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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have also been some calls to throw Bombardier into the investigation because Bombardier is also a company that uses bribes and political influence to cover up their managerial clumsiness.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trudeau 'welcomes' ethics commissioner probe of alleged PMO interference in SNC-Lavalin case

Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

Published Monday, February 11, 2019 1:27PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2019 4:10PM EST

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he "welcomes" the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's newly-announced investigation into whether he or anyone in his office tried to have former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould abandon the prosecution of a case against SNC-Lavalin.

"This is an issue that has been much talked about over the past few days and I think that it's extremely important that Canadians can continue to have confidence in our system," Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver on Monday.

This comment came shortly after commissioner Mario Dion's office confirmed that an "examination" had been launched under the Conflict of Interest Act because he believes the law may have been contravened in this case.

In the letter to the two NDP MPs who requested the probe, Nathan Cullen and Charlie Angus, Dion said that he has "reason to believe that a possible contravention of Section 9 may have occurred. Section 9 prohibits a public office holder from seeking to influence a decision of another person so as to improperly further another person’s private interest. As a result, I have initiated an examination … and have so informed Mr. Trudeau."

This investigation comes after reporting from The Globe and Mail that Prime Minister's Office tried to influence Wilson-Raybould -- who was also the federal attorney general at the time -- to ask prosecutors to make a deal to pursue a remediation agreement rather than a criminal prosecution in the corruption and fraud case against the Quebec-based engineering and construction company. CTV News has not independently verified the story.

According to the Globe, Wilson-Raybould was unwilling to play along and did not follow through despite the high-level pressure. She was then later shuffled out of the justice file and into veterans’ affairs, a move some have seen as a demotion and one now that the opposition parties are framing as being the result of allegedly not following the PMO’s orders in the SNC-Lavalin case.

Remediation agreements, otherwise known as a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, can include having the company accept responsibility, denounce the wrongdoing, vow to implement corrective measures, and pay financial penalties. Jurisdictions like the U.S. and the U.K have had similar regimes in place for some time, but the mechanism was a Liberal government addition, tucked into an omnibus budget bill last year.

If the company was convicted they'd be banned from securing Canadian government contracts for a decade. The Toronto Star has reported that the company was lobbying a number of parliamentarians over the criminal case, including Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

On Monday Trudeau said that he has heard from MPs, premiers, and Canadians who are aware of the thousands of jobs at SNC-Lavalin in Canada, saying it is an issue that the federal government takes seriously, but "we ensure that we are upholding the rigour and the independence of our justice system."

Wilson-Raybould still has PM's 'full confidence'

Trudeau said that he has met with Wilson-Raybould "a couple of times" since arriving in B.C. over the weekend. Wilson-Raybould represents a Vancouver riding. Trudeau said that he and Wilson-Raybould discussed their "shared goals" for the government during these meetings.

He also said that she "confirmed for me a conversation we had this fall, where I told her directly that any decisions on matters involving the director of public prosecutions were hers alone."

Trudeau said he still has "full confidence" in Wilson-Raybould and that he respects her citing solicitor-client privilege as the reason why she has not yet publically commented on the reported allegations that have rocked Parliament Hill.

Asked if he would consider waiving solicitor-client privilege in this matter, which would allow Wilson-Raybould to speak, Trudeau said he has asked current Justice Minister and current lawyer for the government, David Lametti to advise him on this and get back to him with recommendations.

Facing questions about the Dion investigation after speaking to the Canadian Bar Association in Ottawa on Monday, Lametti citied the commissioner's independence and said he had no comment.

According to information about investigations on the commissioner's website, when a request is received that "was not found to be frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith, he must immediately proceed with an examination."

This will include allowing the public office holder in question to present the details of the situation from their side, and, if needed, summoning witnesses and compelling them to provide evidence.

"We urge Mr. Trudeau's team to stop trying to discredit Ms. Wilson-Raybould and to commit to fully cooperate with the Ethic Commissioner's investigation," said Cullen in the statement announcing the investigation was going ahead.

