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

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

Kitimat fire department halts JFJV Labour Day weekend waste burning

Fire chief says tighter controls are now in place

Three people wanted on warrants

Terrace RCMP asking for public’s help

Belgian man linked as possible missing kayaker in Nass River

Family pleads on Facebook for more information

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read