Liberals shut down SNC committee before Wilson-Raybould vote

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 16, 2019

Opposition MPs are making another push to bring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould back before the House of Commons Justice Committee, arguing that her characterization of certain meetings relating to the prosecution of Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin differs from others that have been presented.

None of the Liberals who are full voting members of the committee responded Tuesday to queries from The Canadian Press.

Liberal MPs ignored shouts of a "cover up" and "shame" from the opposition and voted together to end the meeting.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper said it is essential for the discussion to be out in the open because not allowing Wilson-Raybould to speak again is obstructing the committee's ability to fully study the matter.

"I've never been so disgusted by the conduct of my Liberal colleagues", he said.

"What we saw was just shutting down debate, trying to sweep it under the rug that they don't want the truth to come out", added Tracey Ramsey. She testified the first time on February 27, in a four-hour session where she laid out her case that the Prime Minister's Office had put sustained pressure on her over four months last autumn to change her mind on diverting a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

But Liberal Francis Drouin says the party took this action because they believed there was no need for today's meeting.

"The committee has already expressed its wishes on March 6 to have this particular hearing on March 19 so it's as simple as that", he said as he left the room.

Mr Poilievre said he would use "every tool in the parliamentary toolkit in order to pressure the government and the Prime Minister to stop his cover-up and let Jody Wilson-Raybould speak".

The scandal that is rocking the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has grown yet again. That period of time is now subject to solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality, which the prime minister is allowed to waive.

"Canadians deserve to know the truth, they deserve a government that doesn't have one set of laws for their rich corporate donor-friends and another set for everyone else and they certainly are not getting either from the Liberals", said Ramsey.

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.

Butts' recounting of the events is in direct opposition to what Wilson-Raybould has testified.

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