Grits defeat call for public inquiry into SNC-Lavalin

Trudeau says an ‘airing’ needed on SNC-Lavalin affair, dodges questions on calls for public inquiry

Trudeau says an ‘airing’ needed on SNC-Lavalin affair, dodges questions on calls for public inquiry

The justice committee crafted the invite list in a private meeting on Tuesday.

Since the SNC-Lavalin scandal broke, several anonymous comments and controversial cartoons have appeared referencing Jody Wilson-Raybould.

"Quite frankly, we are getting advice from the current Attorney General and she's getting advice from her counsel on what can be talked about that's not covered by privilege".

Wilson-Raybould said Wednesday in between the votes that she didn't think it was appropriate for her to vote on the motion because she was directly implicated in the proposal.

"I'm glad she's coming to the committee, number one, but I'm also very disappointed that we're not going to be hearing from anybody from the Prime Minister's Office whatsoever", Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt told reporters.

The Globe and Mail has reported that Wilson-Raybould, who was shuffled into the veterans-affairs portfolio in January, was pressured by staff inside the Prime Minister's Office to help the Montreal engineering giant avoid a criminal case on corruption charges related to government contracts in Libya.

Shortly after Wilson-Raybould met cabinet, one of the Liberal members of the justice committee, who had last week rejected calling the former minister to testify, announced that she would propose a motion at committee to hear from her after all.

Liberal MP Jody Wilson-Raybould arrives to a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's important there be an "airing" of what happened in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

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The committee held an emergency meeting to discuss a potential inquiry into the allegations against PMO, at the request of opposition members last Wednesday.

On Monday, Trudeau's principal secretary and longtime political adviser Gerald Butts resigned from his position while repeating that he did not pressure Wilson-Raybould.

Trudeau insists there was no wrongdoing.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canada can not claim to be a country based on the rule of law if the Prime Minister's Office is dictating the course of justice.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale suggested that "anything is possible" when asked if there was a "path" for Wilson-Raybould to return to cabinet.

Attorney General and Justice Minister David Lametti will be the first witness to appear, followed by his deputy minster Nathalie Drouin, and Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick.

Trudeau said Wednesday the government welcomes her testimony.

Opposition Senate Leader Larry Smith gave a notice of motion Tuesday to call Trudeau as well as nine other witnesses, including those that the House Justice committee have voted to exclude, to the Senate legal affairs committee. There's the ethics commissioner who is doing an investigation into this issue. NDP Ethics Critic Charlie Angus also tabled a motion Tuesday that will force all MPs to vote on whether the entire affair should be investigated publicly.

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