During an ongoing Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights meeting on political interference in the SNC-Lavalin affair, the Liberals put forward a witness list that excluded Jody Wilson-Raybould and several members of the Prime Minister’s Office implicated in the scandal.
Despite the fact that the committee meeting was called for by the Conservative opposition, the Liberals guided the agenda with their own motion to hold interviews with key witnesses “in camera”, or behind closed doors.
“It means in secret, no media, no transcripts, no public information, nothing. Total silence,” said Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre.
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid defended the decision to hold the meeting in camera claiming that it prevents partisanship.
The motion asks that the committee “hold meetings to examine remediation agreements, the Shawcross doctrine and the dicussions between the office of the attorney general and government colleagues.”
Included in the list were only three names: the Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti, Nathalie Drouin, Michael Wernick.
Several key witnesses including the former Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Gerald Butts and Katie Telford were excluded from the list.
Wilson-Raybould has recently resigned from the Liberal cabinet and has retained a lawyer to determine what she can or cannot speak to the public about regarding the allegations of political interference.
In recent public comments the former Justice Minister claimed that she was bound from speaking on the issue because of her solicitor-client privilege with the government while serving as the Attorney General.
Justin Trudeau has since denied the allegations and claimed that the former Attorney General never came to him with any concerns about interference from the PMO.