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ALBAS: Accountable for your tax dollars

Dan Albas a Member of Parliament.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Dan Albas
February 23, 2019 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


In my MP Report from last week I summarized the developing situation regarding the details, or in this case lack thereof, surrounding the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould from Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet.

There are growing questions around the criminal prosecution case against SNC-Lavalin and allegations of pressure from the Prime Minister’s office to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement instead.

Since that time some significant new details have emerged.

Later last week, Liberals on the parliamentary Justice Committee blocked Ms. Wilson-Raybould and staff from the Prime Minister's office from appearing at the committee to answer questions.

Over the recent Family Day long weekend we learned that Gerald Butts, Mr. Trudeau’s most trusted adviser, was resigning claiming he did not want to become a distraction in this growing controversy.

This week, Liberals on the Justice Committee have done a flip flop and now will support Ms. Wilson-Raybould to appear at the Justice Committee, although it is unclear what questions she will be able to answer as Mr. Trudeau has thus far refused to waive client/solicitor privilege.

To date, the reasons why Ms. Wilson-Raybould resigned remain unknown.

As Mr. Trudeau continues to refuse to waive privilege and has ducked questions about calling an inquiry, Canadians remain in the dark.

From my perspective, this is quite alarming considering that Mrs. Wilson-Raybould and now Mr. Butts have both resigned over an issue that Mr. Trudeau continues to hide behind privilege to avoid the truth from coming out.

The reason I use the term “hide” is to make a comparison to the fact that when the Senator Duffy investigation was underway, former Prime Minister Harper waived client/ solicitor privilege to assist the investigation in a transparent and accountable manner. 

My question this week does not involve this situation but rather pertains to a recent funding announcement made by the Liberal Government.

Last week the Liberals announced $40 million in funding to Blackberry to help develop autonomous vehicle technology.

Full credit to CBC who covered the event and then asked the CEO of Blackberry ``if his company needed the government subsidy”. The answer was a candid NO.

In other words $40 Million was just given away by Mr.Trudeau to a company that did not require the subsidy.

More recently we learned that the Liberal Government has appointed a retired Radio Canada journalist to be the director of the two debates for the upcoming federal election.

The leadership debates, one to be in English and the other French for upcoming October 2019 election is a part time position with a term that expires in March of 2020 and a reported salary between $124,000 and $187,000.

My question this week:

Do you believe these types of spending decisions are an appropriate use of your tax dollars?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

— Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.


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