Attempts to contact 17 Liberal B.C. MPs unsuccessful thus far in the wake of the former justice minister’s testimony to a House committee.
B.C. Liberal MPs are avoiding public comment one day after Vancouver Granville Liberal MP and former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before a House of Commons justice committee that she received “veiled threats” from senior members of the federal government in the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Postmedia has sought comment from 17 Liberal members of parliament in B.C., and the Vancouver Granville Liberal riding association since Wilson-Raybould testified, and has received only one response. The press secretary for Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in an email on Wednesday evening, directed queries to the Prime Minister’s Office.
On Wednesday in Ottawa, Wilson-Raybould told the committee that over four months in late 2018 she was pressured — by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his staff, Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, senior aides in the Prime Minister’s Office including former principal secretary Gerald Butts and chief of staff Katie Telford, and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself — to direct federal prosecutors to defer the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on corruption and fraud charges and instead negotiate a remediation agreement.
“For a period of approximately four months between September and December of 2018 I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people in the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” Wilson-Raybould said in her opening statement.
Although he has not responded to Postmedia’s inquiries, Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Liberal MP Jati Sidhu told The Abbotsford News on Thursday in an interview that he thought Wilson-Raybould’s testimony was “sour grapes” and he thought she lacked experience.
“The way she’s acting, I think she couldn’t handle the stress,” he told The News. “I think there’s somebody else behind – maybe her father – pulling the strings.”
Conservative, NDP and Green MPs in B.C. described Wilson-Raybould’s testimony as “explosive,” “courageous” and “entirely credible.”
“I think she’s a hero,” New Westminster-Burnaby NDP MP Peter Julian said.
More to come …
— with files from Nick Eagland and Postmedia
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