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

Chiefs honour Tsilhqot’in leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

RCMP put down two dogs after woman attacked

The woman suffered serious injuries to her left arm, which include a broken left lower arm.

St. Timothy’s Church celebrates fully renovated kitchen with collaborative yard sale

The yard sale will be followed by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony

Hot July Nights shifts into gear for the local economy

One of the biggest events in the South Cariboo rolled through town… Continue reading

South Cariboo senior living residence announces expansion due to high demand

Carefree Manor suspects the expansion to be finished later in 2020.

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

Travel company ranks 15 world leaders’ foreign flight CO2 emissions

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read