Parliament Hill (Ottawa) - Amid speculation that an election will be called shortly after Easter, Scott Reid, MP today commented on Liberal efforts to suppress the Parliamentary probe into the Sponsorship scandal.
"It's in the Liberals' best interest to shut down the hearings before any damaging evidence can emerge," Reid said. "Liberal members of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons are intent on pushing off any witnesses who might reveal the details of the sponsorship program, until after Paul Martin has called a spring election." An election call would result in the dissolution of Parliament, and would therefore terminate the hearings of the Public Accounts Committee.
Liberals have stated that they plan to issue an interim report from the Public Accounts Committee in two to three weeks, even though none of the advertising firm executives who received the missing sponsorship funds will have testified.
The Liberal Vice-Chair of the committee, Montreal MP Marlene Jennings, said, "I'm not sure that our committee will ultimately be able to say, this person or these individuals are responsible for what happened."
A spring election would also allow the Liberals to face the voters before the results of the RCMP investigation into the Liberal vote-buying scandal in British Columbia are made public.
In support of his doubts about the validity of an early election call, Reid quoted the words of former Deputy Prime Minister John Manley, who has stated "I find it a little ingenious to say, somehow (the Martin government is) going to be a government of change because it's change from things that he's espoused…that he was very implicated in. Now he's trying to say it wasn't him, it was someone else, and now he wants to go in a different direction. I find that difficult to accept."
"An early election isn't about Paul Martin running for a new mandate. It's about Mr. Martin running away from the defining issue of his mandate," Reid stated.
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Please call (613) 257-8130 or (613) 947-2277.