Published: Fri, March 15, 2019

OECD concerned with allegations Trudeau interfered in SNC-Lavalin case

OECD concerned with allegations Trudeau interfered in SNC-Lavalin case

Opposition MPs plan to demand Wednesday that former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould be allowed to return to the justice committee with no limitations on what she can say about the SNC-Lavalin affair.

He also implied the date of the meeting, which coincides with the announcement of the federal budget, is no accident.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper said it is essential for the discussion to be out in the open because not allowing Wilson-Raybould to speak again is obstructing the committee's ability to fully study the matter.

But after two Conservatives and NDP MP Tracey Ramsey laid out the reasons the committee should bring the former star cabinet minister back to speak a second time, Liberal Francis Drouin moved to suspend the sitting and reconvene on March 19 as originally planned.

"She had unprecedented time to answer all the questions put to her", Alvaro said.

The worldwide economic group that oversees a global anti-bribery convention says it's monitoring the allegations that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interfered in a criminal prosecution against SNC-Lavalin. The engineering and construction giant faces charges of bribing foreign officials in Libya. According to committee rules, a motion to adjourn takes precedence over anything else the committee might do.

Wilson-Raybould resigned February 12.

Opposition MPs were incensed, leaping to their feet and shouting out epithets like "shame", "coverup" and "despicable!"

"The committee's already expressed its wishes, on March 6, to have this particular hearing on March 19".

Today's meeting came about at the request of opposition members. She ultimately resigned from cabinet entirely a few days after the Globe and Mail newspaper first reported on the allegations.

When he testified, Butts put the dispute down to a series of miscommunications and misunderstandings. Wilson-Raybould, then the attorney general, decided not to use her authority to overrule that decision.

"Clearly as a matter of fairness we need to hear from Jody Wilson-Raybould", Cooper said. "That is what happened today", Poilievre said.

"He sent in his majority to shut down that discussion without a debate and ensure that Canadians will never know the truth", Poilievre said after the abrupt end of the meeting. They deny exerting any improper influence on Wilson-Raybould and say she did not get shuffled over it. "Justin Trudeau is transforming the justice committee into the Justin committee".

An worldwide bribery watchdog on Monday said it was "concerned" by accusations of political meddling in the prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin that have dogged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Almost every day since the scandal broke, Abacus Data has been in the field with a poll asking Canadians which party they intend to vote for, who they'd prefer as Prime Minister, how they feel about Trudeau, personally, and how closely they are following the scandal.

Last week Trudeau blamed the problem on a breakdown in trust between Wilson-Raybould and his office and committed to hiring outside experts to advise the government on interactions between political and public-service staff on justice files.

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