Scheer hopeful Liberal MPs vote to hold inquiry into SNC Lavalin affair

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he’s hopeful an opposition motion to call a public inquiry into the SNC Lavalin controversy will pass.

The NDP introduced the motion Tuesday in the House of Commons. The Conservatives say they will support it.

But with a Liberal majority in the House, the motion can be easily defeated.

Speaking on CTV Morning Live, Scheer said he’s hopeful some Liberals break ranks.

“There are several Liberal MPs who are lawyers who, hopefully, will remember the oaths they took and commitments they made. We’ll see,” Scheer said. “Obviously, that would be the best way to start these things, to have an independent person come in and conduct an inquiry.”

There are 179 Liberal MPs, compared to 96 Conservatives and 40 New Democrats. There are also 10 Bloc Québecois MPs, four independents, and three individuals representing the Green Party, the People’s Party of Canada, and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Six seats are vacant.

Scheer says Conservative Senators have also put forward a motion, if the vote in the House of Commons fails.

“Conservatives Senators introduced a motion to allow the Senate committee to study where, the Liberals claim, these senators are more independent. We’ll put that to the test and see if those Liberal-appointed senators actually try to get to the bottom of this.”

This comes on the heels of the House of Commons Justice Committee adopting a motion to allow former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak at the committee about the alleged pressure by the Prime Minister’s Office toward her, to allegedly help SNC Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

The Justice Committee meetings begin Wendesday, but Wilson-Raybould is not expected to address them until Monday. She told reporters she’s still checking with her legal team regarding what she can and cannot say. She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege as her reason for refusing to speak publicly on the matter.

Scheer says he’s cautious about the results of the Justice Committee investigation.

“There’s still the matter that the Prime Minister hasn’t waived his attorney-client privilege yet. We also want to hear from other people in the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said, referring to a previous motion to have people like former Principal Secretary Gerald Butts and Chief of Staff Katie Telford testify, which was voted down last week.