Scheer, NDP Demand Emergency Meeting Over Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin Criminal Allegations
On Thursday, Trudeau denied a report that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid going to trial on fraud and corruption allegations and instead cut a deal known as a “remediation agreement.”
Speaking in front of reporters Friday, Scheer said the Conservatives and NDP will try and force the emergency meeting of the House of Commons justice committee with the goal of passing a motion calling on nine high-ranking officials to testify about the alleged interference in the SNC-Lavalin case.
“It’s quite clear there is a cover-up going on,” Scheer said. He added that he wants the meeting to be called as early as Monday, and said if the Liberals block it, “then Canadians can conclude that the reports of political interference are true.”
The Liberals hold a majority of seats on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and can vote Scheer’s request down.
Some of the high-ranking officials Scheer wants to testify include Wilson-Raybould, Justice Minister David Lametti and Trudeau’s two closest advisors: his chief of staff, Katie Telford, and principal secretary, Gerald Butts.
“The prime minister must immediately come clean to Canadians about what he knew about this case and when he knew it. Nothing short of full disclosure is acceptable,” Scheer said.
When asked whether these allegations (based on two unnamed sources in a Globe and Mail article) are equal to obstruction of justice, Scheer said these type of questions can be posed during the committee process.
The Conservative leader was also asked if his party would consider asking the RCMP to investigate.
“Everything is on the table,” Scheer replied.
The Globe and Mail report alleges that Wilson-Raybould refused to succumb to pressure from prime ministerial aides to intervene in the case of SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec engineering and construction giant that has been charged with bribery and corruption in a bid to secure government business in Libya.
The report suggested her refusal may have been the reason for her surprise demotion in a cabinet shuffle last month.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has also called for an ethics investigation into the case, saying if the allegations are not true then the prime minister should have nothing to fear from an independent investigation by the federal ethics commissioner.
Scheer said he stands behind Singh’s ethics investigation request, as “all avenues need to be explored.”
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