ON THE HILL: "United We Roll" Convoy & SNC Lavalin Controversy
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant is speaking out about two hot-button issues on Parliament Hill today.
Speaking to Star 96.7 from her Ottawa office, Gallant says the "United We Roll" convoy that arrived on Parliament Hill on Tuesday morning is something many of her constituents have been supporting.
The convoy, consisting of more than 150 trucks, is billed as a "pro-pipeline" movement that wants to voice its frustration to the Liberal government, over policies it believes will harm the energy sector, hurt jobs, and divide Canadians.
The group, which assembled in Alberta, made its way through the Ottawa Valley on Monday evening on the final leg of its journey, stopping in Pembroke and Arnprior, and watching shows of support from other communities along the way, including Renfrew and Cobden.
Gallant says it became clear to her when she met with some of the truckers and supporters along the route that the cause isn't just an issue that resonates in western Canada.
"The people of the Valley showed them that we're all one country", Gallant told Star 96.7.
"I couldn't believe, out of all the people that went from truck to truck, who were waiting to greet the convoy, how many people in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke actually work in the oil sands. And, they were there to support the people coming in from Alberta", Gallant said.
"It was heartening to see".
Large crowds turned out to see the convoy on Monday night at the Irving Big Stop in Pembroke, where horns and cheers greeted their arrival, and where convoy organizer Glen Carritt told the crowd their mission was to unite the country by expressing shared values and common goals.
"Our main issue is that there's a complete disconnect with the current government", Carritt told Star 96.7.
"We need to get our pipelines back going, with immediate action; we need to abolish Bill C-48, Bill 69, and we need to abolish the carbon tax, and we need to have a look at the UN Compact (on migration)", Carritt said.
SNC Lavalin Controversy
Gallant was also joining fellow Conservatives and other opposition MPs on Tuesday in calling for more action to address the SNC Lavalin controversy.
There have been questions about who may have tried to help the engineering giant avoid criminal prosecution, ever since former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was later moved into the Veterans Affairs post, abruptly resigned from federal cabinet last week.
Another bombshell surrounding the story dropped on Monday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's principal secretary and longtime friend Gerald Butts also resigned.
In his resignation letter, Butts insisted that neither he nor anyone else in the Prime Minister's Office pressured Wilson-Raybould to help the firm avoid criminal prosecution; however, some critics see Butts' resignation as a sign that the story isn't over yet.
Gallant is sharing a petition online and in her office calling for a broader public inquiry into the ordeal.
Canadians who want to sign the e-petition can do so online at petitions.ourcommons.ca or contact Gallant's office to request a paper copy.
Gallant says with the Liberals on the House of Commons Justice Committee limiting the number of witnesses who can testify at committee hearings into the matter, a broader investigation is needed.
"A thorough and public investigation; there is much more to the allegations than Trudeau or his staff have admitted so far", Gallant said.
Gallant added that the house committee is not the best route to find the truth.
"Blocking witnesses and going in-camera is 'business as usual", Gallant said.
"The sunny ways and transparency ended the moment they opened Parliament in 2016".
As for the Liberals, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday called the resignation of Gerald Butts a sad moment.
Freeland spoke to reporters on her way into a cabinet meeting.
She and Finance Minister Bill Morneau praised Butts, with Morneau saying he believes Butts has decided to defend himself against things that quote -- ``just aren't true.''
Meanwhile, the N-D-P also tabled a motion in Parliament requesting an independent inquiry into allegations the Prime Minister's Office tried to pressure the former attorney general to help S-N-C-Lavalin avoid criminal charges.
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