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Results: 1 - 30 of 1048
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 Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:39 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, obviously, the Conservatives are struggling for questions to ask, because they keep returning to this approach. It did not work for them before. It is really a sign of desperation as we head to meet with Canadians and talk about our plan for the next four years.
We have worked to create over a million new jobs in this country. We have delivered in lifting hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of poverty. We are continuing to demonstrate what leadership on the environment, leadership on the international file and reconciliation with indigenous peoples look like. That is something the Conservatives have a lot of difficulty with.
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
NDP (ON)
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
2019-05-14 18:30 [p.27794]
Mr. Chair, obviously we are not going to get an answer from the minister tonight on whether the government intends to get to the truth for Canadians. Therefore, I will switch gears. We will talk a bit about the testimony of the former attorney general. In her testimony, 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 in my role as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a deferred prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin.
Does the minister ever think it is appropriate for anyone in the PMO, the PCO or any political actors to pressure the Attorney General about a particular case with respect to his or her prosecutorial discretion?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, as I have said on a number of occasions publicly, I have felt no pressure from anyone in cabinet or in the Prime Minister's Office to exercise my powers of directing a DPA in this particular case. If such pressure were to happen, I would immediately react.
I cannot speak for what my predecessor felt. I know that there are competing narratives out there.
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
NDP (ON)
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
2019-05-14 18:31 [p.27795]
Mr. Chair, when the member for Vancouver Granville testified at the committee, she described “a barrage of people hounding” her and her staff.
What are the minister's thoughts on that statement?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, that was certainly her statement. As I said, there are competing accounts. I was not privy to any of those discussions or conversations, and I do note that there were competing narratives.
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
NDP (ON)
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
NDP (ON)
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
2019-05-14 18:32 [p.27795]
Mr. Chair, I will try again. It is unfortunate that I have to repeat the questions and I am unable to get answers.
Do you think that the member for Vancouver Granville is telling the truth, yes or no?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, once again, I was not privy to the conversations in question, so I have no real way to evaluate other than to say that there are a number of competing narratives that are compatible with everyone having told the truth.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2019-05-14 20:22 [p.27811]
Madam Chair, is it possible that if there was no political interference, if that is the case, the reason was that the former attorney general stood up to that pressure?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, again, as I have said a number of times this evening, I was not privy to those situations. I only have noted that in front of the justice committee there were competing versions, and it is possible that everyone was telling the truth with respect to those competing narratives.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2019-05-14 20:22 [p.27811]
Madam Chair, in the recording of the December 19 phone call between the former attorney general and member for Vancouver Granville and Michael Wernick, the former clerk of the Privy Council, over the SNC-Lavalin affair, the former attorney general warned the clerk that the Prime Minister was “interfering with one of our fundamental institutions [and] breaching a constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence” by trying to intervene in this case.
Does the Attorney General agree with that?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, as I have said a number of times, I was not privy to that phone conversation, which had been taped without the knowledge of one of the parties.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2019-05-14 21:27 [p.27820]
Madam Chair, the former attorney general was repeatedly pressured by officials in the PMO to seek an outside legal opinion with respect to whether to overturn the decision of the director of public prosecutions. Has the minister sought an outside opinion?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, as I said in answer to an earlier question, I will not comment on the nature of the process with respect to SNC-Lavalin and DPAs because there is an ongoing appellate procedure, and anything I can say or do might be interpreted as having taken a stance in that matter.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2019-05-14 21:28 [p.27821]
Madam Chair, it is very clear. We know that repeated pressure was put on the former attorney general to seek an outside opinion. One must ask what the basis of such opinion could be, other than to change the former attorney general's mind, especially having regard for paragraph 715.32(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, which specifically provides that it is the prosecutor—in other words, the director of public prosecutions—who must decide whether they are of the opinion that negotiating the agreement is in the public interest and is appropriate in the circumstances. Therefore, it falls on the DPP and not the attorney general to form an opinion, so what could possibly have been the basis of seeking an outside legal opinion?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, again, I will not elaborate on either the powers in this particular instance of the DPP or the powers in this particular instance of the attorney general, as elaborated in the law, simply because anything I can say might be interpreted and used in the course of the appellate proceedings.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2019-05-14 21:34 [p.27821]
Madam Chair, has the current Attorney General spoken to the former attorney general about any matters respecting SNC-Lavalin?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, any conversations that we would have had while my predecessor was still in cabinet would be matters of cabinet privilege.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-05-06 15:15 [p.27405]
I am now ready to rule on the question of privilege raised on March 22 and April 4, by the hon. member for Durham concerning solicitor-client privilege in the context of parliamentary privilege.