Renewed calls for committee probe

Despite Lametti saying in an interview on CTV's Question Period that he has yet to see any evidence to merit a House of Commons Justice Committee study into the matter, there were renewed calls Monday for the Liberal members to support one.

The Justice Committee will be meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday afternoon to consider a motion from the opposition members of the committee that would call on Wilson-Raybould, Lametti, and several other high-profile government officials to testify on the SNC-Lavalin case.

The Conservatives have reached out directly to the five Liberal MPs who hold the majority on the House Justice Committee, saying they "must" support the motion for the study. This comes as another Liberal MP who is not on the committee, Wayne Long, has called for the committee to pursue the matter.

He issued a statement saying "complete openness and transparency is the only way forward in situations like this."


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet

Postmedia News

February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019 12:01 PM EST

Filed Under:

Canoe ›
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Veterans Affairs Minister Jodie Wilson-Raybould attend a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Jan. 14, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press


Jody Wilson-Raybould is out of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.

“With a heavy heart, I am writing to tender my resignation,” Wilson-Raybould wrote in a letter to the PM.

Her resignation as veterans affairs minister comes as a controversy engulfs the government from her time as attorney general and allegations that Trudeau’s office pressured her not to prosecute Montreal firm SNC-Lavalin on corruption charges.

Wilson-Raybould hasn’t spoken about those allegations, which could amount to obstruction of justice charges for someone in the PMO. In her resignation letter she alludes to the controversy and said she is looking to determine what she can and can’t say about it.

“I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss on this matter,” Wilson-Raybould writes.

She also says that she has retained former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her on this front.

The letter, posted in full on her website, states that she entered politics “with the goal of implementing a positive and progressive vision of change.” Wilson-Raybould says that must go on.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She can make her statement in Parliament and be immune.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the justice committee is dominated by liberals and it doesn't appear they will investigate the matter further )

Warren Kinsella‏Verified account @kinsellawarren · 2h2 hours ago

The more the #LPC members on the Justice Committee stonewall on behalf of PMO, the closer they edge towards an electoral loss. It’s amazing how politicians always forget this, but somehow they do. #LavScam #cdnpoli

Candice Malcolm‏Verified account @CandiceMalcolm · 24m24 minutes ago

This Justice Committee meeting is wild. Opposition MPs (CPC, NDP, Bloc) want Jody Wilson-Raybould & Gerald Butts to testify openly before a public committee hearing. All Liberal MPs (including the Chair) are blocking this, while accusing others of being "partisan." What a joke.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the committee will only allow for a limited investigation and no appearances by anyone important )

Make It Personal‏ @MakeIPersonal · 5m5 minutes ago

Liberal-majority justice committee votes down motion to allow Jody Wilson-Raybould and four top PMO staffers to testify. Instead passes own motion to investigate the #SNCLavelin affair and PMO interference in a limited scope. (Via/ @rachaiello)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Ivison: Justice committee becomes a farce not seen since Liberal sponsorship scandal

One Liberal MP said that, since there is no hard evidence of wrongdoing, it would be a mistake to invite 'random people' — like Wilson-Raybould — as witnesses

John Ivison
John Ivison

February 13, 2019
7:47 PM EST

Filed under
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Former prime minister Jean Chrétien is said to have told his cabinet the story of a farmer covered in cow dung. The farmer knew that if he tried to wipe the manure away when it was still fresh, he would spread it around and make it worse. Instead, he waited until it dried and then brushed it away.

The anecdote came to mind watching the Liberal members of the justice committee buy the prime minister precious time to allow the hurricane of feculence soiling his reputation to pass before trying to clean it up.

Liberal committee members claimed they wanted nothing more than to reassure Canadians that their justice system is not only intact, but robust, in light of allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office intervened inappropriately with the office of the then attorney-general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, over the corruption prosecution of Quebec engineering giant, SNC-Lavalin.

