OTTAWA — Canada’s official opposition is continuing a rare filibuster in Parliament Friday morning in order to protest the Liberal government’s refusal to send its national security advisor to testify before a House of Commons commitee.
In a Tweet, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said:
MORE VOTING: Rather than just instruct his National Security Advisor to brief Parliamentarians on the Atwal Affair — a briefing already given to media — Justin Trudeau has forced his caucus to sit here all night to block our efforts: https://t.co/6hQfOsFHN7
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 23, 2018
The Conservatives wanted to question Jean about a briefing he gave to the Canadian national media in February. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security advisor tried to explain why a convicted terrorist became part of the now-infamous India trip by suggesting “rogue elements” of the Indian government had invited him.
One of Trudeau’s own Liberal Members of Parliament, Randeep Sarai, contradicted the story. Sarai said he had invited Jaspal Atwal to join Trudeau’s retinue for a state dinner.
Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole said that both stories can’t be correct, in a Friday statement to the Daily Caller.
“I said in debate yesterday that this cloud continues to hang over Daniel Jean and he remains [Justin Trudeau’s] human shield. He needs to clear his name and provide clarity. Shameful what Trudeau and team did to him.”
O’Toole added, “We are losing confidence in [Jean] at this point which is another reason he should appear.”
Scheer said the following in a Thursday Facebook statement:
“Tonight, Canada’s Conservatives are forcing the Trudeau Liberals to work late. Here’s why – Justin Trudeau has failed, repeatedly, to come clean with Canadians.
“When a convicted attempted murderer appears at an official Government of Canada event, that is serious.
“When the Prime Minister then blames a foreign government for his mistake, that is even worse.
“Canadians deserve to know the truth about what happened during the Atwal Affair. Justin Trudeau is trying to hide the one person who can set the record straight.
“That’s not right. And we are using the tools at our disposal to force the Liberals to come clean with Canadians…”
The Conservatives are keeping the Liberal government voting on motions pertaining to the recent federal budget — all of which are considered non-confidence motions and can technically bring down the government if the opposition wins the vote.