The ruling liberals used their majority in the House of Commons Election Committee to overturn the opposition's efforts to name a few key players as witnesses to the disputes on Jody Wilson-Reyboul, including Prime Minister Justin Trudo himself. senior employees.
Liberals have refused to hear the opposition's offer for hearings, and they have rejected all attempts by the Conservatives and the NDP to change. The opposition parties wanted to call on Mr Trudo's chief secretary, Gerald Butts, and Head of Staff Katie Telford, among others, as witnesses.
Instead, the Liberals have accepted a proposal to extend hearings – far from being strictly focused on the accounts that the Prime Minister's Cabinet has put pressure on Mrs. Wilson-Reible to postpone prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin in favor of a negotiated settlement. This issue will now be folded into a larger study, which includes exploring the possibility of settling the dispute, also called a postponement prosecution agreement, and the Shawrous doctrine, a legal standard to which liberals invoke in defending their behavior.
The next step, dictated by the Liberals' proposal, adopted on Wednesday afternoon, requires a closed-door meeting on 19 February, where the parties will discuss whether to add people to the witness list and whether potential witnesses should not appear before the committee because the issue SNC-Lavalin is in court.
Opposition lawmakers accused liberals of trying to close a genuine parliamentary investigation into what happened. Mrs. Wilson-Reible left the cabinet earlier this week – just hours after Mr Trudo told reporters that her continued presence in the cabinet was an indication she was not dissatisfied with the government. Mrs. Wilson-Rajwood says that the privilege of a lawyer-client does not allow her to talk about it.
"It's a cover and it's getting clearer by day," said Conservative MP Michael Cooper.
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Globe and Mail reported last week that when she was Chief Prosecutor, Ms. Wilson-Reybula was pressured by the Prime Minister's Cabinet to cancel the decision of the Canadian Prosecutor's Office and continue the pursuit of SNC-Lavalin in favor of a suspended criminal prosecution agreement, also called a recovery agreement – without a trial. The company was charged with bribing Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011 in exchange for contracts. SNC-Lavalin seeks a judicial review of the decision of the Director of the Prosecutor's Office.
NDP MP Nathan Cullen accused the liberals of trying to detainBox for birds"Investigating Wilson-Reible, who watches without looking, compares the situation with a recent Netflix film that is distinguished by the fact that the main characters are moving through the danger while wearing bandages.
Randy Boissonnault, a member of the Liberal Committee of the Municipal Justice Committee, noted that the Federal Commissioner for Ethics is already investigating the issue and has rejected the idea that MPs themselves may be able to investigate impartially what has happened.
"The role of the Justice Commission is not an investigative body," said Boissonnault before the commission, saying that "the comments from the particularly conservative opposition show that, at best, the Committees of the House of Commons are a political theater that can sometimes to achieve good research. "
The Liberal MP accused the Conservatives of trying to "hunt witches" and said that municipal committees lack the tools or budget to undertake such a "fishing expedition". He said the commission's work includes helping Canadians better understand the recovery agreements that were adopted with the 2018 budget.
Mr Trudo reiterated his statement Tuesday by Ms. Wilson-Reible, saying that if there is a problem with how the government has dealt with SNC-Lavalin's prosecution, it has a duty to speak earlier.
"Jody Wilson-Reybold and I had a conversation in September, in which I stressed to her that the decisions she takes as a general attorney, particularly on this issue, are its decisions, and I do not direct or push it," he said briefly attendance at Sudbury on Wednesday, according to CBC. Mr Trudeau, when they asked me what the former Justice Minister had told him why she left her cabinet this week, left the microphone instead of answering.
So far, only three witnesses have been approved for the hearings. Those proposed and voted by the Liberals include the current Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lammetti, Deputy Justice Minister Natalie Druin and secretary of the secretary Michael Vernik.
The proposal that Conservatives and NPAs intend to offer includes many names, including Mrs. Wilson-Rijobuld, Mrs. Telford, Mr. Butts, as well as Kathleen Roussel, Prosecutor's Officer Matthew Bouchard and Elder Marquez. senior advisers to Mr Trudo and Jessica Prince, who served as head of Ms Wilson-Reibold's headquarters when she was a veteran minister.
Mr. Cullen of the NDP has proposed a longer list of people who have to testify, including Mrs. Wilson-Reubul, which the Liberals rejected on Wednesday with 5-4 votes. He questioned why the liberals are so focused on exploring retaliation agreements when this measure is already adopted in the 2018 budget.
Anthony House, the Liberal Chair of the Justice Commission, could not say who could be added to the witness list. – It will be discussed on Tuesday. There are many questions about Mrs. Wilson-Reible and the privileges of her testimony and I have not once again considered or discussed with lawyers or other members of our group who would be suitable witnesses so I am not in the right place now where I can say who will not be called. "
Conservative Party leader Liza Wright said she was not sure that the liberals would add more key players to the role of witnesses. "Today they had the opportunity to have the three people who were closely related to this issue who were reported to have been involved in this issue, Gerald Butts, Jodie Wilson-Reubuld and Mr Bouchar, those who had the most – Many contacts with SNC-Lavalin and Jody Wilson-Raybould and they said no.
Following the globe's report and the review launched by commissioner Mario Dion, SNC-Lavalin lowered its debt rating on Wednesday with Standard & Poor's on BBB- by BBB. The agency quotes the charges against the engineering and construction giant and the possibility of a 10-year ban on federal contract bidding among the reasons for downgrading.
With reports from the Canadian press and Reuters