Yet that enthusiasm did not prevent all five Liberals from voting against an amendment that called for the key players in the saga to appear before them as witnesses.

It was a shameless display of sucking and blowing.

The Liberals — Randy Boissonnault, Ali Ehsassi, Colin Fraser, Iqra Khalid and Ron McKinnon — backed their own motion that called on the committee to consider the arcane points of law involved in the case — the concept of remediation deals for errant corporations and the principles of the Shawcross doctrine that guides the relationship between the attorney general and his or her cabinet colleagues.

Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative provocateur-in-chief, said what the Liberals appeared to want was a “legal symposium.”

The Liberal motion also called for the appearance of three witnesses — the current attorney general David Lametti; the clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick; and, the senior bureaucrat in the justice department, Nathalie Drouin.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen was first to point out that it was “more than interesting” that Wilson-Raybould was not among the witnesses the Liberals suggested calling.

“We can’t reassure Canadians because we don’t know what happened yet,” he said. “I don’t want a seven-month expedition into the deepest bowels of Canadian law.”

He proposed an amendment that added the names of Wilson-Raybould and two high-ranking advisers in the Prime Minister’s Office, Gerald Butts and Mathieu Bouchard, to the list of witnesses.

. Gary Clement/National Post

However, the Liberal members combined to defeat it, on the grounds that the justice committee has always discussed its witness list in camera. The committee is “not an investigative body,” said Boissonnault. “We don’t have the tools, the budget or the mechanisms to go on the type of fishing expedition or witch-hunt the Conservatives would like to see.”

It was as cynical a subversion of the public interest to narrow partisan concerns as Parliament Hill has seen since the public accounts committee descended into farce during the sponsorship scandal a decade and a half ago.

As Cullen pointed out: “Of course committees have the power to investigate — we can subpoena witnesses. It’s just a question of whether we want to use it.”

Liberal MP Ehsassi was at least honest when he laid out his position — that in his personal opinion, “there is nothing to be concerned about.”

He said the Liberal members had “checked our partisan hats at the door” and the real problem was the “political dynamic on the other side.”

The committee allowed for a certain amount of grandstanding from the opposition members.

A government in total chaos

Poilievre called Justin Trudeau “despicable and cowardly” for attacking Wilson-Raybould, “who is legally incapable of defending herself.”

The opposition deputy leader, Lisa Raitt, said the Trudeau Liberals constitute “a government in total chaos.”

But at least she got to the nub of the issue — that someone in the Prime Minister’s Office is alleged to have applied pressure on the attorney general to overrule the director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, in the SNC-Lavalin case.

Raitt said the committee’s job was to find out what form the pressure took and who applied it.

The Conservatives had put forward a motion that called on the committee to invite nine witnesses — Wilson-Raybould; Butts; Bouchard; Lametti; Roussel; Wernick; Wilson-Raybould’s former chief of staff, Jessica Prince; Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford; and his senior adviser, Elder Marques — and report back no later than Feb. 28.

Needless to say, that didn’t fly with Liberal committee members who were remarkably incurious about what these additional witnesses might contribute.

Liberal MP McKinnon said that, since there is no hard evidence of any wrongdoing, it would be a mistake to invite “random people” as witnesses as part of a fishing expedition.

It’s as well Leonardo di Vinci was not a Liberal committee member or the Renaissance might never have happened.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper said Canadians deserve to be reassured that the Prime Minister’s Office did not try to intervene in a criminal prosecution, but that the Liberal motion did little to offer that reassurance. “The only conclusion I can draw is that there is no interest in getting to the bottom of this matter,” he said.

Khalid said that she and her colleagues were independent and had not been influenced in any way to back the motion. “I stand by the integrity of this committee,” she said.

There remained the prospect of additional witness — Lametti, Wernick and Drouin were named only because they had already agreed to appear, she said.

That sparked the Conservatives to ask who had invited them, to which Boissonnault conceded: “My colleagues in government …”

It emerged the government House leader’s office had co-ordinated the invitations.

