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

Local skicross racers hit the World Cup circuit

Olympian India Sherret is joined by fellow local racers Zoe Chore and Courtney Hoffos

UPDATED: Hwy 93 reopens after rockslide blocks traffic in Fairmont Hot Springs

Highway at Fairmont between Dutch Creek and Westside Road blocked until geotechnical team can assess

Rob Morrison sworn in as Kootenay-Columbia MP

Parliament set to reconvene on Thursday with election of House Speaker, Throne Speech

Break-and-enter at Family Pantry in Canal Flats

Weekly RCMP report, November 24-December 1

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: B.C. professor

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

B.C. coroner asking for help identifying man found dead in Peace region

Mounties have deemed the man’s death not suspicious and believe he died earlier this year

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

Most Read