Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

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

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

Francis Drouin suggested the opposition Conservative and NDP members were playing politics by calling the meeting during March break, since a session to determine next steps had already been scheduled for Mar. 19. But less than 30 minutes into the emergency meeting, a Liberal member called for a vote amid shouts of disapproval from opposition members.

An emergency meeting of the Justice Committee investigating the situation was shut down nearly immediately by the Liberal majority sparking outraged cries of from the opposition of "cover-up", "disgusting" and "shame".

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.

The former Principal Secretary to the prime minister, Gerald Butts, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have told their sides of the story.

"I never asked for this", she said.

They also want to speak with more people from the Prime Minister's Office, specifically more of the top aides Wilson-Raybould has said were involved in pressuring her not to pursue criminal prosecution of the Quebec company on bribery charges.

Trudeau's chief of Staff Katie Telford, senior advisers Elder Marques and Mathieu Bouchard and Ben Chin, the chief of staff to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, all need to come to explain their role, said NDP MP Tracey Ramsey.

Both Butts and Wilson-Raybould were freed to speak about matters often protected by cabinet confidences, and in her case, solicitor-client privilege, by a waiver issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in late February.

When he testified, Butts put the dispute down to a series of miscommunications and misunderstandings.

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.

"Canadians deserve to know what those event were". That period of time is now subject to solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality, which the prime minister is allowed to waive.

"They don't want Canadians to hear their arguments against letting Ms Wilson-Raybould speak because, frankly, they are not good ones".

"Today was an extreme disappointment", Ramsey said.

And one more kicker: the next meeting will be held behind closed doors, no cameras allowed, leaving Canadians wondering if they will ever know what happened.

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