So much for independence; so much for integrity.

The Liberal attempt to drag out the proceedings was as blatant as it was unconvincing.

There was a particular irony in their enthusiasm to study the workings of remediation deals now that the provision has already passed into law. It was noted that the justice committee did not have the chance to examine the legislation when it was snuck into the budget implementation bill last year and rammed through the finance committee.

I have argued in recent columns that the interactions between the Prime Minister’s Office and the attorney general, on the available evidence, likely fell short of interference.

After the abject performance of the Liberals on the justice committee, I’m not so sure. Trudeau is sunk in the mire and it’s getting messy.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberal MPs reject call to bring Wilson-Raybould to Justice committee

By Charlie Pinkerton. Published on Feb 13, 2019 4:47pm

Liberal MPs on the House justice committee rejected a Conservative motion Wednesday to call Jody Wilson-Raybould and several senior members of the Trudeau inner circle to testify about explosive allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office tried to intervene in the criminal proceedings against SNC-Lavalin.

The vote was held at an emergency meeting called by the committee’s opposition members after the allegations first surfaced in The Globe and Mail last Thursday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said his office did not direct Wilson-Raybould when she was serving as attorney general “to draw any conclusions” on the case against the Quebec construction giant, though has been less forthright on whether any pressure was exerted on her to intervene in any capacity.

The ethics commissioner has launched an investigation into the allegations at the request of the NDP and Wilson-Raybould resigned Tuesday from her new cabinet post at veterans affairs. She was moved from the justice portfolio last month.

Asked about her resignation last night, Trudeau said he was “disappointed” and “puzzled.”

Wilson-Raybould has maintained her silence since the story first broke, citing solicitor-client privilege with the government. In her letter of resignation, she said she has hired former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her as to whether or not she is legally allowed to discuss the matter.

The Conservatives wanted to call Wilson-Raybould, her chief of staff Jessica Prince, current Attorney General David Lametti, Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, Public Prosecutions Director Kathleen Roussel, Trudeau’s chief of staff Katie Telford, Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts, and PMO staffers Mathieu Bouchard and Elder Marques to discuss what transpired between the PMO and Wilson-Raybould. However, their motion was defeated by the Liberals, who form a majority on the committee.

Instead, Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault successfully moved to invite only Lametti and Wernick, as well as deputy attorney general Nathalie Drouin, to committee on Feb. 19 to discuss the Shawcross doctrine, which details attorney general independence, and to arrange other potential witnesses for future meetings. That meeting will not be open to the public, in accordance with Boissonnault’s motion.

The Liberals also rejected an amendment presented by NDP MP Nathan Cullen, which would have led to the committee inviting Wilson-Raybould, Butts and Bouchard to a meeting.

Wednesday’s nearly three-hour meeting saw opposition members aggressively criticize the Liberal government for its response to the allegations.

“The matter at hand goes to the very heart of our democracy,” Cullen said during the meeting. He sat in the place of NDP justice critic Murray Rankin.

“The case we have in front of us is one of the most troubling I’ve seen in all my years in politics,” he said. “The allegations in the Globe and Mail were serious and the fallout that has occurred since then has only increased my worry.”

Liberal MPs and opposition members had several contentious exchanges during the meeting, with NDP and Conservative MPs accusing the Liberals of legalizing remediation agreements through last year’s budget bill because of repeated lobbying by SNC-Lavalin. They also alleged that the PMO directed MPs how to act and vote at the meeting, which Conservative Justice Critic Michael Cooper frequently labelled as a “cover up.”

Liberal MP Ali Ehsassi accused opposition MPs of “cherrypicking selective facts, putting them together, and trying to create this impression that something untoward has definitely happened.”

“From what we have seen, there is nothing to be concerned about,” Ehsassi said.

Conservatives also renewed their call that Trudeau waive his solicitor-client privilege to allow Wilson-Raybould to speak about the matter. Cooper moved a motion to have the PM waive the privilege but it was defeated by the Liberal MPs.

