The federal election campaign has not officially started yet, but that seems irrelevant because the partisan sparring in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell is well underway.

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Conservative candidate Pierre Lemieux noted the recent report by federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion regarding the SNC Lavalin scandal and departure of MP’s Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from cabinet and the Liberal caucus.  The investigation resulted from an alleged effort by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office to stop the prosecution of officials with SNC Lavalin who had been involved with the former Gadhaffi regime in Libya.

The report stated that “The authority of the Prime Minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as the authority of Ms Wilson-Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer.”

Lemieux wanted to know if Liberal MP Francis Drouin will admit it was wrong to stop the House of Commons Justice Committee from investigating the matter and preventing then-Attorney General Wilson-Raybould from testifying at one of its hearings.

Lemieux stated that “Drouin has defended Justin Trudeau every step of the way.”

The Prime Minister has accepted the findings of Dion’s report but has not apologized for any possible wrongdoing and has insisted he was protecting the thousands of jobs of the thousands of people work for Montréal-based SNC Lavalin.

At a funding announcement at Ivaco Rolling Mills in L’Orignal on Thursday, Drouin also accepted the findings of the report and said any effort to change legal action against SNC Lavalin was not intended to give “carte blanche” to the company and free it from any legal consequences.  He emphasized the challenge of also protecting jobs at the company.

With the Ivaco steel mill in the background, Drouin questioned what he would have done in a similar situation if jobs had been at risk at Ivaco, which is one of the region’s largest employers.