CanadaLiberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair
PM won't release McLellan report on SNC-Lavalin until ethics report released
OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says he's received a "great" report from former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan on the SNC-Lavalin affair. But the prime minister says it won't be made public until federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion releases his own report into the explosive affair that rocked the government last winter and sent Liberal popularity on a downward slide from which the party has not yet fully recovered. Dion's office won't comment on the status of his investigation but Liberal insiders privately expect the report will be released in early September — just as the campaign for the Oct. 21 election moves into high gear.
OTTAWA — Liberal members of a parliamentary committee have blocked an opposition attempt to hear from ethics commissioner Mario Dion about his scathing report into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Only one of six Liberal MPs on the 10-member House of Commons ethics committee supported a Conservative motion to call Dion, and possibly others, to testify about the report.
The lone Liberal outlier, Toronto MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, supported the motion only because he said he wanted Dion to explain what he considered the commissioner's "legally flawed" conclusion that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act.
Who is Mario Dion, the ethics watchdog who found Trudeau broke conflict-of-interest rules in SNC-Lavalin affair?
OTTAWA — Ethics commissioner Mario Dion pulled no punches in a damning report released Wednesday following an investigation into the SNC-Lavalin affair, by far his highest-profile undertaking since his appointment in January 2018. Dion’s nomination by the Liberal government received a mixed response from opposition parties, and the longtime public servant made headlines when he wouldn’t immediately commit to pursuing ongoing investigations into the prime minister and the finance minister.
Quebec MP Steven MacKinnon spoke for the other Liberal members, dismissing the motion as a blatantly partisan attempt to re-ignite public outrage over the SNC-Lavalin controversy on the eve an election call.
Dion concluded in his report last week that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to halt a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
Dion also disclosed in his report that he couldn't get all the information he required, as potential witnesses and Trudeau's office claimed cabinet confidence stopped from them from sharing everything they knew.
Trudeau has accepted the report and taken full responsibility for mistakes that were made, but he has also disagreed with Dion's conclusion and resolutely refused to apologize for what he characterizes as standing up for Canadian jobs.
Philpott concerned about ethics watchdog's lack of 'unfettered' access during SNC-Lavalin probe
Former Liberal cabinet minister Jane Philpott, who stepped down in support of her colleague Jody Wilson-Raybould at the height of the SNC-Lavalin affair, says it’s unfortunate Canada's ethics watchdog didn’t have “unfettered access to all information” while writing his condemning report on the prime minister. On Wednesday, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion released a report that found Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by trying to influence then justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and get her to overrule a decision to not grant a deferred prosecution agreement to the Quebec-based en
Conservatives and New Democrats pushed for the emergency committee meeting held Wednesday afternoon on Parliament Hill. Dion had said he would make himself available to testify, and would have done so by video conference.
On Wednesday morning, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer reiterated his call for the Liberals to put partisan interests ahead of their own and let the study proceed.
"We will learn today whether or not scandal and corruption is limited to just the Liberal party's leader in the form of Justin Trudeau, or whether or not this rot has infected the entire Liberal caucus and the entire Liberal party," Scheer said at an event in Richmond Hill, Ont.
Scheer said that if the study fails to go ahead, he hopes to be able to convince voters to hold Trudeau accountable on voting day this October.
"We cannot have a lawmaker who is a lawbreaker."
Trudeau has suggested voters want to move on.
The Canadian Press
One maverick Liberal on ethics committee not enough to force showdown over SNC-Lavalin affair.
In the end, one maverick Liberal MP wasn’t enough. Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion was poised on Wednesday, ready to appear via videoconference before the House of Commons ethics committee, but his services were never required. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith voted against his party’s line, joining three opposition members in favour of letting the ethics commissioner testify about his damning report into the SNC-Lavalin affair. At first, the
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