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

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

Opposition MPs plan to demand Wednesday that former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould be allowed to return to the justice committee with no limitations on what she can say about the SNC-Lavalin affair. Following Wednesday's meeting, Tory MPs doubled down on the sentiment. The reason: former principal secretary to the PM Gerald Butts' March 6 testimony differed markedly from Wilson-Raybould's version of events and she deserved a second chance and the opportunity for full disclosure.

Shortly after the meeting convened, the Liberal committee members abruptly voted to adjourn, with Conservatives and New Democrats shouting out epithets like "Cover-up!" and "Despicable!"

Meantime, the NDP says it's clear the Liberals have something to hide.

The opposition wants to be able to ask about the period after she was shuffled from Justice to Veterans Affairs in mid-January, including why she resigned from cabinet.

Ramsey, who sits on the committee, is calling on the Liberal government to show real leadership and transparency to Canadians by allowing Wilson-Raybould to tell the full story surrounding SNC-Lavalin.

"I've never been so disgusted by the conduct of my Liberal colleagues", Conservative MP Michael Cooper said.

Canadians first learned of potential political meddling in SNC-Lavalin's legal woes following a February 7th Globe and Mail story alleging Wilson-Raybould faced pressure by the PMO to defer SNC-Lavalin's charges to remediation - a new deferred prosecution provision shoehorned into last year's omnibus budget legislation.

Wilson-Raybould quit the federal cabinet in mid-February, a few days after the allegations of improper pressure arose.

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Trudeau could have let her speak openly, he said.

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The committee will reconvene on March 19 for their meeting where they will not only decide whether Wilson-Raybould will be invited back before the committee, but will also determine other witnesses they may wish to speak. 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.

While she exhaustively chronicled meetings with senior government officials, she remains unable to speak about events following her removal as attorney general.

NDP MP Tracey Ramsey called the decision to adjourn debate "outrageous".

"What are you guys afraid of?" shouted Conservative MP and committee member Michael Barrett, who referenced Justin Trudeau's recent 4200km roundtrip between the capital and Florida where he is now vacationing.

"This is a very extreme move at any committee to try to stop the conversation from continuing and it's very disappointing to Canadians to see the Liberals using this tool today to end the debate, to end the possibility of Ms. Wilson-Raybould coming back before the committee", Ramsey said.

The opposition also points out the committee did hear a second time from Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick and deputy justice minister Nathalie Drouin, after Wilson-Raybould's first appearance raised additional questions to pose to them.

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