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NDP's Svend Robinson says MP Terry Beech must 'take a stand' on SNC-Lavalin scandal

Terry Beech tweet is a 'complete abdication of responsibility,' according to his opponent
Terry Beech

Burnaby North–Seymour NDP candidate Svend Robinson is calling on the Liberal MP he hopes to unseat to “take a stand” in the SNC-Lavalin scandal that has rocked federal politics.

Robinson took issue with a tweet from Terry Beech that called for unity among Liberals after Jane Philpott resigned from cabinet in solidarity with Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former justice minister and attorney general who resigned from her ministerial role in February.

Philpott, Wilson-Raybould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “are the leaders Canada needs to fight climate change, move forward on indigenous reconciliation, and ensure every Canadian has a fair and real chance at success,” Beech tweeted on Monday. “It is my sincere hope differences can be resolved. #betterisalwayspossible”

Robinson said it’s impossible to support both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott at the same time as supporting Trudeau, and Beech needs to pick a side. 

“Where does he stand? You can’t be both supporting Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould on the one hand, and supporting Justin Trudeau on the other,” he said. “That’s completely not reconcilable.”


Robinson said both former ministers have clearly lost confidence in Trudeau.

In her resignation letter, Philpott said she “lost confidence in how the government has dealt with” the criminal charges against engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and the alleged pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office on the former attorney general to secure a deferred prosecution agreement. Wilson-Raybould did not answer whether she had confidence in Trudeau when asked during her testimony to the Parliamentary justice committee.

“(Beech is) saying ‘let's all love one another’ and that's a complete abdication of responsibility,” Robinson said. “This is the moment of truth for Terry Beech and for every Liberal member of Parliament in that caucus. Are they going to stand up for integrity and the independence and the rule of law in Canada, or are they going to accept this kind of bullying and pressure that both Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould have obviously said is not acceptable?”

Beech did not respond to repeated interview requests. His tweet is the only public statement he has made on the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Robinson is attempting a comeback to federal politics after a 15 year absence. He previously served in Parliament for 25 years. The federal election is scheduled for Oct. 21.