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“This has to stop.” That was former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould‘s response to a series of leaks and counter-leaks about the appointment process for Supreme Court justices, and the allegation that she and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clashed over her Supreme Court pick in 2017. Raybould, who denied she was involved in any leaks, is now calling for an investigation into their source. “Given the seriousness of this matter, I feel that there should be consideration of having some sort of investigation as to the source of this information.” (Canadian Press)
She and the Opposition both. The Conservatives asked federal judicial affairs commissioner Marc Giroux to launch a probe. But while Giroux said he’s “deeply concerned and troubled” by the leaks, he determined he doesn’t have the mandate to launch an investigation. (CTV News)
Trudeau’s office finally got around to condemning the leaks, declaring what many had expected Trudeau to say a day earlier: “The PMO would never leak who would be considered for a judicial appointment.” (Twitter)
Current Attorney General David Lametti chimed in too on Twitter to say he’s “concerned” about the leaks. “The integrity of our process depends on confidentiality for all parties involved.” So will he launch an investigation? No word.
I asked Minister Lametti's team whether this means there is going to be some sort of investigation into the SCC story leaks, and was told "nothing to add to the tweet." https://t.co/xKxGwPfsXz
— Katie Simpson (@CBCKatie) March 27, 2019
Read all about it: For now, the Supreme Court leaks have overtaken SNC-Lavalin as the primary oxygen-sucking controversy on Parliament Hill. That could change tomorrow. That’s when the public may get their first look at new documents Wilson-Raybould handed over to the House justice committee this week, including texts, emails and written statements. Wilson-Raybould had told committee chair Liberal MP Anthony Housefather she’d be sending “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.” (CBC News)
Liberal backbenchers who are still in the dark about the SNC-Lavalin scandal need to start asking their boss some tough questions, writes Andrew MacDougall:
Heaping smear on top of political interference in the criminal justice system isn’t what any Liberal ran on in 2015, and it’s something no Liberal should want to run on later this year. So why are most Liberal MPs still fronting Trudeau’s nonsense?
Come to think of it, do most Liberal MPs even know what happened? Have any of them pressed Team Trudeau for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Does the backbench know what Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott (and presumably Cabinet) knows, or are they operating on blind faith?
If it’s the latter I would recommend they take their head out of the sand forthwith, because it’s their asses that are on the line. (Maclean’s)
Fight for your right to Party: One of the two Liberal MPs who broke rank with the party and voted in favour of an investigation into the SNC-Lavalin controversy may have to fight for the Liberal nomination in his riding ahead of the next election. Wayne Long, MP for Saint John-Rothesay, N.B. is one of 20 Liberal MPs who have yet to be nominated—he’d missed an earlier deadline to secure an uncontested nomination and so far the party has not granted him an extension. He has no plans to tame his rebellious streak: “I believe we’re stronger as elected Members of Parliament when we can speak our minds.” (Hill Times)
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