The Keen Testimony, first blush reactions
It is not appropriate for any regulator to read new powers into their purview except by the most limited and direct outgrowth of the Act controlling that regulator. In regards to the CNSC there was never any aspect of it that considered placing responsibility for medical health needs of Canadians beyond that of those in proximity to nuclear materials, so to read into the Act the way the CPC government wanted to have Keen do was entirely beyond the scope of her original responsibilities and indeed given the quasi-judicial nature of the regulator for her to do so would be an egregious example of gross judicial activism, something I am used to hearing the CPC decry, not insist upon (but then in this case the insistence was because they needed the CNSC to do so to give the government political protection which shows just how little they are truly concerned about judicial activism despite all of the rhetoric we have ever heard from them about it) . Indeed, as Keen noted in here testimony and I noted in this post the fact that the government felt it had to add specifically this additional power/responsibility after the HoC override of Dec 10 2007 can and should be read as an implicit agreement by the government that the CNSC did NOT have those powers when the government claimed it did during the period prior to the Dec 10 Parliamentary override.
Indeed, one of the first complaints about Keen I heard from the government was about how "rigid" she was being in interpreting her responsibilities and powers. Well, in someone that is charged with nuclear safety that kind of rigidity is a good thing, not a bad thing despite the CPC attempt to spin it so, and I noted that also in another earlier post noted in the link in this sentence (editing troubles, hence the awkward phrasing here). Keen also made a point that people need to keep this "rigidity" in mind being a good thing when she pointed out quite accurately that with nuclear reactors and safety the appropriate comparison is to the level of safety concerns involved in a space shuttle, as both are incredibly complex and extremely dangerous systems with great destructive potential if a misstep/mistake in enforcing the strictest safety regulatory framework. Yet this government appears to find the idea of a regulator with such serious responsibilities to be too rigid in interpreting/reading additional meaning into the controlling Act is a bad thing.
However, to make matters worse on this the government was doing this while it (CNSC) was "seized" with the specific issue, and for the Minister to intervene in the manner he did was on a par with a justice minister calling a judge hearing a specific case to offer suggestions/give orders on how that judge should rule. That is something in our system of law and government that is considered a major no-no, and normally a firing offence. Keep in mind the prior examples of ministers being fired if they hadn't resigned first for inappropriate contact between a minister and a judge, I believe that was something that tripped up Jean Charest back in his early days in the Mulroney government. The actions of the government and Lunn in particular goes well beyond the pale and to be honest I cannot think of another case of such blatant inappropriate interference by a minister to such a body. Indeed, according to the Accountability Act (another point Keen made explicitly in her testimony including citing the specific element of that Act involved here) Harper brought in Lunn's conduct was inappropriate and should have been sacked for doing so, not praised by the PM as going above and beyond the call of duty, as I noted at the time here.
Bottom line, it is very obvious why the government did not want Linda Keen to testify, her facts were on point, her presentation crisp, clear and highly professional, and her logic/reasoning impossible to refute unless one is a CPC partisan more concerned with protecting this government than in actually dealing with the facts/reality. It was never the responsibility of the CNSC to worry about supply issues, it was inappropriate for Lunn to even involve himself in the manner he did in terms of trying to instruct the CNSC on what to do next let alone to grasp the powers they wanted her to read into the Act despite their being no reasonable groundwork for her to do so, and when she quite properly refused to do so was scapegoated in the HoC as a Liberal appointee with the clear implication that she was acting out of partisan reasons first instead of following the requirements of her job. So once she testified it would have been clear to any Canadian watching that she did nothing wrong and it was the government that acted inappropriately throughout this matter especially in terms of her firing, which I must say given what we now know is almost certainly going to cost the taxpayers a fair bit in a wrongful termination suit and possibly given the actions of this government also sued for slander/defamation of character (I may not have the precise legal term right here but I am certain it gets the point I am making across).
I think this government has stuck its hand in a buzz saw for the way they treated Linda Keen, and that this is going to haunt this government for a long time to come, especially since Keen's interpretation of her powers is agreed with by independent experts from all I have seen and the government's interpretation is unique and indefensible when it claims Keen had the power/authority to consider isotope supply based on the the wording of health of individuals in a nuclear regulatory safety act when nothing in that Act gives any indication that the concerns regarding health go beyond the health of those in and around nuclear reactors/materials. Basically at every turn this government failed to act in a competent manner, and when it started to catch up with them with the isotope shortage they panicked and looked for someone to fix it for them even if it was not legal for that person to do that for them and when that person refused made that person the scapegoat for everything. The problem for the CPC is that the scapegoat Linda Keen is not taking it lying down and has the credentials and background to effectively rebut the government's actions to scapegoat her and indeed makes it that much more obvious to the average Canadian of just how badly and incompetently the CPC government has handled nuclear safety and specifically the Chalk River situation from beginning to end. This government chose to place its partisan political interests ahead of nuclear safety and the independence of the regulator, and even by my standards of just how extensively how partisan I believe this government to be even I would not have thought they would go this far if I had had this situation described to me say three months ago, and I am not exactly a fan of this government to begin with.
Depending on what else shows up I may update this post later or write an additional one, but for right now this is what I took away from watching her testimony before the Commons committee.