Liberals shut down SNC committee before Wilson-Raybould vote

Lester Mason
March 15, 2019

Opposition MPs say Jody Wilson-Raybould must testify again before the House of Commons justice committee if it is to properly determine whether the Prime Minister's Office acted improperly in the case of SNC-Lavalin.

The meeting was called as an emergency session by the three Conservatives and one New Democrat MP, after the Liberals used their majority last week to put off having the discussion on future witnesses until March 19.

The committee meets Wednesday afternoon at the request of the Conservatives and NDP, who want to move motions to recall Wilson-Raybould, as well as to request the appearance of senior aides to Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould's former chief of staff.

Trudeau and his staff deny anything improper occurred, saying they only wanted to make sure Wilson-Raybould had information about the potential effect a prosecution and conviction could have on SNC-Lavalin's viability and wanted her to seek an outside expert opinion on remediation agreements - a brand-new tool in Canada's criminal law.

Trudeau's version, consistent among his inner-circle that have spoken publicly, is overtures Wilson-Raybould recounts consitute normal cabinet business considering the thousands of jobs that are exposed.

Poilievre said it wasn't fair that Butts got to speak about things that happened between the time Wilson-Raybould was shuffled from the Justice Department to Veterans Affairs in January and the day she quit cabinet a month later, while the former minister herself felt bound by cabinet-secrecy obligations.

In her February 27 committee appearance, Wilson-Raybould claimed she was subjected to "consistent and sustained" efforts to pressure her into seeking a remediation agreement deal with SNC-Lavalin. Poilievre said Trudeau needs to extend the waiver because something clearly happened in that time that was so "egregious" it pushed Wilson-Raybould to quit.

Trudeau could have freed her to speak openly, he said.

"He sent in his majority to shut down that discussion without a debate and ensure that Canadians will never know the truth", Poilievre said after the abrupt end of the meeting. "Justin Trudeau is transforming the justice committee into the Justin committee". They released the results Monday and there... are some surprises to say the least. It wrote to the Prime Minister's Office to express its concerns about the SNC-Lavalin matter and says it is interested in the investigations by the justice committee and the federal ethics commissioner.

"If the Liberals are going to put forward arguments against hearing from Ms. Wilson-Raybould to be able to come to committee to be able to tell her full version of events", Cooper said, "it is imperative that they do so in public, in front of the cameras where there is a transcript and a recorded vote so that Canadians can see for themselves just what the Liberals are trying to do".

Almost every day since the scandal broke, Abacus Data has been in the field with a poll asking Canadians which party they intend to vote for, who they'd prefer as Prime Minister, how they feel about Trudeau, personally, and how closely they are following the scandal.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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