Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer responds to reporters questions, Wednesday, March 6, 2019 while visiting a supporter in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Scheer urges Trudeau to let Wilson-Raybould speak further on SNC-Lavalin affair

MPs are to hold an emergency session of the House of Commons justice committee on Wednesday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must lift a “gag order” and ensure Jody Wilson-Raybould can speak the full truth about her decision to leave cabinet, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Sunday.

The SNC-Lavalin controversy has exposed a crisis of moral and ethical leadership in Trudeau’s office, Scheer said at a news conference in Ottawa, adding an online campaign is underway to support Wilson-Raybould.

“Justin Trudeau must let her speak,” he said.

MPs are to hold an emergency session of the House of Commons justice committee on Wednesday and Wilson-Raybould has previously said she would be willing to return to provide additional testimony.

Scheer said Liberal MPs on the committee need to support Wilson-Raybould coming back to shed additional light on the scandal, suggesting if they do not, it would suggest the prime minister “has something to hide.”

“Previously, it was only after intense pressure that Liberal MPs on the justice committee allowed this investigation to start, and only after intense pressure from Canadians did Justin Trudeau even partially allow Ms. Wilson-Raybould to speak,” Scheer said.

“We’re hoping that this campaign will have the same effect — that the pressure will force Justin Trudeau to allow her to come and testify.”

Wilson-Raybould previously told the justice committee she was subjected to relentless, inappropriate pressure to stop the trial of the engineering giant on bribery and fraud charges related to contracts in Libya.

Trudeau partly waived solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality so Wilson-Raybould could speak publicly, but not about communication with Kathleen Roussel, the director of public prosecutions.

Last week, Trudeau’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts testified that he believed no one from the Prime Minister’s Office had done anything wrong.

Butts also said that Wilson-Raybould never complained about improper pressure to halt the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin until Trudeau decided to move her out of her cabinet role as justice minister.

Scheer said Sunday it is clear the “real Justin Trudeau” is being exposed to Canadians, adding that the prime minister is not displaying good leadership.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office acknowledged Trudeau had ”emotional” conversations with Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, but denied her claims the encounters were “hostile” or that Trudeau yelled at her.

READ MORE: SNC-Lavalin’s court loss shifts spotlight to Trudeau’s new attorney

READ MORE: PMO denies Trudeau was hostile toward Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Caesar-Chavannes told the Globe and Mail in an interview that Trudeau was angry when she told him on Feb. 12 of her plans to announce she was not running in the October federal election.

She alleges he yelled at her in that conversation and she responded by shouting back at him, however she added the prime minister later apologized.

Caesar-Chavannes also detailed another encounter with Trudeau in the House of Commons a week later, in which she describes him as acting hostile toward her.

The various allegations make it clear the “false presentation” that Trudeau has presented to Canadians is “falling apart,” Scheer said.

“I note that time and time again when he’s accused of improper behaviour, whether it is pressure or how he handles people in these types of situations, his only defence is that other people experience things differently.”

—with files from Teresa Wright

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

Young Grand Forks angler wins top B.C. fishing award

Nine-year-old Noah Dalla Lana was honoured at this year’s BC Wildlife Federation Gala

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Grand Forks woman lays wreath at grave of local soldier buried in England

Cpl. Alfred Gyde Heaven lied about his age to enlist in the Canadian army in 1916

The quirks and perks of living in England

From Grand Forks to Great Britain: Kalyeena Makortoff on becoming a U.K. permanent resident.

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

Wife remembers 43-year old Petr Koncek, father of two children

Ottawa spending $24.5M to research on health benefits, risks of pot use

$390,000 will fund two cannabis public awareness

Most Read