Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-08-21 13:31
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank you and all members of this committee for giving independent MPs an opportunity to participate in today's meeting.
One of the things I've really appreciated about being an independent MP is the opportunity to take a more dispassionate look at the issues. That's what I've tried to do in all the committee hearings on SNC-Lavalin.
I'd like to say a few words about my reading of the Ethics Commissioner's report and some of the topics that I think might be worth pursuing if this committee decides to hear from the Ethics Commissioner and perhaps other witnesses.
The commissioner's key conclusion is that there was a violation of section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act, which says that public office holders should not:
seek to influence a decision of another person so as to further the public office holder’s private interests or those of the public office holder’s relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests.
I don't think anyone is alleging that the Prime Minister sought to further the private interests of his family, his friends or himself. I also don't think there's any doubt that many, if not most, public policy decisions will either further or detract from the private interests of various companies and individuals. The key conclusion from the Ethics Commissioner is that the Prime Minister improperly tried to further another person's private interests.
That finding hinges critically on an interpretation of what is “improper”. I think it would be well worth this committee's time to dig into that with the Ethics Commissioner. We've heard a lot about findings of fact but really this conclusion comes down to an interpretation of one word in the Conflict of Interest Act, which is something that I think could be open to challenge and certainly could be open to further exploration.
It's a little bit unclear to me whether the Ethics Commissioner believes the Prime Minister is guilty of any kind of conflict of interest in the classic definition of that term. It does seem clear that the Ethics Commissioner believes that the Prime Minister is guilty of improperly furthering another person's private interests but there's already been some debate about how that language should be interpreted and what's improper. I would suggest that as an appropriate focus for this committee's work.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-08-21 15:12
Thanks very much.
Since we seem to have entered a bit of a broader discussion of the SNC-Lavalin case, I just want to make the point that I think it would have been far preferable had there been a more robust investigation and prosecution of the specific executives involved in alleged wrongdoing, rather than being left in this scenario of prosecuting the company as a whole, which inevitably will have negative consequences for people who had no involvement at all in the wrongdoing.
Whether or not members of the committee believe the figure of 9,000 jobs, I don't think anyone would dispute that going after the company as a whole is going to have negative consequences for a lot of people who are totally blameless in this thing. I do think one of the key take-aways from the SNC-Lavalin controversy is that we should have much more effective prosecution of the individual corporate executives who are involved in wrongdoing, rather than relying on the legal fiction of corporate personhood to prosecute whole enterprises.
Thank you.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-07-30 13:33
Mr. Chair, I'd like to begin by thanking you and all members of the committee for enabling me to participate in today's meeting. The reason I want to participate is that China's market has been closed to Canadian canola seed. Notwithstanding the fact that the wheat sheaf continues to be Saskatchewan's provincial symbol, wheat has been surpassed by canola as our most important crop and China has emerged as the most important customer for our canola exports.
My appeal to the committee would be that, to the extent that it decides to undertake a study of Canada-China diplomatic relations, the study not simply focus on the inner workings of our foreign service, but rather try to focus on the practical consequences of that diplomatic relationship for prairie farmers and other Canadians.
Mr. Chair, I think what we need to keep in mind at today's meeting is, first and foremost, the Canadians being held hostage in China, but also the prairie farmers whose livelihoods are being held hostage to this unrelated diplomatic tiff.
Thanks very much.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:00
Pursuant to a motion at committee and Standing Order 108(2), the committee will study the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer on the tax gap.
We have with us the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Giroux; Mr. Mahabir, Director of Policy; and Mr. Bernier, Financial Adviser and Analyst.
Just for your information, we only have until about 10 minutes to 12:00. A member of Parliament, Mr. Warawa, has passed away. There's going to be a tribute in the House at 12:00, so we'll have to be there for that. My apologies for cutting it short.
I believe, Mr. Giroux, you have an opening statement.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:05
Thank you very much, Mr. Giroux.
We will go to seven-minute rounds. If we stick to our time frame, we can do rounds of seven and five minutes, and one three-minute round after that.
Ms. Rudd.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:09
Okay.
Mr. Julian or Mr. Dusseault.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:15
Pierre, because Tom gave you their time, there were 14 minutes between the two of you. When you want to switch off and go to Mr. Julian, do so. You're at seven minutes now.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:23
We'll have to end it there.
Mr. Fragiskatos.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:27
[Inaudible—Editor] minutes back.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:29
Is there any further response?
You still have half a minute.
Mr. Poilievre, you're on.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:32
We didn't bring you here for this subject, but are you fine with this subject, Mr. Giroux?
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:36
Okay. We're quite over time. We must—
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:36
What's your parting request?
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2019-06-20 11:36
From virtues and vices to parting requests....
Voices: Oh, oh!
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