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.
I would like to add my own response here as well as the NDP candidate for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell:
The NDP called for an ethics investigation here when the SNC Lavalin affair first came into the public consciousness. We accept the findings of this non-partisan report. This is the second time that Trudeau has been found in violation of the conflict of interest act, and we find it very troubling that he will not apologize and claims that if he thinks he had a good reason a prime minister should be above the law.
I also find it very troubling that Scheer has refused to point blank say he wouldn’t have done the exact same thing had he been prime minister at the time. In April of this year the Conservatives joined the Liberals (including Drouin) in voting against an NDP motion opposing corporate influence over government (https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/votes/42/1/1299/Result) According to CTV News both the Liberals and Conservatives received maximum donations from chairs of over 20 large corporations last year.
The Conservatives have absolutely no credibility here. Both of the parties that have formed government in Canada are ultimately loyal to their corporate friends and not the working people who keep this country going and I am frankly sick of it. We deserve better than that.