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View Charlie Angus Profile
Thank you.
I'd like to thank my colleague for bringing forward this officer of Parliament's report to this committee. That's our work, and we have to hear from them. I was very disturbed in the previous session that we did not hear from Mr. Dion on this. His report raises a number of troubling questions that require answering.
One thing that my colleague did not speak so much about is something that I'm really interested in, namely, Mr. Dion's saying that he was interfered with in doing his work. That's not acceptable. Nobody in the Prime Minister's Office can tell Mr. Dion that he can't investigate, because then we can't have credibility. If there's a political hot-button issue, we have to trust that the officers of Parliament have the tools to do their duty. If they're being denied that, it comes to us to address that. There are many outstanding issues on this file. This came at an enormous cost to the credibility of the Canadian government. We lost the head of the Privy Council, the Prime Minister's chief of staff and two of his most respected cabinet ministers. We were put on the watch-list internationally for international bribery and corruption. They felt that if we do not have standards for independent prosecution of corporate crime, what does it say about Canada?
I guess my concern is how many meetings we're talking about. My colleague has said that he's being very judicious in terms of the time, but it has taken about an hour or two to explain the basic principles. I'm not interested in an open-ended committee. I feel that there are a lot of unanswered questions, but some of them are just going to....
In the interests of what we do with our committee, I certainly see that Mathieu Bouchard from the Prime Minister's Office should come before us. Ben Chin should come before us. I don't know if it's fair to ask Ms. Wilson-Raybould in her position now, but those two witnesses should, and maybe Mr. Butts. I heard from Michael Wernick. He spoke the last time. I felt he didn't do...his position with much credibility, but definitely Mr. Chin and Mr. Bouchard, because they were key in setting up meetings that put the Prime Minister in a situation where the Prime Minister was found guilty of attempting to influence... in aid of the financial interests of another party. As public office holders—current public office holders—I think they are obliged to meet that high standard. Since they are still public office holders, I think they should come.
I would like to hear from my colleague on how many meetings. If we have Mr. Dion for one meeting and then we have these witnesses for the other, I think we could do it in two meetings. Then I think we would be able to present a report to Parliament that would close this chapter. We would be seen doing due diligence. I know it's hard for the government to have this issue dragged up again, but when a report of this magnitude comes before us, we have the obligation to hear the commissioner, to follow his recommendations, and to test him on how he undertook that investigation to make sure that he did due diligence. When I read it, I feel he has, but we should have the opportunity to look at this.
If my colleague has interest in a witness list, that would reassure me in terms of how many meetings he wants.
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