Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to media following a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Scheer repeats alleged libel, goads Trudeau to follow through on lawsuit threat

Trudeau had threatened to sue Scheer for his comments on the SNC-Lavalin affair

Andrew Scheer did his level best Wednesday to provoke Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into following through on his threat to sue him over allegedly libellous criticism of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

The Conservative leader repeated, word for word, the March 29 statement that prompted Trudeau’s lawyer, Julian Porter, to send him notice of a potential libel suit.

For good measure, Scheer did it outside the House of Commons — making the point that he’s not trying to hide behind parliamentary privilege that protects anything said in the chamber from lawsuits.

“I’m not withdrawing my remarks. In fact, I’m standing by them and I repeated them outside of the House of Commons,” Scheer told Trudeau during question period a short time later.

“Will he have the backbone to stand by his threats and show up in court to fight this case?”

Trudeau did not respond directly to Scheer’s repeated taunts but he didn’t withdraw the threat either.

“We put (Scheer) on notice because he and his party have a history of making false and defamatory statements,” the prime minister said.

“We won’t stand by while he continues to mislead Canadians.”

READ MORE: Trudeau broke law by kicking former ministers out of caucus, Philpott says

READ MORE: Trudeau’s threat to sue Scheer is about demanding truth in politics

Trudeau then accused Scheer of flogging the SNC-Lavalin issue to deflect attention from his own failure to distance himself from white supremacists or to produce plans for the economy and the environment.

He referred to Scheer’s repeated refusal to denounce “by name” Faith Goldy, a white nationalist political commentator who was banned by Facebook this week. She was one of the speakers at a pro-pipeline protest on Parliament Hill in February that included some anti-immigrant, white nationalist extremists. Scheer also spoke to the protesters, showing his support of the oil and gas industry, but he did not denounce the extremists at the time.

Trudeau also demanded Scheer denounce Conservative Sen. Leo Housakos, “a member of his own caucus,” for saying Tuesday there is no politician in this country “who believes that white supremacy is a threat to our way of life in Canada.”

Scheer dismissed the ploy as “typical Liberal smear tactics.”

“They know that I have always 100 per cent denounced white supremacy and racism and anyone who promotes those hateful ideologies … This is what is disgusting about this. They are using the very real threat of hatred and racism in this country to cover up their corruption scandal.”

Scheer also maintained that Housakos “withdrew and clarified” his comments. In a series of tweets Wednesday, Housakos explained that he meant “extremism in ALL forms is a threat to our way of life, not just one or the other.” He was challenging Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s assertion that white supremacists and their ilk represent one of the most serious terrorist threats to western democracies.

In the March 29 statement that triggered the lawsuit threat, Scheer accused Trudeau of leading a campaign to interfere with the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and directing Canada’s former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to break the law.

Scheer said he stands by “every single word” in that statement, whereas Trudeau’s “falsehoods” in the SNC-Lavalin affair “would be perjury in a court of law.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

Good morning bats! Salmon Arm office receives surprise visit by winged critters

Pair of bats found huddled together on wall in the sun outside downtown office

Most Read