A meeting was called today so that we could study the reports that the Prime Minister's Office politically interfered with the former attorney general of Canada.
With all due respect, the Liberals' proposal seems to be a red herring. As one of my Conservative colleagues said, the Liberals want to provide law courses on the Shawcross doctrine and explain the remediation agreements to us. I understand that this came into effect in the fall, but I think that everyone can read and learn about it. They're proposing that we hear from three witnesses who won't be able to speak about the issue at hand, namely, the reports of political interference.
In this whole matter, I have two concerns in mind. First, I can picture the nearly 4,000 Quebec workers whose jobs are at stake as a result of discussions between the attorney general's representative in court and counsel for SNC-Lavalin. These 4,000 workers and their families are indirect, and perhaps even direct victims of the situation. The situation may not be resolved because our Prime Minister acted in a somewhat amateurish way with regard to the former attorney general and because he doesn't want to release her from her solicitor-client privilege obligations so that we can hear from her.
Of all the witnesses on the list, the one witness we should hear from is Jody Wilson-Raybould. I don't see how else we can start. I was reading the names of the witnesses and listening to our discussions. I felt as if I were preparing for a trip without anyone telling me where I'm going. Since I don't know where I'm going, I'm bringing my swimsuit, shorts, jeans, suit and everything I need for fishing and hunting. We'll hear from a number of witnesses, but we'll always be beating around the bush.
Why don't we have Jody Wilson-Raybould here? She was the attorney general of Canada. According to reports, she was the victim of political interference by the Prime Minister's Office. Once we've heard from Ms. Wilson-Raybould and she has told us that certain people have said, done or requested one thing or another, we can prepare a more relevant list of witnesses.
Currently, it's a real hunting trip. In my humble opinion, the Liberal motion is a red herring. The Conservative motion gives me the impression that we want to put SNC-Lavalin on trial. However, that's not the committee's role.
SNC-Lavalin committed fraud. Some executives have even already paid for it. If there are others, they'll continue to pay, and that's fine. The people who committed fraud must be penalized. Should the company be penalized? Yes. That said, a remediation process exists. We'll see whether an agreement will be reached. Last week, Mr. Lametti said that an agreement was still possible. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, not for me or SNC-Lavalin, but for the workers and their families who need these jobs. We're talking about 4,000 families who will be affected by unemployment because we can't reach an agreement to maintain their jobs.
The Prime Minister acted in an amateurish way. He's refusing to allow the former attorney general of Canada to explain the situation. I find this shocking and worrisome.
I don't want to carry out the work of the prosecutor in this case, counsel for SNC-Lavalin or the Ethics Commissioner. They each have their mandate. I think that the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights must study the reports of political interference by the Prime Minister's Office. To do so, we should hear from Jody Wilson-Raybould first.