For the second time this week, a New Brunswick MP is speaking out over a political controversy involving his own party.
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Saint John-Rothesay representative Wayne Long continues to weigh in on the scandal involving construction giant SNC-Lavalin, former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould and the Prime Minister’s Office. An emergency meeting of the federal justice committee was called Wednesday following a Globe and Mail report that alleged Wilson-Raybould was pressured by Trudeau to intervene and help the Quebec-based company avoid trial on corruption and fraud charges.
Wilson-Raybould has since resigned from her new position as veterans affairs minister, and the Liberal-weighted committee has so far blocked attempts to have the former minister and PMO staff testify on the matter.
Long has already called for an investigation into the matter, and has again taken to social media on the latest turn of events.
Long tweeted: “I feel that it is imperative that the committee expand the witness list for the investigation to include MP Wilson-Raybould and the officials from the PMO who may be able to shed light on this matter.”
Global News wasn’t able to speak with Long — who is out of town — by phone, but did connect via text. On the issue of adding Wilson-Raybould, among others, to the witness list, Long said, “You can’t have a full accounting of what happened without the key players. ”
As for his speaking out on this controversial issue, Long added, “And to be clear, I’m not against my government. I’m simply asking for a full transparent hearing. That’s healthy.”
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In New Brunswick this week, Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May credited Long for his stance, but suggested this fall’s election may also be at play.
“A Liberal sweep such as took place in 2015,” May said. “I think every Liberal strategist knows…that can’t happen twice.”
Long’s decision to join other Liberals in speaking out on such a large issue isn’t being viewed as risky in a traditionally strong Conservative area.
“When certain situations or events come up where it’s an opportunity politically, maybe, to show that you’re more of an independent voice … you probably need to take those, and this is one of those safe ones,” said UNB Saint John political scientist JP Lewis.
The House of Commons resumes sitting next week.
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