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Results: 1 - 15 of 25
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-06-19 14:38 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister believes that there is one set of rules for him and his friends and one set for everyone else in this country. For example, there are his well-connected friends at SNC-Lavalin. They have given over $100,000 in illegal donations to the Liberals, and they got unprecedented access to the Prime Minister and his office.
Will the Prime Minister admit that he inappropriately pressured the former attorney general just to help his buddies at SNC-Lavalin?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-04 14:19 [p.26684]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been caught again, trying to deceive. On February 7, when he said the initial Globe and Mail story was false, he was not telling the truth.
Now we know that when he said the former attorney general never raised her valid concerns with him, he was misleading Canadians. Just yesterday, he accidentally admitted that on September 17, the former attorney general told him very directly to back off.
The Prime Minister cannot seem to keep his story straight. Is that because it is just not true?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-04 14:19 [p.26684]
Mr. Speaker, on February 15, the Prime Minister said that if anyone thought he was doing anything wrong, then it was their responsibility to come forward, but he said that no one did.
Yesterday he admitted that this just was not true. The former attorney general warned him several times, including on September 17, not to politically interfere in the SNC prosecution, but he refused to listen. He fired her, and he continues to spread falsehoods.
Why will the Prime Minister not simply tell the truth about his interference in a criminal prosecution?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-04 14:20 [p.26684]
Mr. Speaker, let us review the facts. The Prime Minister tried to politically interfere in a criminal prosecution. His former attorney general said no, so he fired her.
The truth comes out and he denies everything. The Prime Minister then shuts down the investigation and refuses the full waiver. A tape proves that the former attorney general has been telling the truth. The Prime Minister is furious, so he kicks the two women out of his caucus and runs a smear campaign against both of them.
It is time to end the cover-up. When will the Prime Minister tell the truth?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-03 14:54 [p.26624]
Mr. Speaker, we know that the former attorney general was telling the truth. She was being inappropriately pressured by the Prime Minister. The tape proves it, and the Prime Minister should have finally admitted that she was right, but that is not what happened. Instead, he kicked her out of caucus and then he sent out his Liberal MPs to smear and insult her. We even saw the Liberal member for Brossard—Saint-Lambert accuse the former attorney general of treason.
Will the Prime Minister stand up now and have the integrity to denounce these outrageous and insulting comments?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-03 14:56 [p.26624]
Mr. Speaker, that is an absolutely cowardly response from the Prime Minister. By not denouncing those comments, the Prime Minister is endorsing the smear campaign levelled against the former attorney general and the former president of the Treasury Board. These women are being punished for the crime of telling the truth and having the proof to back it up. They stood up to the Prime Minister and they refused to be silent.
Why did the Prime Minister punish these strong women for doing what was right, for telling the truth and for standing up to his good old boys club?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-01 14:18 [p.26513]
Mr. Speaker, new information revealed in the tapes last week prove that the Prime Minister has not been telling the truth. The Prime Minister not only had knowledge of the pressure being applied to the former attorney general but he and his office were, in fact, orchestrating it. As the clerk said, the Prime Minister wanted his way, and he was going to get it.
I know I am not allowed to say that the Prime Minister lied, so my question is this. Why did the Prime Minister give deceitful and false information to Canadians regarding the pressure he and his office applied to the former attorney general?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-01 14:20 [p.26513]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are not buying the ever-changing saga the Prime Minister is trying to peddle.
First of all, he said there is nothing to see here and all allegations are false. Second, we all heard that it is Scott Brison's fault. Now the blame is being placed, and was placed, on the former attorney general. It was all her fault for not saying “no” loudly and clearly enough to the Prime Minister. When we heard the tapes, and all of us heard, she said “no” to the Prime Minister.
Why does the Prime Minister not stop telling us his perspective and tell us the truth?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-04-01 14:21 [p.26514]
Mr. Speaker, it was the Prime Minister who instructed the Liberal MPs on the justice committee and the ethics committee to shut down the investigation, and they complied. Now, after we heard the tapes just yesterday, guess who said he has more information to give? It is Gerald Butts.
It is clear that there is much more to this scandal and there is more information. It comes right from the Prime Minister and his office.
Will the Prime Minister allow his Liberal MPs on the justice committee to reopen this important investigation?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-03-20 17:08 [p.26200]
Madam Speaker, before I begin to lay out my arguments as to why I support this opposition motion, I want to say how disappointed I am with the Liberal MPs on the justice committee who shut down the investigation into the alleged political interference with the former attorney general. The Liberal majority on the justice committee shut down its own justice committee to cover up the truth, which is truly undemocratic, if not illegal.
