Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Now-Leader file photo)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Now-Leader file photo)

Surrey Liberal MPs explain why they voted against Trudeau appearing before the justice committee

Why they torpedoed a motion for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to testify in SNC-Lavalin controversy

Wondering why Surrey’s Liberal MPs voted against a motion calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau testify under oath about the SNC-Lavalin controversy before the justice committee?

On Monday Feb. 25 Conservative leader Andrew Scheer presented a motion in the House of Commons asking parliament to order Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “to appear, testify and answer questions” at the standing committee on justice and human rights, under oath, concerning the SNC-Lavalin affair. The motion was defeated. Of 261 votes, there were 106 yes, 155 no and two were paired.

Our local Liberal MPs voted against the motion.

Asked why, this is what they had to say.

“I weighed what gains would be made versus what partisan political games would be played by having the prime minister appear before the justice committee,” John Aldag, MP for Cloverdale-Langley City told the Now-Leader. “The prime minister has been exceptionally forthcoming in the information he has shared concerning the issue in question. He provided unprecedented freedom for my colleague Jody Wilson-Raybould to share her perspective. I saw no benefit to having the prime minister appear before the justice committee because he has spoken openly about his perspective on the issue and has been available to the media. I did not feel additional insight would be gained by supporting the motion to have the prime minister appear, and this is why I voted against the motion.”

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Ken Hardie, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, said he voted no “simply because we have three processes underway now: 1. The justice committee, with meetings continuing into next week, 2. The ethics commissioner’s review, and 3. Ongoing debates in and question period in the House.

“My position,” Hardie said, “is to see what the first two processes yield, and come to a landing on any further measures involving the prime minister and an independent enquiry,” he said. “So far, the key issues that gave rise to this issue have been canvassed and resolved. You may recall that the initial charge was that obstruction of justice may have occurred. All parties directly involved in the various exchanges, including the former attorney general, have confirmed that there was no breach of the criminal code. Other questions about the nature and level of pressure on the former attorney general have also been thoroughly discussed.”

This is what Randeep Sarai, MP for Surrey Centre, had to say: “The justice committee is doing its work and had and will call any witnesses they deem fit. The same goes for the ethics commissioner. Let them do their work.”

Sukh Dhaliwal, MP for Surrey-Newton, noted that the justice committee “is responsible for calling witnesses to appear before them. Currently the ethics commissioner is conducting an independent and judicial probe on this matter, and the prime minister has stated that the government will fully cooperate to ensure we are able to gain the complete facts.”

Gordon Hogg, MP for South Surrey-White Rock, did not reply.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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