Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to media following a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Scheer repeats alleged libel, goads Trudeau to follow through on lawsuit threat

Trudeau had threatened to sue Scheer for his comments on the SNC-Lavalin affair

Andrew Scheer did his level best Wednesday to provoke Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into following through on his threat to sue him over allegedly libellous criticism of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

The Conservative leader repeated, word for word, the March 29 statement that prompted Trudeau’s lawyer, Julian Porter, to send him notice of a potential libel suit.

For good measure, Scheer did it outside the House of Commons — making the point that he’s not trying to hide behind parliamentary privilege that protects anything said in the chamber from lawsuits.

“I’m not withdrawing my remarks. In fact, I’m standing by them and I repeated them outside of the House of Commons,” Scheer told Trudeau during question period a short time later.

“Will he have the backbone to stand by his threats and show up in court to fight this case?”

Trudeau did not respond directly to Scheer’s repeated taunts but he didn’t withdraw the threat either.

“We put (Scheer) on notice because he and his party have a history of making false and defamatory statements,” the prime minister said.

“We won’t stand by while he continues to mislead Canadians.”

READ MORE: Trudeau broke law by kicking former ministers out of caucus, Philpott says

READ MORE: Trudeau’s threat to sue Scheer is about demanding truth in politics

Trudeau then accused Scheer of flogging the SNC-Lavalin issue to deflect attention from his own failure to distance himself from white supremacists or to produce plans for the economy and the environment.

He referred to Scheer’s repeated refusal to denounce “by name” Faith Goldy, a white nationalist political commentator who was banned by Facebook this week. She was one of the speakers at a pro-pipeline protest on Parliament Hill in February that included some anti-immigrant, white nationalist extremists. Scheer also spoke to the protesters, showing his support of the oil and gas industry, but he did not denounce the extremists at the time.

Trudeau also demanded Scheer denounce Conservative Sen. Leo Housakos, “a member of his own caucus,” for saying Tuesday there is no politician in this country “who believes that white supremacy is a threat to our way of life in Canada.”

Scheer dismissed the ploy as “typical Liberal smear tactics.”

“They know that I have always 100 per cent denounced white supremacy and racism and anyone who promotes those hateful ideologies … This is what is disgusting about this. They are using the very real threat of hatred and racism in this country to cover up their corruption scandal.”

Scheer also maintained that Housakos “withdrew and clarified” his comments. In a series of tweets Wednesday, Housakos explained that he meant “extremism in ALL forms is a threat to our way of life, not just one or the other.” He was challenging Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s assertion that white supremacists and their ilk represent one of the most serious terrorist threats to western democracies.

In the March 29 statement that triggered the lawsuit threat, Scheer accused Trudeau of leading a campaign to interfere with the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and directing Canada’s former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to break the law.

Scheer said he stands by “every single word” in that statement, whereas Trudeau’s “falsehoods” in the SNC-Lavalin affair “would be perjury in a court of law.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

City of Nelson creates student opportunity

“We didn’t realize how much we needed this person until we met them.”

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

Most Read