Over the past week or so, the SNC-Lavalin scandal has exploded, causing waves to crash hard on to Prime Minister Trudeau and his office, leaving him with plenty of explaining to do.
The scandal itself is a classic tale of government corruption, in which a “virtuous” government is trying to hide their tracks after what looks more and more like a cover up each day.
Among Liberals, there’s growing discontent and a lack of consensus.
MP’s across the nation have taken to Twitter to let their opinions be known, and many seem to be shy or reluctant to directly support their own party on the issue
Wayne Long let his stance be known in a large public statement. Long later went on to say that he is not making or rushing to any judgement when it comes to the matter at hand.
“Past experience in various fields has shown me that complete openness and transparency is the only way forward in situations like this,” says Long.
“When I read the allegation of attempted political interference in a criminal prosecution on the part of officials within our government in Thursday’s Globe and Mail, I was extremely troubled, and everything I have heard and read in the press about this allegation since then has left me feeling this way,” Long openly states.
Others, like MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, seem to be taking the side of Jody Wilson-Raybould specifically, and are backing her during the media hell storm
Conservatives and New Democrats on the justice committee joined forces to get an emergency meeting to consider a motion calling on nine high-ranking government officials to testify, including Wilson-Raybould herself.
The list also includes David Lametti, who replaced Wilson-Raybould as federal Attorney General in a January cabinet shuffle, the prime minister’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, and his principal secretary, Gerald Butts.
The New Democrats said Monday that the federal ethics commissioner, Mario Dion, is looking into the events, after they requested he do so last week.
“Justin Trudeau promised Canadians he would change the way politics worked in Ottawa, but instead his Liberal government continues to prioritize helping insiders and the rich get ahead. Canadians deserve better,” said Charlie Angus, the party’s ethics critic, in a written statement.
Wilson-Raybould is at the centre of one of the biggest storms to hit the Trudeau government since coming into power: allegations that the prime minister or his aides pressured her to help Quebec corporate giant SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution, and demoted her at least partly because she wouldn’t co-operate.
Trudeau has flatly denied the allegations.
Several Liberals approached for comment by the CBC said they were confident the story came from Wilson-Raybould herself.
“She’s always sort of been in it for herself,” said one insider who didn’t want to be identified. “It’s never been about the government or the cabinet. Everything is very Jody-centric.”
The fear of reprisal for speaking out about anything to do with the situation was running so high, most Liberals approached flatly refused.
Treasury Board President Jane Philpott, said to be one of Wilson-Raybould’s closest friends and allies in cabinet, was not available. One former senior staffer said it was too uncomfortable to talk about.
With the general disarray, many MP’s are keeping their lips sealed, and are generally reluctant to comment on the issue until there is a degree of clarity in the situation, which is not yet present.
There are hundreds of MP’s across Canada. Not all have taken a stance on the situation publicly, though the lines are not totally clear.
It seems more obvious that if the representative is right-wing, say a Progressive Conservative or a People’s Party member, they will be openly against the hypocrisy of the Liberal government.
The NDP has also been clear in their position against the Liberals. But even some Liberals are not too keen on the ongoing debacle. Below, there is a complete list of every Canadian MP’s Twitter.
Here, you can check out whether your MP has made a statement on the ongoing situation, which appears to have no end it sight.