Opposition members of House Judicial Committee say Liberal action to abruptly end meeting is “despicable” and “disgusting”

Jody Wilson-Raybould appears at the House of Commons Justice Committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

TORONTO  —  The House of Commons Justice Committee meeting Wednesday to consider recalling former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould lasted only twenty-five minutes when it was suddenly suspended amid opposition members accusation of “cover up” and deafening shorts of “shame.” The Liberal members of the committee requested the emergency meeting to determine if it was necessary to recall Wilson-Raybould to provide more information on her knowledge about the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

The former justice minister first testified before the committee in February where she revealed that there was “consistent and sustained” pressure put on her by the Trudeau administration to offer the Montreal-based company a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) that would enable the company avoid criminal prosecution and a ten-year government ban on contracts.

Trouble started when Francis Drouin suggested that the meeting should be adjourned to reconvene on March 19, the date that had been decided to discuss how to move forward on this matter. In spite of opposition from the NDP and Conservative Party members of the committee, the Liberals voted to adjourn the meeting, thus giving the appearance of an untoward agenda. With the meeting adjourned on majority vote, the opposition members were left to believe that it was a deliberate attempt to prevent the former Veteran Affairs Minister to reveal more information on her interaction with the prime minister’s office.

Tracey Ramsey, NDP MP who voted against the motion expressed shock that the Liberal members of the committee could be so emboldened to call off the meeting. Both Pierre Poilievre and Michael Cooper called the behaviour of the Liberal members “despicable” and “disgusting” respective. It will be recalled that Wilson-Raybould stated in her previous testimony in February that she was issued a “veiled threat” of losing her job if she is unwilling to prevail upon the director of public prosecutor to offer the company a DPA.

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