Canada: Liberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaLiberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair

22:10  21 august  2019
22:10  21 august  2019 Source:   msn.com

PM won't release McLellan report on SNC-Lavalin until ethics report released

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.

Liberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair© Provided by Canadian Press Enterprises Inc

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.

Private vs. public interest in the SNC-Lavalin affair

Private vs. public interest in the SNC-Lavalin affair No question: the report delivered on Wednesday by federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is a punch in the gut for the Liberal party and for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in particular. 

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.

Tories seek emergency ethics committee meeting after bombshell SNC-Lavalin report: source

Tories seek emergency ethics committee meeting after bombshell SNC-Lavalin report: source A Tory source tells Global News the party will request Thursday a meeting of the Ethics Committee in order to move a motion to get Mario Dion to appear. Conservative MP Bob Zimmer is the chair of that committee and has the authority to call committee meetings. READ MORE: Trudeau broke ethics rules by trying to exert influence in SNC-Lavalin scandal: report Conservative MPs Peter Kent and Jacques Gourd, who are on the committee, sent a letter to Zimmer on Thursday asking him to do just that in order to invite Dion to testify on what they described as the "grave situation" outlined in his report.

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

Scott Thompson: Why can’t the ethics commissioner speak at the ethics committee?.
Other than an election on the horizon, not much has changed, Scott Thompson writes.

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