During the meeting, Cooper said it was “the most disappointing day” he’s had as a member of the committee.

Cullen called the Liberals’ decision to defeat the motion “incredibly disappointing” and said their choice of procedure is “just going through the motions.”


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don Martin: Keeping quiet means cover-up is the only conclusion
Don Martin, Power Play Host
Last Updated Thursday, February 14, 2019 5:53PM EST

Here’s proof that a week can be a lifetime in politics.

One week ago today, Jody Wilson-Raybould was the veterans affairs minister and prime ministerial interference meant limiting debate on a piece of priority legislation.

Now Wilson-Raybould is gone from cabinet and seeking legal advice while Justin Trudeau reels under mounting pressure that his office encouraged her to avert an SNC-Lavalin trial on corruption charges, the better to keep government contracts flowing to the Quebec employment giant.

There has been a lot of story-shifting since the Globe and Mail broke the allegations.

The flat-out denial morphed into confirmation there had been a vigorous internal debate on SNC, minus any direct pressure on the attorney general to intervene in the prosecution.

The latest damage control theory from the prime minister has it that Wilson-Raybould is at fault for failing to alert him to any pressure to cut a deal.

But there has been one fixed position in this controversy. This prime minister will do all the talking.

Ok, sure, staff can whisper anonymously about the former minister’s conduct. But that’s it. Crickets is the rest of his government’s response.

So there you have it.

A feminist prime minister with an indigenous reconciliation priority who profusely proclaims respect for the rule of law has decreed only he will speak on behalf of a widely respected indigenous female politician who may have witnessed an illegal act.

The prime minister who pledged transparency has scrubbed an MP investigation's witness list clean of anyone who might deliver contrarian testimony; a leader seeking reconciliation is without indigenous cabinet representation, a source of international acclaim for his women's agenda has stood silently for a full-week by while aides anonymously trash-talk Wilson-Raybould's character and conduct.

What the prime minister clearly doesn’t grasp yet is that he will inevitably cave and be forced to let her speak.

The opposition thunder will get louder with the Commons back in action, the polls will start to move against him, the media will keep asking even if his answers stay the same and caucus lapdogs will start barking back.

There is only one way out: Independent corroboration of Trudeau’s version of events from the only person who can deliver it: Jody Wilson-Raybould. And there’s only one person who can give her permission to speak: Justin Trudeau.

If mum’s the final word on this gag order, cover-up is the only conclusion.

And that’s definitely NOT the Last Word on this issue

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really good discussion of the issues, with independent journalist Ezra Levant and Manny ...


(1) does "attorney-client" privilege apply to the PM?
(2) the usual practice in "conflict of interest" cases.
(3) the politics of the matter.
(4) the role of feminism ...
(5) the contrast between this case and how Harper handled the Duffy case

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another indication of the rot ...


Pierre Poilievre analyses the actions of the government on the SNC Lavalin case ... and how the Parliamentary committee is trying to take the issue into the Blackout Zone.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( there was also weird accusations from a liberal MP that she was actually removed cause she could not speak French , although they seem to be entirely false )

Liberal MP apologizes for suggesting Wilson-Raybould was shuffled for not speaking French

Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

Published Thursday, February 14, 2019 7:21PM EST

OTTAWA – Quebec Liberal MP and chair of the House of Commons Justice Committee Anthony Housefather has apologized for floating the idea that Jody-Wilson Raybould may have been shuffled out of her job as justice minister because her French language skills are lacking.

"There's millions of reasons that people can be shuffled from one position to another, including the fact, for example, that there's a lot of legal issues coming up in Quebec and the prime minister may well have decided he needed a Justice Minister that could speak French," Housefather said during a Quebec radio interview on Thursday. He cited the “charter of values” being proposed in Quebec as one example of why Trudeau might want a justice minister who can communicate with Quebecers.

