Liberals shut down SNC committee before Wilson-Raybould vote

Liberals shut down SNC committee before Wilson-Raybould vote

Liberals shut down SNC committee before Wilson-Raybould vote

The SNC-Lavalin scandal devolved into heated clamouring at the Justice Committee Wednesday as opposition members jeered Liberal MPs exiting the backdoor, after using their majority to shut down an emergency meeting to discuss former Attorney General Wilson-Raybould's return.

The director of public prosecutions opted last fall not to negotiate a remediation agreement with the Quebec-based engineering giant, which would have put off a criminal trial in exchange for the company admitting wrongdoing, paying fines and allowing itself to be monitored for a period of time. The justice committee is scheduled to meet next on March 19, the same day that the government will table its budget. "So it's as simple as that", said Liberal MP Francis Drouin, who brought forward the motion to adjourn debate.

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

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. The firm has been slapped with corruption charges in response to its dealings with contracts in Libya.

The emergency meeting was triggered after four members wrote to committee chair Anthony Housefather last week. Following Wednesday's meeting, Tory MPs doubled down on the sentiment.

"Cover up", is how Conservative MP Michael Cooper described it.

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

After the meeting, she told reporters the Liberal MPs' move was "outrageous".

That two-part Justice Committee confab ended with the scheduling of an in-camera session on March 19 to discuss the possibility of additional witnesses, including Wilson-Raybould. "Justin Trudeau is transforming the justice committee into the Justin committee".

"But after he removed her ... she witnessed events that were so egregious she considered it warranted her resignation from cabinet altogether", said Poilievre.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey makes her maiden question in the House of Commons, December 11, 2015.

"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.

She said the Liberals signalled to Canadians that they are simply "not interested in the truth" and continued to echo NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's call for an independent public inquiry into the allegations of political interference.

Trudeau also needs to extend the confidentiality waiver he issued to allow Wilson-Raybould to talk about matters that normally would be protected by cabinet confidences or solicitor-client privilege, Ramsey added.

Given the fact that the meeting will be shrouded behind a closed door, the public will not be informed of any next steps until after its adjournment.

The opposition has already floated their interest in certain names, including the prime minister's senior advisers Elder Marques and Mathieu Bouchard.

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