Drouin blasted for ‘despicable’ move
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