In his intervention, the member alleged that the Prime Minister used solicitor-client privilege in an inappropriate way by allowing only a partial waiver to the former attorney general, the member for Vancouver Granville, in respect to the SNC-Lavalin affair and the Shawcross doctrine. Stating that there has been confirmation that parliamentary privilege is absolute and supersedes solicitor-client privilege, he contended that without a full waiver of solicitor-client privilege, his ability to fulfill both his individual and collective functions has been impeded.
Rather than asking the Chair to find a prima facie case of privilege, the member asked the Chair to reaffirm that parliamentary privilege, being absolute, supersedes solicitor-client privilege. He also wanted me to take the extraordinary step of inviting the former attorney general to speak in the House, assuring her that she would not be subject to the constraints of solicitor-client privilege.
As the member himself acknowledged, this is not a question of privilege, but as the member raised other issues, I will address the points raised.
Any member participating in the deliberations of the House and its committees is protected by the privilege of free speech; the same is true for witnesses appearing before committees. Whether this accepted principle was somehow diminished or even overturned by solicitor-client privilege, it must be recognized that the former attorney general decided to respect that convention. The Chair is not in a position to either question or pass judgment on this.
The Chair is also limited in its authority to invite members to speak on particular issues. It is not for me as Speaker to invite the former attorney general to speak, as the member for Durham suggested. This would take us far from our rules and practices—too far, I would suggest.
I thank all hon. members for their attention.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2019-04-05 11:22 [p.26737]
Madam Speaker, yesterday Liberal Party henchmen leaked information to the media about the former attorney general's so-called conditions for returning to the Liberal caucus, including assurances that her decision on SNC-Lavalin would stand. Yesterday at 10:30 p.m., CBC set the record straight, reporting that the condition was discussed while she was still a minister. That changes everything. This morning, analyst Jonathan Trudeau commented that the Liberals messed up their attempt to spin the story to make the former attorney general look bad.
Why is the government being so gutless?
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-04-05 11:23 [p.26737]
Madam Speaker, we know the Conservatives keep mixing things up, but they are not interested in listening to testimony.
We know members of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights asked to hear from witnesses. The witnesses appeared and testified. Now all the facts are out in the open. The facts are out in the open because the Prime Minister waived solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidence. This was the first time in Canadian history that a prime minister did so.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2019-04-05 11:30 [p.26738]
Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister told Canadians that no one ever raised concerns about his interference in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution, but all the evidence shows that is just not true.
The Prime Minister only allowed the former attorney general to speak about what happened before January 14, the date he moved her out of her role after she had told him to back off repeatedly, but she said they had a series of meetings after that, which led to her resignation, and the Liberals themselves keep leaking information that they will not let her talk about, even as of yesterday.
When will the Liberals take responsibility, end the cover-up and tell Canadians the truth?
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-04-05 11:30 [p.26738]
Madam Speaker, what is clear is that the member and the Conservative Party have come to their own conclusions. The reason they are able to speak about this information is that all of the facts are on the table. All of the facts are now public, because the Prime Minister waived solicitor-client privilege as well as cabinet confidence. This is the first time in the history of our country that this has happened.
I have answered this question on numerous occasions. What is clear is that the Conservatives will do whatever they can so that they do not have to talk about the budget. They will do whatever they can so that Canadians do not notice that they have no plan. However, it is clear that the Conservatives have no plan for the economy and no plan for the environment.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2019-04-05 11:31 [p.26738]
Madam Speaker, the Liberals did not waive all of the restrictions. They say the justice committee did its work on the Prime Minister's interference in the criminal prosecution, but on February 13 the Liberals shut down that investigation. On March 26, the Liberals stopped the ethics committee from holding any hearings at all. The Liberals say that Canadians can have faith in the rule of law, but OECD anti-bribery officials are “concerned” and will “closely monitor” Canada because of the Liberals' actions.
