SNC-Lavalin: the opposition fails to bring nine witnesses in committee

SNC-Lavalin: l’opposition échoue à faire comparaître neuf témoins en comité

OTTAWA — the opposition accuses The liberals of seeking to sweep under the rug the allegations of political interference in the folder SNC-Lavalin.

It is that the liberals have used their majority in committee, Wednesday, in order to block a motion to call nine witnesses, including the ex-minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The conservatives and new democrats had called for the convening of an emergency meeting of the standing committee on justice and human rights, to adopt.

Their approach has failed, the liberals who forced the adoption of a motion of their own.

It provides for the appearance of three witnesses – but not the outgoing minister, who was disliked by the elected officials sitting on the other side of the table.

Arguing that it was a “remarkable lack of curiosity”, the new democrat Nathan Cullen has tried to broaden the list by adding, among other things, the name of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The conservatives rallied to his suggestion, just as the bloquiste Rhéal Fortin, who was present as an observer.

“We can’t investigate the allegations of political interference without hearing the most important person there, one that would have been the victim of such interference,” he argued.

The liberals, however, have not flinch, and the amendment of Nathan Cullen has been beaten.

“Witch hunt”

The committee meeting, which lasted about three hours, resulted in a few clashes, with each accusing each other of exploiting the issue for partisan purposes.

The liberal mla Randy Boissonnault has accused the conservatives of engaging in a “witch-hunt”.

His remark piqued the curator Pierre Paul-Hus at high heat. “I would like to mention that the truth is above any partisanship”, he replied.

The elected has turned to ridicule the portion of the motion is liberal, aiming to study the working relationship between the attorney general of Canada and the office of the prime minister, in particular.

“We don’t need a law course, and I think it is to take the members of this committee of justice for fools when we do it,” pestered Mr. Paul-Hus.

Repeatedly, the conservatives have accused the liberals of wanting to muzzle the ex-minister Wilson-Raybould.

They have also argued that this resistance to liberal committee was controlled by the office of the prime minister, and that the refusal to endorse their motion amounted to a “cover up”.

The liberals have denied any attempt to interfere with the office of Justin Trudeau in their work.

They have also pleaded that the commissioner of conflict of interest and ethics, Mario Dion, had already agreed to initiate an investigation, and that the committee was not equipped to carry out such an exercise.

The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for next Tuesday and a party should take place behind closed doors.

Resignation-shock

The elected officials at the federal, that are hard parliamentary, converged Wednesday at Ottawa in the aftermath of the resignation shattering of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

It caused a clap of thunder, announcing on Tuesday that it would slam down the door of the office of Justin Trudeau, in which it had held since shortly the portfolio of Veterans affairs.

His departure came after the Globe and Mail had reported that the prime minister and his entourage would have exerted pressure on her to avoid a trial at SNC-Lavalin.

In his letter of resignation, Ms. Wilson-Raybould said he “was aware that many Canadians would like to see (it) discusses issues that have been in the media this last week”.

Last week, she had remained silent, invoking the obligation of professional secrecy.

She has since reported that it has retained the services of Thomas Cromwell, a retired judge of the supreme Court, to determine what it could legally discuss this case.”

The former minister, who shall remain until the new order member of parliament for Vancouver-Granville, had informed Justin Trudeau in his resignation on Monday evening.

The prime minister counter-attacked the next day, on the sidelines of an announcement in Winnipeg.

He said he was “disappointed” and “surprised” by this defection, and it has been even questioned his version of the facts.

“If she had the impression that the government had not (…) comply with all standards, it was his responsibility to come to me to talk about it in the fall, what it has not done so”, he launched.

It has maintained the same version of the facts, addressing to journalists during a visit to Sudbury, Ontario, on Wednesday.

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List of the witnesses that the conservatives and new democrats wanted to hear in committee

1 – Jody Wilson-Raybould, ex-minister

2 – David Lametti, the minister of Justice and attorney general

3 – Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy Council

4 – Kathleen Roussel, director of public prosecutions

5 – Katie Telford, head of cabinet of the prime minister

6 – Gerald Butts, principal secretary to the prime minister

7 – Mathieu Bouchard, senior advisor to the prime minister

8 – Elder Marques, senior advisor to the prime minister

9 – Jessica Prince, chief of staff of the ex-minister of Veterans affairs

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List of witnesses formally summoned by virtue of the adoption of the motion, liberal

1 – David Lametti, the minister of Justice and attorney general

2 – Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy Council

3 – Nathalie Drouin, deputy minister of Justice

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