Opposition accuses Liberals of 'coverup' at justice committee

16 March, 2019, 07:54 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Liberals Reject Push For Jody Wilson-Raybold To Testify Again On SNC-Lavalin Affair At Justice Committee

Cooper specifically highlighted that Wilson-Raybould should be allowed to speak about the period of time when she served as veterans affairs minister after being shuffled from her role as justice minister and attorney general.

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

Drouin tabled the motion to adjourn Thursday's meeting less than 30 minutes in, even though the meeting was scheduled to last two hours.

The opposition members forced Thursday's meeting to debate a motion to invite former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould back before the committee to testify for a second time about what she claims was a concerted effort by high-level government officials, including people in the Prime Minister's Office, to interfere with her decision to allow bribery charges against SNC-Lavalin to proceed to trial. March 19 also happens to be budget day.

But Ms. Wilson-Raybould said she will remain the Liberal MP for Vancouver Granville, the riding she won in 2015, as long as voters want her, and that there's a national need to address such issues as climate change, criminal justice and Indigenous policy.

On 6 March, Trudeau's former adviser, Gerald Butts, testifiedhe had never acted in an improper manner and suggested the dispute was a misunderstanding.

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"If they were going to let her speak, they could have done it today ..."

Most of the justice committee members are Liberal MPs, which gives them a lot of control over how the proceedings unfold.

NDP MP Tracey Ramsey added she thought Liberals were hiding behind parliamentary procedures because they had "something to hide".

While Wilson-Raybould did present her accounts of what happened to the House of Commons Justice Committee opposition leader Andrew Scheer has said that her statements have not gone far enough and is now pushing her to continue sharing her experience.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said his party would meet privately to discuss what their next course of action is to continue pressuring the government over the controversy. That period of time is now subject to solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality, which the prime minister is allowed to waive. "Today, (Liberals) signalled to Canadians that they aren't interested in the truth".

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

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