Thank you very much.
As you know, the Conservatives have called this emergency committee meeting because of reports that the Prime Minister has used the power of his office to attempt to muzzle private citizens and respected former career diplomats David Mulroney and Guy Saint-Jacques. These are serious allegations that merit an investigation, and of course it's our hope that this committee will agree to and support our request today.
As Mr. Mulroney said in some of the public statements that he's made, discouraging private citizens with expertise in foreign relations from speaking freely is fundamentally an undemocratic idea. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has shown a clear pattern of silencing those who would speak out against him. We're concerned that Canadians no longer have confidence in the Prime Minister when he says that he did not direct these civil servants to try to silence his critics.
We saw the Prime Minister attempt to defend himself with the same language that he used during the SNC-Lavalin scandal and various other affairs, such as the Vice-Admiral Norman affair and a trip to India, and we obviously do not necessarily believe that. As Canadians know, Trudeau's early denials in the SNC-Lavalin scandal have turned out to be false, and now we're wondering what the case is with this affair.
It is clear that the Prime Minister has shown a pattern of behaviour of attempting to silence anyone who would challenge or criticize the government's approach to anything. The foreign affairs committee today must find in favour of our motion to be able to get to the bottom of this. Anything less would be a cover-up.
We would like to move the following motion:
That, the Committee invite the following witnesses to appear:
a. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland;
b. Paul Thoppil, Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia-Pacific, Global Affairs Canada;
c. David Mulroney, as an individual;
d. Guy Saint-Jacques, as an individual;
e. Any other individual that the Committee deems relevant
that pursuant to Section 10(3) of the Parliament of Canada Act, the witnesses are to be sworn in;
that each witness appear individually on a panel, for no less than one hour; and
that all witnesses appear no later than August 15, 2019.
Now, Mr. Chair, I'd like to speak to the motion.