Trudeau Liberals stall WE scandal votes for another 11 hours

Trudeau Liberals stall WE scandal votes for another 11 hours

The Trudeau Liberals pulled out all of the stops on Thursday to prevent the release of critical documents relating to the WE Charity scandal. 

Maintaining a filibuster for over 11 hours during two Thursday committees, Liberal MPs successfully prevented the documents from being released one more day, with the vote now being deferred to Friday morning. If approved, motions that are currently before both the finance and ethics committees would release documents related to the WE Charity affair. Additional debate is expected.

The committee meeting began at 11 a.m on Thursday, and ended at 10:17 p.m., after a prolonged, 11 hour filibuster.

A filibuster is a tactic by which debate is used as a stalling method to prevent votes or decisions from being rendered in the case of a proposal. At the Thursday filibuster, some Liberal MPs were discussing entirely irrelevant issues to the WE scandal in order to prolong time.

Toronto Sun commentator Brian Lilly tweeted that Liberal MP Han Dong was discussing facial recognition software, racism, and the throne speech during his filibuster attempt. 

NDP MPs were equally as frustrated with the continued stalling by the liberals, with NDP MP Charlie Angus lashing out at the Liberal MPs for accusing the committee of racially-motivated interruptions.

“The constant interruption I know it’s not the intent of my honourable colleagues, but it just reminds me of the micro-aggressions that a lot of Canadians of colour face. I don’t hear other members being interrupted,” Liberal MP Greg Fergus said, suggesting MP Han Dong was being targeted on the basis of his race. 

In response, Angus asserted “I’m asking him not to play games, not to throw these heavily loaded insinuations down at my colleagues,” Angus said. “If he wants to talk about something, just bring this to a vote so we can get this thing done.”

This is not the first time the Liberals have stalled critical votes to release WE documents. In total, Liberals have stalled votes on the release of critical WE documents for over 180 hours.

The WE scandal geared up after Jesse Brown of Canadaland broke the news that Justin Trudeau, as well as members of his family, had been getting paid substantial speaking fees by WE -- a nonprofit charity that was later awarded a $500 million summer jobs contract. 

Conservative MP Michael Barrett introduced the motion currently under debate in the ethics committee, said “It’s certainly high time for this to come to a vote," adding that the continued stalling wasn't "what Canadians deserve."

Barrett’s motion would allow the committee to obtain a record of all speaking appearances since 2008 by Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, his mother, Margaret Trudeau, and his brother, Alexandre Trudeau.