The House

Midweek podcast: The opposition's latest calls to investigate SNC-Lavalin

This week on the midweek podcast, Chris Hall chats with NDP MP Tracy Ramsey and Conservative MP Peter Kent about what they see as their next steps now that two committees have rejected the idea of studying the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Jody Wilson-Raybould leaves a justice committee meeting in Ottawa, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode20:51

On Tuesday, the Liberal-dominated Commons ethics committee blocked a motion put forth by opposition MPs to open a new investigation into allegations of political interference by the Prime Minister's Office in the prosecution of the Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.

Opposition members spoke to The House about their latest calls to invite former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould back to address the ethics committee instead of the justice committee, which has refused to let her return to testify a second time.

Conservative MP Peter Kent said he was not surprised that his motion was voted down by the Liberal majority on the ethics committee, but was heartened by Liberal MP Nathaniel-Erskine Smith's suggestion that the justice committee could reconsider its decision to end its probe.

Kent said he thinks the government caucus will start ramping up pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to expand the scope of Wilson-Raybould's waiver, allowing her to speak publicly about more aspects of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

"I suspect that many (Liberal MPs) will increase pressure when parliamentarians get back to Ottawa next week. Sooner or later it's all going to come out, and it would certainly be in the interest of all if it came out sooner," he said.

NDP MP Tracey Ramsey said she thinks the SNC-Lavalin story still matters to most Canadians and repeated her party's call for a public inquiry.

"This has really captured the attention of Canadians in a way that maybe other things that happen inside the Ottawa bubble don't," she said. "I think it's a deep misunderstanding of Liberals to think that this is just simply going away and people don't care about it."

She said the opposition will review the documents Wilson-Raybould has tabled with the justice committee and will continue to use all tools at their disposal to continue the investigation.