The Prime Minister has contradicted himself many times. No one can believe a word he says. When will Liberals end the cover-up and tell Canadians the truth?
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-04-05 11:32 [p.26739]
Madam Speaker, the justice committee met for five weeks, during which they had witnesses appear to provide testimony. All of this information is on the public record. Five weeks is more than any piece of legislation is even studied or scrutinized at committee.
What is interesting is that numerous people were able to appear at committee, but when it came to our budget, which we have just introduced and which will help Canadians from coast to coast to coast, only one Conservative was allowed to speak. It was the member for Carleton. All of a sudden, the Conservatives forgot about rural Canada then.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2019-04-04 10:44 [p.26658]
Mr. Speaker, it is ironic that the entire SNC-Lavalin affair that has engulfed the government began with alleged bribes to the Gadhafi family and that now the government, which has become embroiled in that scandal by trying to protect the company from criminal prosecution and interfering in prosecutorial independence, is now so cynical and so sinister that it believes it can bribe Canadians with $41 billion of their own money in this budget.
Unfortunately for the government, Canadians are too smart and too moral to be distracted with billions of dollars of their own money. They understand that the Prime Minister is attempting to bury his unethical behaviour under that $41 billion of irresponsible spending, but they are not buying it.
We have new developments in this scandal just in the last 24 hours and let me begin by highlighting perhaps the most important of those developments. The Prime Minister stood before Canadians, 37 million of his own citizens, in a press conference on February 15 designed to distract from the scandal and there he said, “If anyone, including the former attorney general, had issues with anything they might have experienced in this government or didn't feel that we were living up to the high standards we set for itself, it was her responsibility to come forward. It was their responsibility to come forward, and no one did.”
He said that to 37 million Canadians, that no one came forward to raise any concerns. However, the former attorney general testified before the justice committee:
My response—and I vividly remember this as well—was to ask the Prime Minister a direct question, while looking him in the eye. I asked, “Are you politically interfering with my role/my decision as the Attorney General? I would strongly advise against it.”
That sounds to me like somebody came forward to him personally. In fairness, prior to yesterday, we did not have independent confirmation that she had said those words to the Prime Minister. We had her word, which I had accepted, but beyond her word we did not have documented proof or audio recordings of that exchange.
Yesterday, I rose in the House of Commons and said:
Mr. Speaker, at that September meeting, the former attorney general reports that she looked the Prime Minister in the eye and said, “Are you politically interfering with my role...as the Attorney General? I would strongly advise against it.”
Does the Prime Minister remember her saying any such thing?
The Prime Minister rose and replied, “Mr. Speaker, once she said that, I responded 'No'". The first clause in his response is the most important one. It is an admission and I am going to quote him again. He said, “once she said that”. In other words, he confirms that she looked him in the eye and said, “Are you politically interfering with my role/my decision as the Attorney General? I would strongly advise against it.” The fact that he admits that she raised his political interference to his face in September proves he was stating a blatant falsehood when, in February, he said that no one came forward.
The one final defence on which the Prime Minister could justify his February 15 statement would be that he did not remember when his former attorney general looked him in the eye and asked him if he was politically interfering in her role. However, his admission yesterday that he did remember it proves the memory loss defence is invalid.
Yesterday the Prime Minister remembered it. Therefore, we can conclude that on February 15 he remembered it. We can finally conclude that when he was looking Canadians in the eyes and claiming no one had come forward, he was stating something he knew was false. There is a word for that, a word that would require I violate the Standing Orders to utter. Therefore, I will not do that in this place. However, I will be ever careful and ever cautious that a growing and longer nose from across the floor does not swing around and poke me in the eye as I give these remarks.
That intervention proves that the Prime Minister has not been telling the truth to Canadians. While he was simultaneously sending out the hounds to tear apart his two former cabinet ministers, whistle-blowers who had spoken against him, he was also prepared to state patent falsehoods about them.
