Didn’t catch Canada’s weekend politics shows? Here’s what you missed. This is an excerpt from today’s Politics Insider newsletter, which you can read here.
- A do-over for SNC? Attorney General David Lametti, who replaced Jody Wilson-Raybould as justice minister, told Global’s West Block his predecessor’s decision not to grant SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement isn’t set in stone. “You do have an ongoing obligation as attorney general in terms of your relationship to prosecutions and the prosecution service to be open to new facts,” he said. “I can’t speak to the actual facts [of the SNC-Lavalin affair] but I know that in principle, an attorney general has to remain open so, in that sense, no decision is ever final.” (Global News)
- After Lametti left the door open to reversing Wilson-Raybould’s decision during his West Block interview, Tory MP Candace Bergen and NDP MP Daniel Blaikie joined to call on Lametti to clear up his position on SNC. Describing Lametti as “evasive”, Bergen accused the Attorney General of being under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s thumb. Blaikie agreed: “What we need right now from the attorney general is clarity. It’s what we need from the prime minister, too.” (Global News)
- If he were prime minister, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he’d consider splitting the roles of justice minister and attorney general. Speaking on CTV’s Question Period he also claimed “at no time [would he] ever pick up the phone and try to get a Crown prosecutor or judicial decision overturned or changed to benefit corporate cronies.“
- Irwin Cotler, who held the positions of justice minister and attorney general in the Martin government, also says the time has come to split those duties. He told CBC’s The House there is an “inherent tension between the dual responsibilities” because as justice minister one is bound by cabinet solidarity while an attorney general is execpted to “speak truth to power.” (CBC News)
- Meanwhile Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said Michael Wernick, Canada’s highest-ranking bureaucrat who Wilson-Raybould accused of trying to pressure her on the SNC file, needs to go. “There’s two different sets of power relationships at play here,” she said onQuestion Period. “There’s the question of that improper use of the non-partisan, independent expert civil service used in a very partisan fashion, and I think the clerk of the Privy Council should be fired.” (Twitter)