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Results: 271 - 300 of 2763
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-05-14 19:29 [p.27804]
Mr. Chair, the government's documents collection was atrocious. It was to the point that the minister should know that the chief of the defence staff, although he learned in December that code names were used to avoid the production of documents, did not check in on it until the third week of January. Nobody in that four-week period of time thought to go back and actually do a further search. I think that is something else that needs to be investigated.
As well, as we tuned into hearings between January 29 and February 1, even more information came out, most importantly the fact that one of the lawyers who would be working for this minister, a lawyer in bed with the Department of National Defence, was alleged to have given advice to a former assistant to the Minister of National Defence with respect to what she needed to disclose in her search. She said she had two phones, a government-issued Blackberry and a personal iPhone. However, she took the advice of the Department of National Defence and did not search her personal emails and did not know whether her Blackberry messages were included in the search.
There was not a sufficient search. It was advised by a lawyer from the Department of Justice. Does the minister think that is enough to warrant an inquiry?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, again, I am not going to comment on the veracity of any allegations that are made or the sources they came from. What I can say is that the process we envisaged and used in the justice department included email, personal devices and that sort of thing for those potentially relevant documents.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-05-14 19:31 [p.27804]
Mr. Chair, what is interesting is that there is actually someone within the justice department who gets this, because justice department counsel Robert MacKinnon told the court in those hearings that it does not matter where the government-related business is being handled. Whether it is in personal emails or personal data, they are covered by the subpoena, and he would be following up to make sure that actually happened.
Does the minister agree with that comment made by his own lawyer, and should this be followed up on?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I will not comment on specific allegations or their veracity.
What I can say is that the process we did set up was meant to include potentially all kinds of documents, including those contained on devices.
I will also point out that the judge thanked us at the conclusion of the trial for our hard work in producing documents.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-05-14 19:32 [p.27804]
Mr. Chair, I assure members that Vice-Admiral Norman, with his gigantic legal bill, which is now going to be paid by the taxpayers of Canada, does not thank the government for the shoddy work it conducted throughout this entire process, which caused so much pain and so much cost, either because it maliciously wanted to ensure that these documents did not come forward or because it was simply inept. Either of those two reasons means that there should be an inquiry in that department by this minister by his own hand.
I will ask the minister again. Will he be conducting a real inquiry, one that is written on paper, not an oral version, so that Canadians can get to the bottom of exactly what happened in this case?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I was referring to a briefing earlier on, and I want to correct the record, as it is being misconstrued in this regard.
As I have said a number of times, this was an extraordinarily complex set of third-party documents that was requested, a large number, many of which would be covered by different kinds of privilege. We set up a process that would work, and we did a great deal of work within six months. We did better than in many private litigation cases that can go on for years.
I am quite happy with the performance of the Department of Justice in this matter. It put together a process that was fair and a process that worked, and indeed, the judge complimented us at the end of the case.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-05-14 19:34 [p.27804]
Mr. Chair, it is interesting that the minister indicated that he received a briefing. I used to receive those briefings too. There was always a report attached to them.
Especially given the fact that there were 8,000 documents released, I do not assume that department officials went through each document verbally, so I am wondering once again if the minister would provide the document upon which the verbal briefing was provided to him.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, if you give me 10 minutes, I am willing to read the note that describes the whole process for the documents.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-05-14 19:35 [p.27804]
Mr. Chair, that was not the question. My question specifically at the very beginning was whether the minister would order an independent inquiry through his powers under the Inquiries Act. His response was that he already received a report. That is not a report.
Would the minister like to exactly clarify for us, so we can get to the nuts and bolts of it, what kind of report has been issued? Was it verbal? Is it real? If it is real, can we have a copy of it so we can understand and the Canadian public can finally understand what happened in this case?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, as I have stated, I received a briefing in the course of events at which I was assured that we were taking all steps to meet our third party records application responsibilities. I am satisfied.
I have offered to read a description of what the process was that was set up. I am satisfied, and the court complimented us at the end of the case, that we took an extraordinary number of documents with extraordinary complexity, and we managed to put them through a process in which a judge would have the final say as to whether they would be produced or not and whether they would be redacted or not.
I am very satisfied that we in the Department of Justice fulfilled our responsibilities.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-05-14 19:36 [p.27805]
Mr. Chair, I am very concerned that the minister and the government are not taking this matter seriously.
Let us fast forward to more hearings that happened on March 28 of this year. This time it was a battle over redactions to memos. I would like to know from the minister if we could receive copies of the October 19, 2018, 64-page memo from Paul Shuttle to the former clerk of the privy council, Michael Wernick; the October 24, 2018, 60-page memo from the former clerk to the Prime Minister; and the December 22, 2017, memo from Paul Shuttle to the former clerk of the privy council, Michael Wernick.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I point out that with respect to these documents, the judge upheld the claim of solicitor-client privilege. They are privileged documents.
I dispute the premise the hon. member stated that we are not taking this seriously. I as minister take this matter very seriously. The department takes it seriously. The government takes it seriously.
