Interventions in Committee
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View Michael Barrett Profile
Thanks, Mr. Chair. Through you to MP Oliphant, I would like to encourage that we not hear any lessons from a scandal-plagued Liberal, a parliamentary secretary, on a file that has been so badly mismanaged that the hand-picked former Liberal cabinet minister, John McCallum, is an international embarrassment. We have never seen the likes of this before.
Through you, Mr. Chair, to Mr. Oliphant, I find it laughable that he says that this is not something that these Liberals are playing politics with. It's exactly what you're doing as you hide behind the two Michaels, hide behind the unlawful detention of these two men, when the Prime Minister couldn't pick up the phone and the Prime Minister wouldn't appoint an ambassador. Then we have his former disgraced ambassador suggesting that perhaps we have foreign actors mix it up, get involved in the election and see if we can't work something out.
We have well-respected former ambassadors who are being told that it would be appreciated if their constructive comments be run through the PMO first, but we're not to believe that. We're only to believe the Prime Minister. We're not to believe The Globe and Mail. We're not to believe these former ambassadors. We're not to believe this public servant, the ADM. We're not to believe people like Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
When Vice-Admiral Mark Norman had something to say, what did the government do? These Liberals spent tax dollars to silence him with a settlement and a non-disclosure agreement so that we never hear from him. It's just like the partial waiver, the failure to give transparency in the SNC-Lavalin scandal. We'll never hear from the former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, on the full details of what happened.
It's not surprising but certainly disappointing that we can't rise above politics, Mr. Chair, as the parliamentary secretary would suggest that we do, and get to the bottom of this and give Canadians the confidence that they need to have in their public servants and in their former ambassadors. In the SNC-Lavalin scandal, I remember Liberals on the justice committee saying there were unnamed sources in The Globe and Mail article and asking who could take a media story seriously if it used unnamed sources. The sources are named in this article.
Frankly, it was troubling then that the Liberals wanted the media to name their sources, but these folks spoke on the record. Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Saint-Jacques spoke on the record. Are we not to take them at their word? The only person that the Liberals want us to take at his word is the Prime Minister. Frankly, Mr. Chair, he has a serious credibility problem.
One of the Liberals on the committee here wanted to talk about muzzled scientists. Early in the 42nd Parliament there was a report tabled, and in that report I believe the number was 1,500 interviews given by government scientists in the 12 months preceding the 2015 election, but what it also said was that, when the Liberals were elected, there were no changes to the rules on media availabilities and media interviews offered by public servants.
It's really unfortunate that they've said that they're not going to support the motion, but I do encourage them to reconsider because Canadians deserve to know.
Canadians and the Conservatives trust the veracity of what has been said. We have confidence in the public service. We think it's time to let a little sunshine in so that we can disinfect the situation. Canadians don't need another scandal. They need the truth, and that's why I'll be voting in favour of the study.
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