Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege that arises out of the exchange from earlier today. This is the first opportunity I have had to raise it, since that period just ended.
I would like to draw your attention to the Prime Minister's answer to my question about the Ethics Commissioner and the co-operation that his office will or will not be providing. His answer says, “in the last situation, we did the unprecedented step of waiving cabinet confidentiality and of waiving solicitor-client confidentiality in the situation so that the Ethics Commissioner could fully investigate the matter at hand.” This is in reference to the SNC-Lavalin scandal and the subject of the “Trudeau II Report”.
Mr. Speaker, I draw your attention to the words “fully investigate the matter at hand” to show why I believe we have a case of the Prime Minister deliberately misleading the House. The Ethics Commissioner, in his report, mentioned three things I would like to read. I hope that you will find there is a prima facie case of an attempt to deliberately mislead the House.
The first quote is as follows:
In the present examination, I have gathered sufficient factual information to properly determine the matter on its merits. Because of my inability to access all Cabinet confidences related to the matter I must, however, report that I was unable to fully discharge the investigatory duties conferred upon me by the Act.
The second quote states:
Because of the decisions to deny our Office further access to Cabinet confidences, witnesses were constrained in their ability to provide all evidence. I was, therefore, prevented from looking over the entire body of evidence to determine its relevance to my examination. Decisions that affect my jurisdiction under the Act, by setting parameters on my ability to receive evidence, should be made transparently and democratically by Parliament, not by the very same public office holders who are subject to the regime I administer.
The third quote states:
During this examination, nine witnesses informed our Office that they had information they believed to be relevant, but that could not be disclosed because, according to them, this information would reveal a confidence of the Queen's Privy Council and would fall outside the scope of Order in Council 2019-0105.
I believe this case speaks for itself. The Prime Minister earlier today said that in the last scandal he was involved with, he fully co-operated with the Ethics Commissioner. I have just read three quotes that are directly from the Ethics Commissioner himself that fully contradict that.
One of the tests that must be met in order for the Speaker to find there is a case of an attempt to deliberately mislead the House and a breach of privilege is that the member who makes the statement must know it to be false. This report is entitled “Trudeau II Report”. There is no doubt that the Prime Minister knows about its findings. It was the subject of multiple exchanges in question period before the last election.
I leave it to you, Mr. Speaker, to find a prima facie case of misleading the House.