Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in Question Period today that he has appointed former Liberal cabinet minister and deputy prime minister, Anne McLellan, to investigate the roles of attorney general and minister of justice to see if they should be separated.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, Trudeau said “Significant issues have been raised recently about relations between the former attorney general and justice minister and government. And I am announcing today that Anne McLellan will be appointed to investigate independently.”
“As former justice minister and attorney general and deputy PM, she has a unique understanding of the role.”
The SNC-Lavalin scandal has raised “important questions,” said Trudeau, about the roles of attorney general and minister of justice. McLellan will act as a special advisor on this file, providing council to Trudeau on this matter.
In a statement Monday, Trudeau said “She will also analyze the operating policies and practices across the cabinet, and the role of public servants and political staff in their interactions with the minister of justice and attorney general of Canada.”
This move from the Trudeau government quite literally had the Opposition Conservatives doubled over in laughter during Question Period.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Scheer quipped “Liberals investigating Liberals to get to the bottom of this affair. . . Maybe Sheila Copps wasn’t available!”
McLellan, in addition to being a former Liberal MP, cabinet member, and Deputy Prime Minister, was also scheduled to hold a Liberal Party fundraiser in Edmonton later this month.
However, McLellan has now pulled out of the event, according to a Liberal Party spokesman.
McLellan is also part of the Trudeau Foundation, where she is listed as a Mentor on the organization’s website.
Also of note, McLellan served as deputy prime minister during the time that former prime minister Paul Martin visited Libya, alongside former SNC-Lavalin president Jacques Lamarre, to secure business ties between the two countries and shore up the company’s chances of scoring a billion dollar contract from the Moammar Gadhafi government.
That contract, along with others, were allegedly obtained by SNC-Lavalin via bribery of Gaddafi. Those alleged bribes now form the basis of the corruption charges brought against SNC-Lavalin by the RCMP and are the whole reason why the Prime Minister applied pressure on Jody Wilson-Raybould in the first place.