Wilson-Raybould's mind was made up

Given it’s an election year the scandal doesn’t help the Liberals’ chances of winning

Conservative MPs have previously said a Liberal refusal to allow Wilson-Raybould to appear before the committee would be tantamount to an effort to "cover up" the issue.

In 2015, the Montreal-based engineering and construction firm, SNC-Lavalin, was charged by the RCMP with corruption and fraud in their business dealings with Libya. She testified the first time on February 27, in a four-hour session where she laid out her case that the Prime Minister's Office had put sustained pressure on her over four months last autumn to change her mind on diverting a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

Cries of "shame", "despicable" and "cover-up" were uttered by opposition MPs who had demanded to hear from Ms Wilson-Raybould again after Liberals used their majority to end the meeting, Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

He also implied the date of the meeting, which coincides with the announcement of the federal budget, is no accident. "That is what happened today", Poilievre said. Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre claimed yesterday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is directing the Liberal members and said it should be called the "Justin committee" rather than the "justice committee".

Trudeau has insisted any interactions his office had with Wilson-Raybould were an effort to try and prevent the innocent workers at the company from losing their jobs due to the criminal behaviour of others.

The NDP, who partnered with the Conservatives in bringing this motion to the table, were also frustrated by Wednesday's development.

She said the Liberals signalled to Canadians that they are simply "not interested in the truth" and continued to echo NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's call for an independent public inquiry into the allegations of political interference.

"What we saw was just shutting down debate, trying to sweep it under the rug that they don't want the truth to come out", added Tracey Ramsey.

Poilievre said it wasn't fair that Butts got to speak about things that happened between the time Wilson-Raybould was shuffled to Veterans Affairs in January and the day she quit cabinet a month later, while the former minister herself felt bound by cabinet secrecy obligations.

Ramsey wanted to move a motion in the committee calling for a public inquiry but debate ended abruptly.

The opposition has already floated their interest in certain names, including the prime minister's senior advisers Elder Marques and Mathieu Bouchard. That meeting likely will be held behind closed doors, as is the practice for most meetings where potential witnesses are being discussed. The latest Liberal action in adjourning the Justice Committee meeting is seen as the latest tactical faux pas by the government.



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