WATCH: MPs are in the thick of an emergency debate on the SNC Lavalin scandal. On Wednesday, former attorney general and justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told the House of Commons justice committee that she faced months of pressure to politically interfere in the corruption case against the company. Now politicians are calling for action. Mary Griffin reports.
Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen kicked off the emergency debate over the SNC-Lavalin scandal on Thursday.
The opposition is calling on Trudeau to resign over the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
“This is where we find ourselves today, the Prime Minister being accused of very serious things, ” Bergen said.
The MP’s called for the debate following the testimony of former attorney general and justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to the justice committee.
“On January the 7th, I received a call from the prime minister and informed I was being shuffled out of my role as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. I will not go into details of this call, or subsequent communications of the shuffle,” Wilson-Raybould said during her testimony.
Now opposition MP’s are calling for action into Wilson-Raybould’s allegations, including the Green Party leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Elizabeth May.
“The degree of pressure, what she described as veiled threats, they were pretty thuggish. That’s why I think the clerk of the Privy Council, his conduct in this whole piece, he should be removed. We should have an independent inquiry,” May said.
On Wednesday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to resign.
“I was sickened an appalled by her story of inappropriate and frankly bordering on illegal pressure brought to bear on her by the highest officials in Justin Trudeau’s government,” Scheer said.
NDP Justice Critic Murray Rankin said this scandal won’t go away.
“I hope that people realize just how serious this is. Like in some countries, political people decide whether their people get let off. and their enemies get charged. That’s not how it works in our country,” Rankin said.
Royal Roads University political scientist David Black said this is the Trudeau government’s first scandal. And it’s damaging.
“This government came in as a fresh face on Canadian politics. You know, throw the old bums out, and offer a time of moral renewal in our political culture. And what the Trudeau government has lost, not its entire moral authority, but it’s lost a significant amount of what we call moral capital,” Black said.
The prime minister was not at the debate, and won’t face questions until March 18 as the House takes a two-week breakon Friday.