OTTAWA — The liberals have blocked Monday night a motion calling on Justin Trudeau to testify to the committee on justice and human rights. The government had attempted to calm the game earlier by suggesting that he would lift partially the obligation of professional secrecy binding Jody Wilson-Raybould.
The motion is conservative, filed Monday afternoon stated that “the House directs the prime minister to appear, testify and answer questions under oath before the committee (…) at a meeting of television two hours before the Friday, march 15, 2019”.
It is obviously the case of SNC-Lavalin, who continues to torment the liberals in Ottawa. And she was easily beaten by a score of 155 to 106, thanks to the liberal majority.
This time, nobody has broken ranks with the liberals – in the past week, the backbenchers Wayne Long and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith had voted in favour of a motion by the new democrats calling for the holding of a public inquiry on the case of SNC-Lavalin.
Prime minister Trudeau was absent at the time of the vote.
The vote has found that the common front of the opposition against the liberal government still holds : the motion of a conservative has been approved by all elected new democrats and bloquistes who were present in the Room, and by the leader of the green Party, Elizabeth May.
The leader of the conservatives Andrew Scheer suggested in an earlier than in the corridors of the liberal, one begins to feel the hot soup. The government feels that a criminal investigation is coming”, he advanced during the debate in the Room.
Because “what we have seen unfold before our eyes over the past two weeks is a perfect example of government corruption and business”, launched the leader of the training, who sponsored the motion.
This provoked the anger of the liberal Kevin Lamoureux. “This is not because the conservative Party, said “corruption” that it is corruption! They say that to every wind about this government”, he pestered.
In the seats, new democrats, it has continued to deplore the attacks that are directed to the place of the ex-minister of Justice and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould. Mp Tracey Ramsey spoke of a “campaign of around connotation sexist and racist”.
Before question period, Justin Trudeau refused to say whether he would be willing to testify to the committee. On the other hand, once in the Room, he announced that the government was about to rise, in part, the secrecy that bound the ex-minister.
The member of parliament for Vancouver-Granville will “discuss the relevant folder in committee without compromising the two cases currently before the courts,” said the prime minister reading his answer on a sheet of paper.
Its former minister, who was in the Commons to listen to the opposition to bombard the liberals of questions about his case and that of SNC-Lavalin, on Monday, had earlier sent to the chairman of the parliamentary committee, Anthony Housefather, a letter in anticipation of his visit.
“I hope to appear before the committee in the earliest possible time,” one can read in the letter dated 25 February, where the elected state of its need to learn more about “constraints” to which it may be “submitted” at the time to testify.
“The government can waive the attorney-client privilege and lift the secrecy of the cabinet. I can’t do it,” said Ms. Wilson-Raybould. It requires thirty minutes for his opening speech and said he was ready to stay as long as desired.
It was expected that the ex-minister, who has slammed the door of the Trudeau cabinet on the 12th February last, offers his version of the facts before the committee Tuesday, but its presence had not been confirmed at the time of publishing these lines, Monday night.
The committee’s study continues on Monday with testimony from experts in law came to provide explanations on the agreements further suspended and the doctrine Shawcross, a convention that codifies the double role of the minister of Justice and attorney general.
The parliamentary committee began last week an examination of the case of SNC-Lavalin, which has plunged the government into turmoil since the Globe and Mail wrote that the office of the prime minister to pressure Jody Wilson-Raybould to avoid a trial at the firm.
And the jobs?
The clerk of the privy Council, Michael Wernick, said last Thursday before this committee that he had informed the attorney general of the time of the consequences that could have a lawsuit for an engineering firm in quebec on its employees, suppliers and retirees.
A guilty verdict for fraud and corruption would prevent SNC-Lavalin from bidding on government contracts in Canada for 10 years. The company seeks rather to conclude the agreement of lawsuit suspended (APS).
This mechanism, put in place under the liberals in 2018, allows you to suspend criminal proceedings against companies. In exchange, they admit the facts, and then agree to pay a financial penalty salty and cooperate with the authorities.
The leader of the conservatives Andrew Scheer has remained evasive Monday when asked what he would do to help SNC-Lavalin if he was elected prime minister in the next elections of October 2019.
“We can talk of protecting jobs, we can find solutions to ensure that workers are not punished because of the actions of the former directors of the company,” he offered in a press conference.
“But the political interference in a criminal prosecution, this is not the solution to protect jobs. We must ensure that this option is not on the table”, there chained, without specifying what could be the other avenues of solution.