How do we root out what is essentially systemic levels of corruption?

On Friday, May 3rd, 2019 in Debate, Parliament

Ms. Elizabeth May – Member for Saanich—Gulf Islands

Mr. Speaker, to my hon. colleague from Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, I am again going to point out that the differences are not so much differences but continuing evidence that companies like SNC-Lavalin, or the large corporate influencers in Canada, get through doors that other Canadians cannot get through, whether they are civil service doors or political election doors.

We heard the earlier example of the trip to Libya involving then Conservative foreign affairs minister John Baird. However, the elevation of the people associated with this scandal by former prime minister Stephen Harper includes Arthur Porter, who was implicated in a bribery scandal with SNC-Lavalin over the McGill hospital issue. He was given the highest security clearance in this country and was made the head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee by former prime minister Harper.

The man who was the chair of SNC-Lavalin through all of the dealings that are before the court at the moment, and who was also chair of the governance committee, was another one of Stephen Harper’s most trusted and closest corporate friends. That was Gwyn Morgan. He has a career in the energy business, but Stephen Harper put him forward to be the head of the national public appointments commission.

My point here is not to attack any one individual, but to say that the pattern of government influence by corporations like SNC-Lavalin, regardless of who is in office, is a real problem. We should be getting at that. How do we root out what is essentially systemic levels of corruption, because our governments in general have become too beholden to corporate interests and influence?

Mr. Michael Barrett – Member for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands will get that Senate appointment that she is looking for from the Liberals quite soon.

When it comes to this SNC-Lavalin scandal and the Liberals, we have never seen anything like it. When people were called on the carpet, it resulted in, as was predicted by the then attorney general, a Saturday night massacre. Everybody lost their jobs. We lost the attorney general, we lost the Treasury Board president, we lost the Clerk of the Privy Council and we lost the Prime Minister’s BFF, Gerry Butts. Everybody was fired. Then we had a game of cabinet shuffles every week. This is unprecedented, and it is all born from corruption that is sourced and rooted at the highest levels of the Liberal government.

Ms. Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of personal privilege. There is no need whatsoever for the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes to suggest for one minute that I want anything other than to be the elected member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. I have no interest in personal advancement and I am not pandering to any political interest for personal advancement. I ask him to withdraw his unnecessary and absolutely unworthy comment.

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