This new line of speculation came amid questions over whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moved Wilson-Raybould into veterans affairs after she refused to bow to alleged pressure to ask federal prosecutors to make a deal in the corruption and fraud case against engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

That has been a connection opposition MPs have drawn following reporting from The Globe and Mail that alleged that the Prime Minister's Office leaned on Wilson-Raybould -- who was the attorney general at the time -- to have federal prosecutors pursue a remediation agreement rather than criminal prosecution, which she did not do. CTV News has not independently verified the story.

"I want to apologize… I never should have tried to speculate about something like this. I have no direct knowledge," Housefather tweeted Thursday night.

Prior to his apology, when asked about his comments Housefather told CTV News that he was just speculating based on his own personal view as a Quebec MP.

Though her French proficiency wasn’t a one-off suggestion, he repeated his theory again in an interview on an Ottawa radio station.

"There's going to be extensive need in Quebec for somebody who has the Justice file to speak to Quebecers in French and she doesn't speak French and so there may be other reasons, very different reasons from the ones that the Conservatives and the NDP are trying to frame, why she may have been shuffled in Cabinet," Housefather said.

He went on to say while it’s easy to speculate, you'd have to ask Trudeau or Wilson-Raybould for the real reason behind what many saw as a demotion. During the French radio interview, Housefather said it was clear she was unhappy about the shuffle. She has since tendered her resignation from Trudeau’s cabinet.

"The Liberals appointed her to that position in November 2015, she didn’t speak French then, she doesn't speak French now based on what I know, so things haven't changed and I think this is a pretty weak excuse or rationale for what happened in January," said McGill political science professor Daniel Beland on CTV's Power Play.

Housefather's comments also came the day after the committee he chairs shut down the opposition's efforts to ask for Wilson-Raybould to testify as part of its coming probe of the SNC-Lavalin affair. Instead they’ve agreed to a limited witness list for now, and broadly the topics at the heart of the story.

During Wednesday's committee meeting opposition MPs questioned Housefather’s independence as the chair over other comments he’s made recently, including that he believes the prime minister in this matter.

On Thursday he said that the committee is inherently partisan and cited that as a reason why the parliamentary avenue was not the best for a full investigation.

"Our committee being a partisan committee is not an independent venue to do a proper analysis. We’ll do our best but you’re going to see a lot of back and forth that you wouldn’t see if it was actually a court or an independent person doing an investigation," Housefather said during the Quebec radio chat.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen equated his remarks to what has been seen to be "smear campaign" against Wilson-Raybould from unnamed Liberals over the last week who claim she was "difficult to get along with."

"Stop it and let her and other key witnesses testify at committee," Cullen tweeted.

His comments were made while members of Trudeau's cabinet sought to stick to the same message coming from Trudeau's office on the entire affair.

"I was sad with the news, certainly very disappointed," said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. "I think the Prime Minister has been clear and I think what is also really important is that we continue moving forward," she said on CTV News Channel.

"I think it's important that we respect Jody Wilson-Raybould’s decision… my view is that she’s going to be someone who can continue to add value," Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Thursday at an event where he was joined by Labour Minister Patty Hajdu.

Hajdu called Wilson-Raybould a "valuable team member," and she looks forward to seeing her next week in the House.

Crisis communications expert Jennifer Stewart criticized the government’s approach to messaging on this case.

"Not having a united front and having different pieces of information dribbled out into the media by party members is not well informed," she told CTV News.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberals mum on Wilson-Raybould’s future in caucus

By Marieke Walsh. Published on Feb 14, 2019 3:52pm

TORONTO — Liberals MPs are refusing to say publicly if Jody Wilson-Raybould still has a place in their caucus, as controversy swirls around the future of the former attorney general.

Senior cabinet ministers dodged questions on the topic Thursday, as did the Prime Minister’s Office, while the Liberal caucus chair said he was unable to discuss the matter.

