The NDP expects ethics commissioner Mario Dion to be in a position to testify before a parliamentary committee Wednesday about his findings on the prime minister’s breach of the Conflict of Interest Act. Dion is shown on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday December 13, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Liberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair

Dion concluded in his report last week that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act

Liberal members of a parliamentary committee have blocked an opposition attempt to hear from ethics commissioner Mario Dion about his scathing report into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Only one of six Liberal MPs on the 10-member House of Commons ethics committee supported a Conservative motion Wednesday to call Dion, and possibly others, to testify about the report.

The lone Liberal outlier, Toronto MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, supported the motion only because he said he wanted Dion to explain what he considered the commissioner’s ”legally flawed” conclusion that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act.

Quebec MP Steven MacKinnon spoke for the other Liberal members, dismissing the motion as a blatantly partisan attempt to re-ignite public outrage over the SNC-Lavalin controversy on the eve an election call.

All six Liberal members voted against a subsequent NDP motion to call Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his former chief of staff, Ben Chin, to testify about their roles in the affair.

Dion concluded in his report last week that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to halt a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

Dion also disclosed in his report that he couldn’t get all the information he required, as potential witnesses and Trudeau’s office claimed cabinet confidence stopped from them from sharing everything they knew.

Trudeau has accepted the report and taken full responsibility for mistakes that were made, but he has also disagreed with Dion’s conclusion and resolutely refused to apologize for what he characterizes as standing up for Canadian jobs.

Conservatives and New Democrats pushed for the emergency committee meeting held Wednesday afternoon on Parliament Hill. Dion had said he would make himself available to testify, and would have done so by video conference.

On Wednesday morning, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said that if the study failed to go ahead, he hoped to convince voters to hold Trudeau accountable on voting day this October.

“We cannot have a lawmaker who is a lawbreaker,” he said.

Trudeau has suggested voters want to move on.

READ MORE: Scheer repeats call on RCMP to investigate Trudeau’s actions in SNC affair

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

Salish Sea scavenger hunt turns participants into citizen scientists

Public invited to join the Great Salish Sea BioBlitz

Coastal scenes at the forefront for July shows at Victoria galleries

From sculpture to landscape paintings, summer art is about nature

Rapid bus system could increase frequency, reliability in Greater Victoria

BC Transit studies methods for improving major routes in Capital Region

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

Most Read