APPLY TRANSPARENCY VOW TO SNC-LAVALIN CASE, MR. PM
“One of the most important things about my approach in politics has been creating a level of accountability, of transparency, of openness, of honesty that means admitting when mistakes were made, taking responsibility for them, and fixing them in an open manner.”Justin Trudeau spoke those words five years ago — setting the tone for what he pitched to Canadians as a new way of doing politics.“Openness and transparency will be our constant companions, and we will work to restore Canadians’ trust in their government and in our democracy.”He said that when he was sworn in as prime minister.Canadians took this prime minister at his word. They trusted him to be who he said he would be. And he has betrayed them.The allegations levelled last week against Justin Trudeau and his office are grievous and strike at the very heart of our rule of law.SNC-Lavalin, one of the Liberal Party of Canada’s largest corporate backers, is being prosecuted on charges of bribery. For the last three years, the company has aggressively lobbied key government officials for a special deal that would see it avoid criminal prosecution.The government responded last year, when it wedged into the budget bill a new legal provision that would give SNC-Lavalin exactly what it wanted.The use of that provision is at the discretion of the Director of Public Prosecutions and, last October, that office informed SNC-Lavalin no special deal was coming.That should have been the end of it. It was only the beginning.Unhappy with that result, the Prime Minister’s Office allegedly pressured the attorney general to overrule due legal process by granting this Liberal-friendly corporate giant the special deal it had long sought and then firing her when she courageously refused to do so.(Canadians owe Jody Wilson-Raybould a debt of gratitude for holding true to her principles and protecting the rule of law when her political masters implored her to abandon it.)The level of corruption implied is staggering.Since these allegations were published, Parliament has sought answers. For two days, MPs on all sides of the house grilled the government’s front bench in question period (Mr. Trudeau was curiously absent). For two days, we got nothing.So we took the next step. We have forced an emergency meeting of the justice committee to vote on a motion calling on nine key government officials to testify before all Canadians about what happened in this case. That meeting will take place this week, but the government has already indicated it will block this attempt at transparency.Ms. Wilson-Raybould has claimed solicitor-client privilege prevents her from disclosing the advice she gave to the government in the SNC-Lavalin matter. So I personally wrote to Mr. Trudeau demanding he waive that privilege, as prime ministers both Liberal and Conservative have done in the past when Canadians demanded answers on matters of ethics and public confidence.However, given the stonewall treatment we’ve encountered thus far, his blithe contempt for past pledges of transparency, and the willingness of his new Attorney General to protect him, I’m not optimistic he will do so.Which naturally begs the question of what Mr. Trudeau is trying to hide. In his only public statement on the matter, he repeated a carefully crafted and legally vetted line which, in essence, claimed his innocence in the matter.If he is innocent, if Mr. Trudeau is indeed telling the truth, waiving privilege and having his officials testify at committee would surely absolve him and his office of any wrongdoing.The longer he and his government avoid accountability, the more it looks like he is covering up the truth.Trudeau the candidate was a relentless cheerleader for openness and accountability, promising a whole new era of open government to win votes.On this, Trudeau the prime minister has become a fraud. He is now on the run, trying his best to avoid the very things he once promised to champion.I will not let him get away with this.If he shuts down Parliamentarians, as it appears he will, I will use every possible political, legal, and investigative option to get the answers Canadians demand.One way or another, he will be held to account.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer wants to know what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to hide. He says the longer Trudeau and his government avoids accountability, the more it looks like he is covering up the truth.
© PressReader. All rights reserved.