SNC-Lavalin issue set to cool, temporarily, as parliamentarians head home for two weeks

After a week of political drama in Ottawa, the scene on parliament hill is expected to cool as MPs head home for two weeks and the justice committee isn’t expected to sit again until March 6.

At the moment, all eyes are on the Prime Minister’s Office and whether former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould will remain in the Liberal caucus.

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet after Wilson-Raybould quit cabinet.

Maryam Monsef, and Marie-Claude Bibeau were shuffled, along with Lawrence Macaulay who takes over Veterans Affairs.

All three gave similar answers when asked about whether Wilson-Raybould should stay in caucus.

“These decisions are made by the prime minister,” he said. “I can live with any decision that’s made. But I know Jody, well-respected lady.”

On Thursday night, the house of commons held an emergency debate on the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

The Conservatives repeatedly called for Trudeau to step down.

“I have truly lost confidence in this Prime Minister,” said Ontario MP Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills). “And in this government. I have been shaken to my core about what I heard yesterday at the Justice Committee.

“It’s almost too much to digest in a 24-hour period. But I know one thing, this prime minister should resign.”

The NDP aren’t asking for a resignation just yet – but Murray Rankin, who announced that he will not run in the 2019 election, continued to advocate for a public inquiry.

“Do we live in a democracy, which I’ve been proud of all my life to be part of, where the rule of law means something, where we don’t have politicians telling our law enforcement community what to do? Or do we live in a system like in some other fledgling democracies, in some other parts of the world, where politicians call the shots,” he told MPs.

One of the common responses from the Liberals was there was nothing wrong with trying to protect the jobs at SNC-Lavalin.

“Will he (Rankin) stand now and have the courage to say the truth that he will support what this government is doing,” said Faycal El-Khoury. “Is doing the right thing to protect the job of Canadians.”

Rankin brushed aside Liberal claims as job saviours.

“I didn’t see them anywhere particularly in General Motors. I didn’t see them with Rona, didn’t see them with Davey Shipyards,” replied Rankin. “And I haven’t seem them do anything with respect to those pensioners in Sears who have been ripped off. And so frankly I don’t want to hear any lessons about that.”

Conservatives also pushed for the RCMP to get involved.

On Thursday, leader Andrew Scheer sent a letter to the RCMP asking the mounties to look into the affair.

In a rare move, Green Party leader Elizabeth May sided with the Conservatives.

“So I don’t allege criminality in this matter. But I think it remains a possibility. And I’d like to see the RCMP take over the investigation,” said May.

Things won’t stay calm for long.

On March 6, Gerald Butts, a former advisor and close friend of Trudeau will testify before the committee.

Also expected are Michael Wernick, clerk of the Privy Council, and Nathalie Drouin, deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general.

Both the NDP and Conservatives are calling on Trudeau to reconvene parliament next week.

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1 thought on “SNC-Lavalin issue set to cool, temporarily, as parliamentarians head home for two weeks

  1. And what are the Liberals doing to save jobs in Alberta? Far more than 9,000 have already disappeared.
    This is all about jobs for a handful of Liberal politicians.
    Much respect for the integrity displayed by Ms. Raybould-Wilson.

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