Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski reacts to testimony from Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former federal justice minister who alleged political interference in the prosecution of a major Quebec-based company.

Kootenay-Columbia MP calls federal justice committee testimony ‘shocking’

Wayne Stetski, NDP call for national public inquiry into allegations of prosecutorial interference

Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski called testimony from a former Liberal cabinet minister ‘shocking’ in response to allegations of political interference in the prosecution of a major Quebec-based construction company.

Stetski’s remarks follow compelling testimony from Jody Wilson-Raybould last week, the former Justice Minister who told a House of Commons justice committee that high-level government bureaucrats attempted to sway her prosecutorial independence in the trial of SNC Lavalin dating back to last fall.

“It was shocking, it was disappointing,” said Stetski, an NDP MP. “Depending on what side of the House you sit on, different parts of Jody’s testimony gets focused on, but from my perspective and certainly from the NDP perspective, we need a full public inquiry to try and actually get at the complete truth.”

Wilson-Raybould, who was recently shuffled out of her justice ministry portfolio, told the justice committee of a ‘consistent and sustained effort’ from staff within the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council’s Office and other government ministries to interfere with her prosecutorial discretion against SNC Lavalin, which is facing bribery charges.

VIDEO: Wilson-Raybould’s place in Liberal party at risk after SNC-Lavalin testimony

The Vancouver-Granville MP alleged that those who were interfering sought a legal procedure that would let SNC Lavalin of the hook in exchange for court-ordered remedies such as fines or corporate restructuring, known as a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

A DPA is designed to punish a rogue executive or senior levels of business leadership, rather than the entire company and it’s employees.

Stetski, and the NDP, are calling for a national public inquiry that will have the authority to call witnesses, or issue subpoenas to force them to testify.

“From our perspective, the best way to get at the truth is to have a full public inquiry,” he said. “That, I think, is the best way to satisfy Canadians in terms of whose opinion, whose views, whose take on the testimony we should believe.”

READ: SNC-Lavalin affair takes toll on Liberal government: poll

There are still two ongoing processes, according to the Kootenay-Columbia MP.

Firstly, the matter has been referred to Mario Dion, the federal Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, while the Justice and Human Rights Committee is also calling further witnesses next week.

Stetski expressed concern about the process and outcomes from the justice committee, given its majority is stacked with Liberal Party members.

“They can outvote the Conservative and NDP members on the committees if they don’t want certain witnesses called, like the Prime Minister for example, or other individuals, the majority Liberal committee members will vote it down,” Stetski said.

“And any recommendations that come out of the committee, potentially, the Liberals have the final say.”

The committee is set to meet next week, where it will continue to call more witnesses, he added.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New on-reserve housing for Akisqnuk

Six-plex first of 28 units to be built; first new homes in 25+ years

Slocan Ramblers mosey into town

CV Arts presents Slocan Ramberls Thursday, March 28th

Seniors association advocates for Valley health

Letter-writing campaign underway now

Market move placed on hold

Invermere market will remain in current 6th Ave. location for now

Family loses everything in Canal Flats trailer fire

GoFund me page started for the Soucy family

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read