During a senate meeting to discuss the Criminal Code amendment which would allow for remediation agreements, former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould wasn’t present during the meetings.
Remediation agreements are at the centre of an ongoing scandal including the former Justice Minister, the Prime Minister’s Office, and SNC-Lavalin.
According to the Globe and Mail, SNC-Lavalin met with members of the PMO on issues of justice and law enforcement on over 50 occasions. Shortly after the SNC-Lavalin lobbyist meetings, the Liberal government introduced remediation agreements hidden away in an omnibus bill. Such an agreement would act as a plea bargain, in cases of white collar crime, allowing perpetrators to escape criminal charges.
During the meetings, senate members expressed frustration at Wilson-Raybould’s failure to appear.
“It’s very unusual to study a bill, especially in the criminal domain, and to not have the minister responsible appear before the committee. I would like to know why the minister of justice is not here herself,” said Conservative Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.
In her place, parliamentary secretary Marco Mendicino (Lib.) and Public Services Minister Carla Qualtrough appeared.
“Now, of course, in retrospect. I can understand that she might not have been at ease with the overall issue of remediation agreements and didn’t want to submit herself to questions in relation to that,” said Sen. Serge Joyal.
The former Justice Minister has yet to comment on the SNC-Lavalin allegations citing her solicitor-client privilege as the Attorney General.