The last seven days have not been like any that I have experienced in my time on Parliament Hill.
The release of an audio recording of a conversation between the former Justice Minister and the former Clerk of the Privy Council is unprecedented.
The content of this recorded conversation was also disturbing as it verified and confirmed that indeed the former Justice Minister was being pressured to authorize a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) to SNC Lavalin.
This pressure was being applied despite the fact that an independent prosecutorial decision had already been made that SNC Lavalin did not meet the criteria for using a DPA.
The recorded conversation also confirmed that the Prime Minister was “going to find a way to get it done, one way or another.”
The release of this recording led to a series of events that ultimately resulted in Mr. Trudeau removing Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus.
Ms. Wilson-Raybould has also been denied the right to run again as a Liberal Party candidate.
This decision by Mr. Trudeau has outraged many Canadians including first nation’s leaders such as Grand Chief Stewart Phillip who has called this Liberal caucus expulsion of these two women a “witch hunt”.
To me this issue is about credibility.
Throughout this entire situation the details provided by Ms. Wilson-Raybould have been verified as being factual and accurate.
In contrast, Mr. Trudeau first denied that this situation even occurred and has since provided differing versions of events, many of which do not reconcile.
Although the Prime Minister did issue a waiver, it has a restriction that prevents the former Justice Minister from discussing meetings that occurred after the period she was no longer the Justice Minister.
To this day it remains unknown if Mr. Trudeau’s newly appointed Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti will grant a DPA to SNC Lavalin or not.
Closer to home here in BC, Mr. Louis De Jaeger who is the vice-president of the Chilliwack-Hope federal Liberal riding association has resigned in support of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Jane Philpott.
I have also heard many expressions of disbelief and anger over this cabinet expulsion from a wide variety of citizens.
Mr. Trudeau insists this decision was made because trust had been broken and as a result these two individuals could no longer remain as members of the Liberal caucus team.
My question this week:
On the question of credibility do you believe Mr. Trudeau or Ms. Wilson-Raybould?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.