As extraordinary as the former attorney general's testimony was, we cannot forget that the Prime Minister is using his power and his office to ensure that we do not hear the rest of the story. It is unfathomable that the Prime Minister will not permit the former attorney general to answer direct questions regarding meetings and interactions after he removed her from her portfolio that she herself acknowledged were relevant.
If there was one day to walk into this chamber and check our political allegiances at the door, it should be today. The basis of my speech today is to convince Liberal MPs that they should vote in favour of calling on the Prime Minister to waive full solicitor-client privilege and all cabinet confidences to allow the member for Vancouver Granville to tell the rest of the story. We must get to the bottom of the alleged political interference that was put on the former attorney general by the Prime Minister himself and other Liberal government officials, as determined from the provided testimony. Anything else would be a grave injustice to the rule of law and to the democratic principles we were elected to uphold.
I know that constituents have been calling my Liberal colleagues. I know constituents have been calling our members as well. I know that our Liberal colleagues' constituents have been calling, emailing and speaking to them about this serious allegation of political interference.
When was the last time major news networks broadcast a parliamentary committee from start to finish? When was the last time millions of Canadians read the transcript or followed a committee meeting as closely as this one that took place mere weeks ago? For those who thought this was an inside Queensway story or a story being listened to only by Ottawa insiders, I have news for them. This is not an academic lesson or a political science lecture. This is reality. People are watching. People are paying attention, and people want answers. They do not want the Liberal or Conservative biases. They just want the facts.
If MPs do not stand up today and vote in favour of this motion, I do not know if Canadians will ever get to the full, unaltered truth. Maybe that cover-up is truly what the Liberals want, to turn a blind eye to the truth.
I know that if Liberal MPs vote in favour of this motion and the former attorney general is allowed to speak, this could very well put many Liberal members in jeopardy come October. However, if we are only here to make sure that we are re-elected rather than to seek the truth and defend and demand justice, even when it makes us uncomfortable, I would argue that it is time to hang up our coats and call it a day. The strength of one's convictions should allow each and every member in this House to set aside partisanship, even if just this one time, to stand and be counted when it matters most.
We were not elected to protect those in powerful positions. Our job is not to sweep injustice under the rug as if it were only a nuisance. We were elected to defend the very pillars of our democracy, the rule of law, and to always put the interests of Canadians first.
In politics, there are tough choices. Today is one of those gut-check moments when a little introspection would do us all a little good. I want all Liberal MPs to think about how they would vote if this alleged inappropriate pressure was placed on an attorney general under a Conservative or New Democratic government. We all know the answer to that question. We all know that the argument that “it wasn't illegal” is contemptible and downright disingenuous. If there is a bar in determining what is right and what is wrong, then this is a sad day in our democracy.
The reason this issue has been on the front page of every newspaper and in every newscast is that this is not a member of the opposition making these charges. It is the former attorney general, a current Liberal MP, who is willing to put everything on the line.
In all my years of politics, I have never witnessed anything so stunning as the testimony of the former attorney general at the justice committee. There are a million reasons the government and the Prime Minister would prefer that she not tell the rest of the story.
However, I cannot for the life of me think of a single reason, other than to speak the truth, for her to want to come back to the justice committee and ensure that we know exactly what transpired. I will let that sink in for a moment.
The former attorney general knew full well that there were obvious challenges when she previously testified, but she put all that aside. She has faced relentless attacks from some who wish she would just go away. Some have even gone as far as smearing her or attacking her motives. There are some who could care less about the truth and are only worried about their own political survival. Throughout all this, she has risen above these most difficult and trying circumstances.
This is why I am appealing to my Liberal colleagues to vote in favour of this motion. The former attorney general was willing to speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may. I implore her fellow Liberal colleagues to show the same audacity. They should join their fellow Liberal colleagues who have spoken out.
No one is asking any member of Parliament to rip up their Liberal membership or bolt from caucus. I am not asking that they defect or endorse Conservative principles either. This has nothing to do with ideology or even the next election. All I am asking is for members to give their Liberal colleague and former attorney general the chance to be able to tell the full story. I am asking them to let her provide the necessary testimony for the ethics committee to do its job.
For those who think the former attorney general needs to leave her caucus, I remind them that she did not suddenly wake up and decide she was no longer a Liberal. She is a proud Liberal, and the fact that she wants to run again this October is a testament to her principles.
We must rise to the occasion and put aside our political fidelities. Let us call on the government to waive full solicitor-client privilege and all cabinet confidences and let the former attorney general finish her testimony.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
View Larry Maguire Profile
2019-02-28 10:48 [p.25893]
Mr. Speaker, that is a very important question. I do believe there was interference, according to the testimony of the former attorney general and former veterans affairs minister last evening with respect to the prosecutorial area of the SNC-Lavalin situation.
