Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre asks a question during question period in the House of Commons in West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 8, 2019. Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre says he’ll filibuster the government’s budget until the Liberals agree to further investigation of the SNC-Lavalin affair. As the Official Opposition’s spokesman on the budget, Poilievre can talk about it in Parliament for as long as he likes. And on Parliament Hill Monday morning, the Ottawa-area MP says he’ll use it to pressure Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end what Poilievre calls a coverup. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative promises to filibuster budget to force more SNC-Lavalin testimony

House has heard testimony from Wilson-Raybould, Michael Wernick and Trudeau’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre took to his feet Monday in the House of Commons in an effort to filibuster the government’s budget until the Liberals agree to further investigation of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

“The debate will begin on Justin Trudeau’s coverup budget — you’ll recall that he introduced a budget that splashed around billions of dollars to distract Canadians from the SNC-Lavalin scandal,” Poilievre told a news conference Monday on Parliament Hill.

“I will be responding on behalf of the opposition to that budget. I have the ability to speak an unlimited period of time and I will be using that ability to demand the government end the coverup (and) agree to a parliamentary investigation into the SNC-Lavalin scandal.”

Following the news conference, Poilievre headed into the House of Commons chamber to begin his speech.

House of Commons rules say the finance minister and the Opposition’s finance critic can speak as long as they want about the budget, but only within the time allotted for government business. That means Poilievre’s plan won’t disrupt most other activities in the House of Commons and he has to speak for only a few hours at a time. Debate on the budget is also restricted to four sitting days.

The Ottawa-area MP said he wants senior members of Trudeau’s staff, as well as the prime minister himself, to testify before the Commons justice committee about the pressure former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould came under to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution over its allegedly corrupt dealings in Libya.

“When they agree to that, I’ll stop speaking.”

READ MORE: Gerald Butts provides notes, texts to justice committee on SNC-Lavalin

The Commons justice committee has heard testimony from Wilson-Raybould, Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick and Trudeau’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts, among others.

Wilson-Raybould said she endured a months-long campaign of PMO pressure, including from Wernick and Butts, to arrange a so-called remediation agreement for SNC-Lavalin, which is facing criminal charges that it used bribery and fraud to get business in Libya. Conviction could include a 10-year ban on bidding on federal contracts in Canada.

She alleges that her refusal is why Trudeau shuffled her out of the prestigious justice portfolio and into Veterans Affairs. She resigned from cabinet a month later, followed shortly by fellow senior minister Jane Philpott. The resignations have shaken the Liberal party and led to the suggestion from some of their fellow MPs that if they don’t believe in Trudeau’s leadership, they don’t belong in the Liberal caucus.

Poilievre said the witnesses who have already testified before the justice committee haven’t yet told the full story.

The Conservatives used procedural tactics two weeks ago to force more than 250 separate votes on spending plans, using the round-the-clock session in the Commons to draw more attention to the SNC-Lavalin affair as well.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rose Valley Rd. fire in West Kelowna has now been extinguished

West Kelowna Fire Chief says first two grass fires Tuesday were human caused

Two vehicle incident at Leckie and Baron

UPDATE: 5:56 p.m. RCMP is on the scene at a two-vehicle crash… Continue reading

Grounded: Kelowna Falcons early season struggles continue

The Falcons move to 2-8 after another loss Monday night

Collision on Harvey Avenue and Dillworth Drive

The road should be cleared up momentarily

West Kelowna grass fire sparked by ‘hot works’

Glenrosa fire ignites after sparks came from adjacent property

Murray McLauchlan delights Okanagan crowd

Canadian music icon puts on wonderful two-hour show at Performing Arts Centre

Life’s work of talented Shuswap sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

College investigates Okanagan physiotherapist

Stephen Witvoet’s matters are currently before the courts

Shuswap car dealership seeks return of unique stolen Jeep

The red 1989 four-by-four was taken from Salmon Arm GM’s lot early Monday morning.

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

MPs hear retired South Okanagan nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Public weighs in Okanagan rail trail parking development

“It was a great evening to interact with the community and hear the input for the property”

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read