Liberal MPs shut down SNC committee before vote on recalling Wilson Raybould

15 March, 2019, 22:23 | Author: Wade Massey
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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.

"We've heard the prime minister speak very freely about a period of time that Ms. Wilson-Raybould has not been able to speak about", Ramsey said. Discussions about potential witnesses typically take place in-camera.

"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.

But after two Conservatives and NDP MP Tracey Ramsey laid out the reasons the committee should bring the former star cabinet minister back to speak a second time, Liberal Francis Drouin moved to suspend the sitting and reconvene on March 19 as originally planned.

Opposition MPs were incensed, leaping to their feet and shouting out epithets like "shame", "coverup" and "despicable!"

Poilievre told the committee he wanted Wilson-Raybould to appear again to answer claims made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's former top aide Gerald Butts.

She said if Wilson-Raybould is brought back to respond to what Butts said, then Butts might have to be asked back to respond to her, and the cycle might never stop. The firm has been slapped with corruption charges in response to its dealings with contracts in Libya.

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. Following Wednesday's meeting, Tory MPs doubled down on the sentiment.

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Conservative MP Michael Cooper said he wants to call other Trudeau advisers Wilson-Raybould named as people who approached her on the SNC-Lavalin matter.

He also implied the date of the meeting, which coincides with the announcement of the federal budget, is no accident.

"There were 11 people that the former attorney general mentioned that were involved in this entire affair and all of those people should be before the committee", she said.

However, Poilievre insisted that - even if the government decides against inviting Wilson-Raybould back during Tuesday's closed-door meeting - his party has no intention of dropping the issue.

They were able to force the committee to meet, but couldn't control what happened when it did.

"Clearly as a matter of fairness we need to hear from Jody Wilson-Raybould", Cooper said.

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. Moreover, almost one-in-three among the survey's Liberal camp remain unsure, 19 per cent don't believe him and 15 per cent believe the woman Trudeau demoted to Veterans Affairs, before the Globe and Mail story broke last month alleging the political interference and she resigned from cabinet altogether. "Otherwise we're just leaving it up to speculation". They hold a majority on the committee.

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