However, what I am referring to is what the member was talking about with those other cases before us. The former attorney general was not allowed to speak to those areas, so that is still something we need to have answers to as well. We need her to come and testify in regards to some of those areas. Perhaps the government could answer those questions, but the Liberals were trying to withhold information in that case as well. Even though the government released some information, there may be other parts to it that we do not know about yet and the former attorney general has been told she is not allowed to speak to those areas either.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
View James Bezan Profile
2019-02-28 11:48 [p.25900]
Mr. Speaker, I have to take exception with the comments by the member for Kingston and the Islands that we did not introduce our bill until the dying days.
It is a fact that we brought forward two bills on military justice before Bill C-71 that passed.
It is a fact that one thing that Bill C-71 in the old Parliament did and that Bill C-77 does is enshrine the victims bill of rights into the military justice system. That did not pass until the third year we were government.
It is a fact that we moved that bill through as fast as we could at the end of the session.
It is a fact that the Liberals sat on it for three years before they brought in Bill C-77, which is a complete replica of our Bill C-71.
We did all the heavy lifting and we did all the hard work, but the Liberals sat on their hands.
I want to ask the member, who has served so well on the national defence committee for the past 20 years, if she would comment on why the previous minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence would have resigned when she has such a passion for indigenous issues which are now enshrined in Bill C-77 through the incorporation of the Gladue decision. Why would she have stepped back when she was the former justice minister who believed in having a strong law in our Canadian society, especially in the Canadian Armed Forces?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-02-28 14:30 [p.25923]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadians were told by the former attorney general that on September 17, in relation to the SNC-Lavalin affair, the Prime Minister told her that there is an election in Quebec and that “I am an MP in Quebec—the member for Papineau”.
Does the Prime Minister deny saying that?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-02-28 14:31 [p.25924]
Mr. Speaker, he does not deny it. Clearly, the former attorney general is telling the truth.
I have another question for the Prime Minister. Yesterday, the former attorney general also testified that Mathieu Bouchard, a senior adviser in the Prime Minister's Office, tried to pressure her in regard to the SNC-Lavalin deal by saying, “We can have the best policy in the world but we need to get re-elected.” Again, does the Prime Minister deny that this was said?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-02-28 18:32 [p.25957]
moved:
That the House do now adjourn.
She said: Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Wellington—Halton Hills.
We are currently facing an unprecedented crisis that strikes at the very heart of Canadian democracy and the rule of law. That is why Conservatives have called for an emergency debate tonight and why we are seized with this matter.
This is not a debate about remediation agreements; this is a debate about the very essence and the core of our democracy and the integrity of the Prime Minister's Office, the integrity of the Clerk of the Privy Council and the integrity of the finance minister.
Yesterday at the justice committee, we heard clear, concise, meticulously documented and detailed accounts of unwanted, sustained and coordinated pressure by the Prime Minister, the Clerk of the Privy Council, the finance minister and their staff on the former attorney general to give SNC-Lavalin a special deal. It was shocking testimony. It was riveting and believable. Let me, for a moment, recount some of the things that the former attorney general told us yesterday.
She said, “I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.... I spoke to [the Minister of Finance] on this matter...and...I told him that engagements from his office to mine on SNC had to stop—that they were inappropriate. ... They did not stop.”
She went on to say, “Various officials also urged me to take partisan political considerations into account—which was clearly improper for me to do.” She told us that Gerry Butts, who was then the chief adviser to the Prime Minister, said to her, “there is no solution here that doesn't involve some interference.” Katie Telford said, “We don't want to debate legalities anymore.” PCO clerk Michael Wernick said of the Prime Minister, “I think he is gonna find a way to get it done one way or another.” The former attorney general said, “these events constituted pressure to intervene in a matter, and that this pressure...was not appropriate.”
Where did this all begin? From our knowledge, it began about four weeks ago, February 7, when a story broke in The Globe and Mail about allegations that the Prime Minister and his office had exerted pressure on the former attorney general to give a special deal to SNC-Lavalin.
There were questions asked of the Prime Minister immediately. The media asked the Prime Minister what the former attorney general was talking about. Was there pressure applied to her? Of course the Prime Minister, in his typical way, said there was nothing to see here. In fact, what he said was, “The allegations in the Globe story this morning are false. Neither the current nor the previous attorney general was ever directed by me, or by anyone in my office, to take a decision in this matter.” He then went on, as we will all recall, to blame the former attorney general. He said she had a different perspective. He said that if Scott Brison had not left, then none of this would have happened. His story changed over a number of weeks.
