Drouin blasted for ‘de­spi­ca­ble’ move

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - -- Richard Ma­honey

Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell Lib­eral MP Fran­cis Drouin found him­self at the cen­tre of a heated de­bate over the on­go­ing SNC-Lavalin con­tro­versy last week.

At Wed­nes­day’s House of Com­mons jus­tice com­mit­tee meet­ing, Mr. Drouin put for­ward a mo­tion to ad­journ, just as MPs were ar­gu­ing that for­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral Jody Wil­sonRay­bould be called back to tes­tify.

While op­po­si­tion mem­bers called the move “de­spi­ca­ble” and “dis­gust­ing,” Mr. Drouin main­tained that the ad­journ­ment was a mat­ter of pro­ce­dure since a March 19 meet­ing had al­ready been sched­uled to deal with po­ten­tial wit­nesses.

That meet­ing, to be held be­hind closed doors, was set to be held the same day the fed­eral bud­get was tabled.

The Lib­eral mem­bers of the com­mit­tee used their ma­jor­ity to thwart the op­po­si­tion’s at­tempts to have Ms. Wil­son-Ray­bould ap­pear be­fore the com­mit­tee for a sec­ond time.

Four op­po­si­tion MPs had sent let­ters ask­ing that Ms. Wil­son-Ray­bould be given an op­por- tu­nity to re­but tes­ti­mony by Ger­ald Butts, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s for­mer prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary, Privy Coun­cil Clerk Michael Wer­nick and deputy at­tor­ney gen­eral Nathalie Drouin.

The op­po­si­tion protested that Mr. Drouin’s mo­tion proved that the Lib­er­als were in­volved in a cover-up.

Mr. Drouin had ear­lier voted against an NDP mo­tion call­ing for a pub­lic in­quiry about the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice’s deal­ings with en­gi­neer­ing firm, SNC-Lavalin.

Ms. Wil­son-Ray­bould had re­signed as Min­is­ter of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs af­ter al­le­ga­tions that the PMO had at­tempted to in­flu­ence her con­cern­ing the pros­e­cu­tion of SNC-Lavalin when Ms. Wil­son-Ray­bould was serv­ing as Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

Mr. Drouin has said he op­posed the mo­tion be­cause he felt a pub­lic in­quiry would only pro­vide a fo­rum for par­ti­san at­tacks. At the same time, he said he sup­ports the ethics com­mis­sioner look­ing into the mat­ter be­cause that

in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be im­par­tial.

“Last month, Ms. Wil­sonRay­bould pro­vided clear and con-

vinc­ing tes­ti­mony that there was sus­tained, in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­eth­i­cal po­lit­i­cal pres­sure put on her by the Prime Min­is­ter and his of­fi­cials,” stated Con­ser­va­tive leader An­drew Scheer.

“As ex­tra­or­di­nary as her tes­ti­mony was, we can­not for­get that

Justin Trudeau is us­ing his power and his of­fice to en­sure we don’t hear the rest of the story. Ms. Wil­son-Ray­bould could not an­swer direct ques­tions re­gard­ing meet­ings and in­ter­ac­tions af­ter the Prime Min­is­ter fired her, which she her­self ac­knowl­edged were rel­e­vant. Cana­di­ans con­tinue to have le­git­i­mate ques­tions about this scan­dal. Justin Trudeau has again to­day, pre­vented them from get­ting an­swers. These are the ac­tions of a man with some­thing to hide,” de­clared Mr. Scheer.

MP Fran­cis Drouin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.