Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski reacts to testimony from Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former federal justice minister who alleged political interference in the prosecution of a major Quebec-based company.

Kootenay-Columbia MP calls federal justice committee testimony ‘shocking’

Wayne Stetski, NDP call for national public inquiry into allegations of prosecutorial interference

Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski called testimony from a former Liberal cabinet minister ‘shocking’ in response to allegations of political interference in the prosecution of a major Quebec-based construction company.

Stetski’s remarks follow compelling testimony from Jody Wilson-Raybould last week, the former Justice Minister who told a House of Commons justice committee that high-level government bureaucrats attempted to sway her prosecutorial independence in the trial of SNC Lavalin dating back to last fall.

“It was shocking, it was disappointing,” said Stetski, an NDP MP. “Depending on what side of the House you sit on, different parts of Jody’s testimony gets focused on, but from my perspective and certainly from the NDP perspective, we need a full public inquiry to try and actually get at the complete truth.”

Wilson-Raybould, who was recently shuffled out of her justice ministry portfolio, told the justice committee of a ‘consistent and sustained effort’ from staff within the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council’s Office and other government ministries to interfere with her prosecutorial discretion against SNC Lavalin, which is facing bribery charges.

VIDEO: Wilson-Raybould’s place in Liberal party at risk after SNC-Lavalin testimony

The Vancouver-Granville MP alleged that those who were interfering sought a legal procedure that would let SNC Lavalin of the hook in exchange for court-ordered remedies such as fines or corporate restructuring, known as a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

A DPA is designed to punish a rogue executive or senior levels of business leadership, rather than the entire company and it’s employees.

Stetski, and the NDP, are calling for a national public inquiry that will have the authority to call witnesses, or issue subpoenas to force them to testify.

“From our perspective, the best way to get at the truth is to have a full public inquiry,” he said. “That, I think, is the best way to satisfy Canadians in terms of whose opinion, whose views, whose take on the testimony we should believe.”

READ: SNC-Lavalin affair takes toll on Liberal government: poll

There are still two ongoing processes, according to the Kootenay-Columbia MP.

Firstly, the matter has been referred to Mario Dion, the federal Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, while the Justice and Human Rights Committee is also calling further witnesses next week.

Stetski expressed concern about the process and outcomes from the justice committee, given its majority is stacked with Liberal Party members.

“They can outvote the Conservative and NDP members on the committees if they don’t want certain witnesses called, like the Prime Minister for example, or other individuals, the majority Liberal committee members will vote it down,” Stetski said.

“And any recommendations that come out of the committee, potentially, the Liberals have the final say.”

The committee is set to meet next week, where it will continue to call more witnesses, he added.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

Rescue crews still searching for Okanagan kayaker last seen three days ago

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read