While the media and members in the House of Commons were trying to get answers form the Prime Minister, in parallel, Conservatives and NDP were also trying to get the justice committee to immediately undertake hearings on this issue so that answers could be found out immediately, and we were stonewalled.
First, we had to force the justice committee to meet. Then it did not want to call witnesses. Then it wanted to change the scope of what was being looked at. By the way, the Liberals on the justice committee were being directed by the House leader's office and the Prime Minister's Office, but after they were basically forced, kicking and screaming, into having these meetings, we then had to pressure them to invite witnesses who needed to be heard from, including the former attorney general.
On one hand, the Prime Minister was denying that anything happened, saying that there was no pressure applied, that she was mistaken, that she should have gone to him, that it was all her fault for not telling him she felt pressured. Simultaneously, we were trying to get answers from the justice committee and trying to have the former attorney general attend and give full testimony.
This all culminated in what happened yesterday, where the former attorney general did appear. She was able to give a limited amount of testimony. She was able to speak up until the point when she was fired from her position as Attorney General and became the veterans affairs minister.
She was very clear, not yesterday but the day before, that she needed to be able to speak about what happened after she became veterans affairs minister, during the time when she and the Prime Minister spoke in Vancouver, and about why she resigned. When asked yesterday, she indicated there was additional information that needed to be provided.
This is where we find ourselves today. The Prime Minister is being accused of very serious things. We have a former attorney general who, may I remind everyone, is the Attorney General who was duly elected to this place and comes with a very impressive and solid career as a prosecutor. She was appointed by the Prime Minister because he had such faith and trust in her. Although we certainly did not agree with her politics, we would all be able to say that she certainly was a cabinet minister appointed on merit and is certainly an individual who, when she provides testimony and speaks, is incredibly believable.
However, we have a Prime Minister who even just yesterday said, “There are disagreements in perspective on this, but I can reassure Canadians that we were doing our job”. He quite likes the word “perspective”. He went on to say, “I completely disagree with the characterization of the former attorney general about these events.” In other words, she is lying.
I have to pause now, because it seems to be a pattern for this Prime Minister. When people, and it seems especially women, say no to him, there seems to be a pattern to his attack on them and then his patronizing characterization of what they recollect.
I want to remind everyone of what happened this past summer, when the allegation and story came out that, 18 years prior, the Prime Minister, who was a young man, an almost 30-year-old man, had groped a woman in the Kokanees at a festival. When this story was brought to light just this summer, he was asked about it. What was the first thing he said on July 1? He said that it did not happen. He said, “I remember that day” and “I don't remember any negative interactions that day at all.” A few days later, he was pressed further, so then he said that often a man experiences interactions differently that may be inappropriate, but that we have to respect that and reflect.
A few days later, the Prime Minister goes on again and starts his social thought process. He said, “I think people understand that every situation is different and we have to reflect and take seriously every situation on a case-by-case basis.” It is just a lot of word salad. What he never says is that he did it, he was wrong and he apologizes because it was the wrong thing to do. That seemed to be what his take was on that. The woman in that scenario was not interested in talking. I think she had had about enough of that Prime Minister.
Although we find ourselves in a somewhat similar situation today, we have a woman who is not going to back down and will have her story heard. She will speak truth to power. However, we certainly are seeing the same type of approach from the Prime Minister to what are not just allegations but to what are very credible recollections, which we have seen from the testimony.
First of all, the Prime Minister says that it did not happen. He then, in a roundabout way, degrades her and patronizingly says that it was just her perspective. What he does not do is take responsibility, clearly and openly and transparently take responsibility. If we line up everything we have heard the Prime Minister say to date against what we heard the former attorney general say, we have one individual, the former attorney general, who was clear, documented and kept records. When talking with this woman, people better know she is clearly somebody who is not thinking about something else. She is keeping track of what people are saying. People should not think for one minute that they are going to fool her or get past anything she is involved with. That was very clear yesterday.
Then we have a Prime Minister who is evasive every time he is asked a question, uses three or four words that are very legally precise and is far from transparent.
Where does this leave us? This leaves us at a crisis. We have a Prime Minister who cannot admit that he has done something wrong and cannot take responsibility for it. He should own up to it, say it was wrong and change it, although at this point that would be too little, too late. However, if we do not have a Prime Minister who can be truthful, we cannot trust him to get to the bottom of this.
There has been some discussion about having an inquiry. Frankly, I do not trust the Prime Minister to call one. I do not trust the Prime Minister to allow the right witnesses to appear.
This is why we are in a crisis at the very heart of our democracy. The Prime Minister does not have the moral authority to continue. He must resign.
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