We put together a very strong process, which again, exceptionally, put the final decision, including decisions on cabinet confidence, in the hands of a judge and not in the hands of the clerk of the privy council.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-05-14 19:37 [p.27805]
I do not know what is worse, Mr. Chair. A minister stands in the House without a grasp on his file and indicates something so wrong and says that a judge made a decision in a case. A judge clearly did not make a decision. I would submit that the minister should go back and take a look at the hearings between April 16 and 17. At the end, they indicated that there were no decisions made, and indeed, they were coming back for an update on May 8, 2019.
Would the minister like to clarify whether the judge made a decision on the redacted documents, as I asked?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I thought I was quite clear in that answer.
Again, as Minister of Justice, I have been satisfied that the government and the Department of Justice took this matter very seriously, that we put in place a process that would provide for the defence to have the widest possible access to the widest number of documents that were potentially relevant and that they would then be winnowed down to a smaller number of documents that could be analyzed.
We had a process for analyzing those documents with respect to cabinet confidence, solicitor-client privilege and litigation privilege, and a judge complimented us at the end of the case.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, has the minister or any current or past member of his staff been contacted by the RCMP with regard to the SNC-Lavalin matter?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, as I have said publicly, certainly within the group of people in my ministry, the answer to that question is no. Again, as I have stated earlier this evening, it was the view of my predecessor that the law was not broken. It was the view of a number of witnesses that the law was not broken. I am going to believe that testimony.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, does the minister know of anyone in government, the PMO, PCO or any ministerial or members' offices who have been contacted by the RCMP as it relates to the SNC-Lavalin scandal?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I only know the people I know. I cannot possibly answer such a wide-ranging question. I would ask whether the member wants to know if anybody in Canada has been approached.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, based on the wide-ranging implications of the Liberals' scandals, that question may be appropriate, but I will move on.
In the former attorney general's briefing note provided to the justice committee, she said, “I did make another decision at this time — that I would immediately resign if the new attorney general decided to issue a directive in the SNC-Lavalin matter.”
Given that she did in fact resign from cabinet, is it fair to draw a conclusion that the minister, at some point, is in the process of issuing a directive on the SNC-Lavalin matter?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, as I already said earlier this evening, I cannot comment on that matter because there is an appeal in an SNC proceeding before the Federal Court. Anything that I might say might have an impact on that litigation, therefore it is covered by the sub judice rule and litigation privilege.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, on a half a dozen separate occasions, the Liberal members of the justice committee voted against a variety of inquiries into the SNC-Lavalin scandal and a variety of untoward actions that the Liberal government engaged in.
Did the minister, his staff or officials have conversations about strategy with members of the justice committee prior to any of those votes?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, as the Prime Minister has stated in the House and as I have stated in the House on a number of occasions, committees work independently of my ministry, they work independently of the government and they make decisions on their own.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, the minister says that the government has satisfied its disclosure obligations in the Vice-Admiral Mark Norman case. It turned over 8,000 documents, but 144,000 documents were identified.
Does the minister believe that 5% is an adequate rate of return?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, once again, I would point out for the hon. member, as I pointed out a number of times this evening, that we put together a process. Our only role in the process, in the Department of Justice, was to meet the third party records obligations. We put together a process that was effective, fair, that identified this potential scope of documents and then put together a process that would then analyze the complexity in a non-partisan way, in the sense that the final decision was going to be an officer of the court.
I would remind hon. members that the court supervised this process.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, on various occasions, both the minister and the Prime Minister cited a desire to protect SNC-Lavalin jobs in Canada as the motivating factor as to why they unethically, and possibly illegally, interfered in a criminal trial.
However, no less of an authority than the chief executive officer of the company said that it was not true. What is more, the lion's share of work done by SNC-Lavalin would not be impacted by any potential ban the federal government might impose on conviction. For example, its work on Bruce Power or Ottawa LRT—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Michael Barrett: I am just wondering, Mr. Chair, is the floor mine or am I sharing it with my colleagues across the way?
Who misled the minister to think that jobs were at risk and that it was appropriate for the government to put its finger on the scales of justice?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I reject the premise of that question.
First, I do not believe I was ever someone who cited the jobs figure in any sort of way. Having been Minister of Justice and Attorney, I maintained a certain distance from the file for the same reasons I have already given this evening, which is there is ongoing litigation and anything I can say might have an impact on the course of the litigation, and therefore I will not say anything. It is covered by litigation privilege and the sub judice rule.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, in a matter related to SNC-Lavalin, the Federal Court ruled that the independence of the Attorney General was essential and fundamental to our criminal justice system. Retired Justice Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond did appear at the justice committee. She also said that she believed that what occurred in the SNC-Lavalin affair was a “constitutional crisis”.
We also heard from former Liberal attorney general Michael Bryant. He said that it “confirms the public’s worst fears about the justice system.”
Does the minister agree with these accomplished legal minds?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I will neither agree nor disagree, because, as I have already said, anything I say in this matter could be used in ongoing court proceedings.
I will point out that there are competing versions of the interpretation of the Shawcross principle, and they were evident at the committee.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Chair, the disgraced former Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, told the minister's predecessor that the Prime Minister was “quite determined” to see SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.
Has a similar message been relayed to the minister?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, as I have said on a number of occasions this evening, I was not privy to the conversation in question. I have said publicly on more than one occasion that I have not felt any such pressure in this or any other matter.
Results: 271 - 300 of 2763 | Page: 10 of 93

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