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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-12-10 19:37 [p.258]
Mr. Speaker, I will make two quick comments that I think are important and then provide a personal opinion.
The responsibility of any prime minister is to stand up for jobs across the country while upholding the rule of law. We have been open and upfront with Canadians about all of this. This issue was discussed repeatedly in the last Parliament. Members raised it often in question period, and the justice committee held public hearings and heard testimony from many witnesses. To provide Canadians with the transparency and fairness they deserve, we provided an exceptional waiver to the former attorney general in a way that preserves, rather than undermines, solicitor-client privilege, the right to a fair hearing in cases that are currently active, the integrity of the position of director of public prosecutions, and the rule of law in our country more generally. The Prime Minister has accepted the Ethics Commissioner's report and has taken full responsibility.
Over many years, I have watched different leaders' approaches to the issues of the day, and one thing I would remind the member opposite of is that, when the Prime Minister became leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, one of the first things he did was talk about the importance of transparency and accountability on the issue of proactive disclosure related to members of Parliament and the ways they spend public tax dollars. It took a while, but eventually the Conservatives came on board in recognizing the merit of what the then leader of the Liberal Party was talking about. It took a little longer for the New Democrats to come onside. The point is that, from day one, we have had a leader of the Liberal Party, the Prime Minister, who truly and genuinely believes in transparency, accountability and the rule of law.
These are important issues to the leader of the Liberal Party, the Prime Minister, and this government. If we were to take a look at the bigger picture of what has taken place over the last number of years, we have been very respectful of our independent officers, whether it is Elections Canada officers or the Ethics Commissioner. When recommendations are brought forward, we respect them and we listen. In cases that have been cited, there have been actions by the Prime Minister to ensure things are put in place to prevent incidents from occurring that might be misperceived. The Conservative Party has consistently, over the last years in opposition, taken the approach of character assassination, which is yet another example where Conservatives are more concerned about the character of an individual as opposed to the substance. If they looked at the substance, they would find that the matter has been dealt with fully and extensively.
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