," MacAulay said outside the House of Commons.
MacAulay's remarks caught some Members of Parliament off-guard.
"When you call something the Public Complaints Commission, it's a little hard to think it wouldn't be made public," said New Democratic Party MP Dick Proctor outside the House. "It's hard to imagine why the new Solicitor General would say that."
Others said MacAulay's statement highlighted the need for an independent judicial inquiry to replace the RCMP Public Complaints Commission hearings, which are looking into whether officers used excessive force against protesters at last year's Asia Pacific summit in Vancouver.
"When the Public Complaints Commission does report, it goes to the commissioner of the RCMP and the Solicitor General," Conservative Party MP Peter MacKay said.
"What they do choose to do with it is completely done behind closed doors. They're not under any obligation to make it public. They're not under any obligation to even act on what the Commission reports," he said.
MacKay also said an independent investigation is needed because the current inquiry has no mandate to investigate the government.
For months, opposition parties and students have accused the Prime Minister's Office of ordering the Mounties to quell APEC student protesters at the meeting of 18 Pacific Rim leaders.
"As has been pointed out time and time again, this commission is not the proper forum to look at political interference," said MacKay.
"And political interference is what is at very base of these questions [over APEC]."
The Prime Minister, however, told the House Tuesday that he would cooperate with the APEC inquiry if asked.