We hoped for the best, but didn’t expect anything different from Liberals on SNC-Lavalin.
One week ago, I published an article detailing how senior members of the Liberal government, alongside their Parliament backbenchers who remained silent had, in fact, became complicit in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s extremely controversial and resignation-worthy actions.
Wednesday, Liberal members of the Ethics Committee (for a second time) proved my point beyond the shadow of a doubt. What did the committee do that was so clearly damning you may ask?
The Liberal majority actually blocked the Ethics Commissioner who conducted the investigation and wrote the report from testifying at the Ethics Committee.
Liberal MPs, with the exception of Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, quashed Conservative MP Peter Kent’s motion to have Commissioner Mario Dion speak to his report. Adding to the Liberals’ cover-up rub was that Dion had made himself available to appear via video-conference and was literally waiting in the wings.
Then in perfunctory, follow-up fashion, the same gang of Liberals quashed NDP MP Charlie Angus’ motion to call Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and others who are implicated in the scandal to testify.
“That given the unprecedented nature of the Trudeau II report, the committee invited the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner to brief the committee on his report and that the committee invites further witnesses as required based on the testimony of the commissioner,” said Kent on the motion.
Out of the six Liberal members, five voted against Kent’s motion.
And the one “dissenting” Liberal MP who did vote with the opposition—Erskin-Smith—did so with the sole intent of trashing the Commissioners work. It’s something you wouldn’t expect from a Liberal MP, who do nothing but speak about their support for the public service and their capacity to make decisions free from government intrusion.
That group of Liberals in effect stopped the Ethics Commissioner from fulfilling his mandate, that includes providing an accounting to Parliament’s Ethics Committee on the heels of such reports. A mandate that on Wednesday would have entailed informing lawmakers and the public about what the Prime Minister and his team had done in the course of driving a Mac truck through the ethics laws of our country.
According to David Akin, the Chief Political Correspondent for Global News, the action taken by the Liberal majority was hardly the normal course of business.
While the move to limit a genuine investigation was by no means normal, it was unsurprising when you consider that according to the Commissioner’s findings, federal Liberals already tried to obstruct the course of justice by withholding evidence. This is not mere speculation, it is a conclusion reached by the Ethics Commissioner himself.
Long before Dion’s report, Liberals did everything they could to limit the voice of whistleblower Jody Wilson-Raybould by using a gag order restricting what could be discussed when she was invited to testify.
All for the “greater good” of course.
The interesting and newest variable to emerge from this matter, is the sheer willingness for Liberal partisans to pretend the problem has been solved after Trudeau’s non-apology, when in reality, they and their entire organization continue to turn our judicial system into a joke.
When explaining their reasoning for blocking the ethics commissioner from the ethics committee, Liberal MP Steve Mackinnon said the following:
“The only conclusion that I and members of this committee can come to is that the opposition seeks to prolong this process for reasons of politics, reasons of partisan games,”
You really have to read that twice.
To the shameless Liberal majority on that panel, wanting your nation to maintain the rule of law and prosecutorial independence rather than descend into a banana republic where leaders work to further the interests of the powerful rather than the people, is just a protracted version of ‘partisan games’.
To the Liberal establishment, any pushback to their machinations is partisanship. But for those who still care about the health of our democracy, this SNC-Lavalin scandal reeks of a two-tier justice, where the powerful can call in favours from a prime minister who breaks the law and gets away with it. For now.
While the Liberals have decided to ignore this, the Canadian public cannot.
There is truly no understating the severity of what the Liberals have done, nor what they continue to attempt hiding.
As pointed out by Green party leader Elizabeth May, “This is really scandalous, the prime minister is guilty here of the kind of offence in which resignation is appropriate.”
But hey, what can you expect from a government who cares so little about ethics, that they have allowed an mp found guilty of breaking conflict of interest rules to continue sitting on the committee.
She unsurprisingly voted against allowing the commissioner to speak.