Wilson-Raybould tendered her resignation as minister of veterans affairs on Monday evening, less than a week after the Globe and Mail reported that she had been pressured by the prime minister’s office to interfere in SNC-Lavalin’s criminal trial while she was the attorney general.

She continues to sit as an MP but neither she nor the Liberals have said whether she will remain in caucus.

At an event in downtown Toronto on Thursday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu repeatedly refused to say if they thought she should remain in caucus.

“That’s not a decision for me to make,” Hajdu told reporters at the press conference.

She said the decision ultimately rested with Wilson-Raybould and the prime minister, not members of the Liberal caucus.

“We don’t actually vote on who remains in caucus or not. That is a decision of the individual member and a decision of the prime minister in extenuating circumstances,” Hajdu said.

“Jody Wilson-Raybould and the prime minister — obviously they’re having conversations, I’m sure.

Morneau was even more evasive, only saying that he respects her decision to leave cabinet.

“From my perspective I think its important that we respect Jody Wilson-Raybould’s decision,” he said.

“And that’s a decision that I’m sure that she will be telling us about.”

The Globe reports that senior staff in the PMO pressured Wilson-Raybould to force the public prosecution service to strike a deal with SNC-Lavalin that would see it pay a fine but avoid admitting criminal wrongdoing in a corruption and bribery case.

Wilson-Raybould reportedly resisted that pressure and Crown prosecutors continued their efforts to take SNC-Lavalin to court. Months later, Wilson-Raybould was moved to veterans affairs, in a move that many saw as a demotion.

The PMO said it also would not comment on Wilson-Raybould’s position in caucus and instead directed the question to Liberal caucus chair Francis Scarpaleggia.

In an interview with iPolitics, Scarpaleggia would not say who ultimately determines membership in the Liberal caucus.

“We have our own internal dynamic that’s all I can say,” Scarpaleggia said.

He repeatedly refused to clarify what “internal dynamic” entailed.

Asked if MPs will have any say in any decision, Scarpaleggia said: “Obviously when I talk about ‘internal dynamic’ I’m talking about our caucus as a group.”

He added that Wilson-Raybould hasn’t been asked to leave caucus. Her office wouldn’t comment on whether she wants to remain in the Liberal caucus. .

Since the Globe’s report last week, Wilson-Raybould has not commented on the allegations, citing solicitor-client privilege.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau again denied that he pressured or directed Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the criminal case. However, he didn’t speak to the allegation that senior staff in his office pressured her.

“Jody Wilson-Raybould and I had a conversation in September in which I emphasized to her that the decision she makes as attorney general — particularly in this matter — are her decision and I was not directing or pressuring her,” Trudeau said in Sudbury. “If she felt that she had received pressure it was her obligation, her responsibility to come to talk to me and she did not do that in the fall.”

While Trudeau has repeatedly laid blame for the SNC-Lavalin scandal at the feet of Wilson-Raybould, Hajdu and other cabinet ministers have made a point of applauding her work.

“Jody is an amazing member of our team,” Hajdu said. “She’s a valuable team member, she adds a lot to our team and I look forward to seeing her next week.”

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is investigating the allegations against the prime minister’s office.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Liberals expelling Wilson-Raybould right now would be a PR disaster for them.

We don't know the whole story but assuming there is some substance behind any of the accusation its become pretty clearly that Wilson-Raybould doesn't have any interest in being the "Alfonso Gagliano" of this particular situation.

The next few months are going to be rather interesting.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
The Liberals expelling Wilson-Raybould right now would be a PR disaster for them.

We don't know the whole story but assuming there is some substance behind any of the accusation its become pretty clearly that Wilson-Raybould doesn't have any interest in being the "Alfonso Gagliano" of this particular situation.

The next few months are going to be rather interesting.

rate now I can't see how she could run for the liberals in the 2019 election for various reasons

according to Wikipedia she secured the liberal nomination for her riding on Jan 12

but considering all that's happened since then I can't really see her running for the liberals as things stand now
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did PMO pressure Wilson Raybould on SNC Lavalin

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