Liberal MPs on the Commons justice committee may have shut down further hearings on the SNC-Lavalin affair, but Jody Wilson-Raybould has still found a way to provide more evidence.
In a letter to committee chair Anthony Housefather, Wilson-Raybould says she will provide a written statement to the committee, and it will include further information to back up her testimony such as texts and emails.
The letter, dated March 21, notes that because the committee has concluded its study, she understands she will “not be re-called as a witness to complete my testimony or to respond orally to statements that were made by witnesses after I testified.”
Wilson-Raybould testified at the committee on Feb. 27, but other key witnesses testified after her. That includes Gerald Butts, who recently resigned as principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Michael Wernick, who recently announced his early retirement as Privy Council Clerk.
“In the course of my testimony there was a request for me to provide further information,” says Wilson-Raybould’s letter. It specifically cites the request for “copies of test messages and emails” related to her testimony.
“Related to these requests, I also have relevant facts and evidence in my possession that further clarify statements I made and elucidate the accuracy and nature of statements by witnesses in testimony that came after my Committee appearance.”
However, the letter also says her submission to the committee will stay “within the confines” of the waiver of privilege Trudeau provided in February. That means it will not address any events that happened after she was informed she was being removed as justice minister and attorney general. Wilson-Raybould has said she will not discuss those events unless she gets a further waiver of privilege from Trudeau.
On Thursday, an interview with former cabinet minister Jane Philpott was published by Maclean’s magazine where Philpott said there is still “much more to the story that should be told.”
Philpott resigned as treasury board president on March 4, saying she lost confidence in how the government had handled the allegation that Wilson-Raybould was inappropriately pressured to intervene in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
“I believe the former attorney general has further points to make,” Philpott said in the interview. “I believe that I have further issues of concern that I’m not free to share…I believe we actually owe it to Canadians as politicians to ensure that they have the truth. They need to have confidence in the very basic constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system.”
By Brian Platt
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019