The whole narrative he was trying to create in stating those falsehoods was that somehow the former attorney general had testified against him at the justice committee out of political opportunism. She had never raised any concern about this SNC-Lavalin affair and was completely fine with everything he was doing. When she was shuffled out of what Gerry Butts called her “dream job”, only then had she come up with this big story about how the Prime Minister was mucking around in a criminal trial. In order to sell that narrative, he had to state the falsehood that she had never once raised any concern. We now know not only that it was false, but that he knew it was false and said it anyway.
We further know that the Prime Minister stood by and watched as his best friend and principal secretary went before a parliamentary committee and testified that no one had come forward and raised any concerns. If what they were doing was so wrong, Gerald Butts said, then why were they not having that conversation in September, in October, in November, in December?
Why were they not having the conversation? We now have 41 pages of documentary evidence showing that conversation was seemingly never-ending in September, in October, in November, in December. Gerald Butts sat in that committee and looked members of this House in the eyes, as well as the millions of Canadians who were watching live, and stated a patent falsehood. It was a patent falsehood he knew was wrong because much of the documentary evidence shows that he participated in the very conversations he later claimed never happened.
That members of the government are prepared to go before parliamentary committees and state things they know are absolutely false sheds light on why Liberals at the justice committee did not want any of the witnesses to swear an oath before they began their testimony. It is clear that Gerald Butts did not want to swear an oath that he would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He wanted to be able to tell things other than the truth.
That sentence about why they were not having that conversation during the four months, September to December, was one such example. He knew he wanted to say something that was totally false. Therefore, he had his Liberal members on the committee ensure that he would not have to swear an oath that might render him susceptible to allegations of contempt, though we are not ruling out the possibility that he may well have been in contempt for having stated such patent and now disproved falsehoods.
The first new development that we have had in less than 24 hours is that the Prime Minister has admitted that the former attorney general did come forward to him in September, months before, almost half a year before, the scandal became public. However, he said exactly the opposite in a press conference.
The second new development is actually a big one. I am not sure if people realize the enormity of it. A CBC article that was published yesterday, April 3, at 8 p.m., noted, “Weeks of tense negotiations preceded the PM's highly controversial decision to eject two high-profile MPs.”
While the Prime Minister was trying to put a public face on this scandal, we now know that behind the scenes he was trying to transact a secret deal in order to keep the former attorney general and the former Treasury Board president from leaving caucus altogether. He was trying to make offers to them in order to have them stay so that he could grasp onto the last shreds of the phony feminist and idealistic self-image that he had worked so hard over so many years to create. He wanted to find a way to get them to replace their condemnations and whistle-blowing with yet more praise. Behind the scenes, the whole time the scandal was raging, he was sending emissaries to make offers to them in order to get them to do that.
According to the article, the former attorney general sought five different conditions in order to bring an end to the public controversy. I will note before going into them that as I examined the five conditions she allegedly sought in order to end this public controversy or at least to stop speaking about it, none of them involved any benefit to her. I am going to list them off.
First, she wanted to see the removal of Gerald Butts, the now-disgraced former principal secretary to the Prime Minister.
Second, she wanted to see the removal of the Clerk of the Privy Council, who we have now heard pressured her relentlessly in a 17-minute conversation in which he attempted to change her mind on the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin through veiled threats.
Third, she wanted to see the removal of Mathieu Bouchard, to whom we will return later and at length.
Fourth, she also wanted a commitment that the new Attorney General would not overrule the director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, and would not direct her to give SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement.
Fifth and finally, which should have been a no-brainer, she wanted the Prime Minister to admit publicly or to caucus alone, as the CBC article notes, “that his office acted inappropriately in its attempts to convince her to consider granting SNC-Lavalin a [deferred prosecution agreement].” In other words, the Prime Minister was asked to just own up to his own behaviour, take responsibility for it, admit it was wrong and commit to never doing it again.
It is not clear which of the remaining conditions were not met, but we do know which ones were. I will list them very quickly.
The former attorney general's demands, according to the article, that Butts and Wernick be removed have been met. These two are gone. Of the five conditions, the disgraced principal secretary is out and the disgraced Clerk of the Privy Council is out.
Now we are down to three remaining conditions. They are that Mathieu Bouchard, the senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister be removed; that the new Attorney General prevent the—
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