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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

’We’ve been dealing with racism all our lives,’ says family of Tla-o-qui-aht woman fatally shot by police

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

What recycling goes where in the ACRD? There’s going to be an app for that

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District hopes residents will use app once it’s developed

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Alberni Valley, West Coast First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Kitchen fire sends one to hospital in Port Alberni

Apartment block evacuated after sprinkler system was set off

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read