Scandal still roiling

Last week, I summarized the developing situation surrounding the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould from PM Justin Trudeau's cabinet.

There are growing questions around the criminal prosecution case against SNC-Lavalin and allegations of pressure from the Prime Minister's office to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement instead.

Since that time some significant new details have emerged.

Later last week, Liberals on the parliamentary Justice Committee blocked Ms. Wilson-Raybould and staff from the Prime Minister's office from appearing at the committee to answer questions.

Over the recent Family Day long weekend, we learned that Gerald Butts, Mr. Trudeau's most trusted adviser, was resigning, claiming he did not want to become a distraction in this growing controversy.

This week, Liberals on the Justice Committee have done a flip flop and now will support Ms. Wilson-Raybould to appear at the Justice Committee, although it is unclear what questions she will be able to answer as Mr. Trudeau has thus far refused to waive client/solicitor privilege.

To date, the reasons why Ms. Wilson-Raybould resigned remain unknown.

As Mr. Trudeau still refuses to waive privilege and has ducked questions about calling an inquiry, Canadians remain in the dark.

From my perspective, this is quite alarming considering that Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Mr. Butts have resigned over an issue that Mr. Trudeau continues to hide behind privilege to avoid the truth from coming out.

I use the term "hide" to make a comparison to the fact that when the Senator Mike Duffy investigation was underway, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper waived client/ solicitor privilege to assist the investigation in a transparent and accountable manner.

My question this week does not involve this situation, but rather pertains to a recent funding announcement made by the Liberal government.

Last week, the Liberals announced $40 million in funding to Blackberry to help develop autonomous vehicle technology.

Full credit to CBC who covered the event and then asked the CEO of Blackberry “if his company needed the government subsidy.”

The answer was no.

In other words, $40 million was just given away by Mr. Trudeau to a company that did not require the subsidy.

More recently, we learned that the Liberal government has appointed a retired Radio Canada journalist to be the director of the two debates for the upcoming federal election.

The leadership debates, one in English and the other French for upcoming Oct. 2019 election is a part time position with a term that expires in March of 2020 and a reported salary between $124,000 and $187,000.

My question this week:

  • Do you believe these types of spending decisions are an appropriate use of your tax dollars?


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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