Former federal Treasury Board president Jane Philpott says there's "much more to the story" of the SNC-Lavalin affair that should be told.

In an interview with Maclean's magazine that landed like a bomb Thursday on Parliament Hill, the ex-minister said she had concerns in January, before the controversy became public, but that she has been prevented from discussing them through efforts by the Prime Minister's Office to "shut down the story."

Philpott joined the former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, in resigning from Justin Trudeau's cabinet last month, following public allegations that the prime minister and others pressured Wilson-Raybould to avert a criminal prosecution of the Montreal engineering firm for alleged corrupt practices in Libya.

"My sense is that Canadians would like to know the whole story," Philpott told Maclean's in her first extended interview since her resignation.

"I believe we actually owe it to Canadians as politicians to ensure that they have the truth. They need to have confidence in the very basic constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system."

Philpott's new public statements are already fanning the flames of a scandal the government is desperate to douse, and which the Opposition Conservatives are doing their best to keep alive. They've forced the House of Commons to sit all night, voting line by line on the Liberal government's spending plans.

On Wednesday, the Liberal majority in the House shot down a Conservative motion calling on Trudeau to let Wilson-Raybould testify more fully about what she experienced through the fall and into the early winter, especially what prompted her to resign from cabinet altogether after she was shuffled from the justice portfolio to Veterans Affairs in January.

The motion was defeated by a vote of 161-134, with both Philpott and Wilson-Raybould absent.

That set the stage for the Conservative-sponsored filibuster that began Wednesday night and continued through Thursday morning.

Since any vote involving government spending is automatically a confidence vote, Liberals were required to be out in force to avoid potential defeat of the government. The voting could theoretically last 36 hours, but the Conservatives had only to keep it going until just after 10 a.m. ET today to scrub the remainder of the parliamentary day but the votes continued into the afternoon.

Committee meetings scheduled for Thursday have already been cancelled.

Philpott's interview gave new life to opposition MPs as the voting dragged on.

Nevertheless, Trudeau continued to say that Philpott and Wilson-Raybould are welcome to remain in the Liberal caucus, despite their criticisms of him just seven months before an election. While they disagree over the SNC-Lavalin matter, Trudeau said all Liberals are united on the "big things" like investing in the middle class, fighting climate change and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

After an announcement in Mississauga, pumping up the latest budget's promise to send $2.2 billion extra to municipal infrastructure projects, Trudeau noted that cabinet already waived solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality to allow Wilson-Raybould to speak. That covered the alleged pressure she came under last fall, up to Jan. 14 when she was moved out of her dual role as justice minister and attorney general. He dismissed opposition calls to extend the waiver to apply to the period between Jan. 14 and Wilson-Raybould's resignation from cabinet a month later.

"It was extremely important that the former attorney general be allowed to share completely her perspectives, her experiences on this issue, and that is what she was able to do," he said. "The issue at question is the issue of pressure around the Lavalin issue while she was attorney general and she got to speak fully to that."

Among the things Philpott told Maclean's she would like to speak out about is why she raised the SNC-Lavalin issue with Trudeau when he informed her he was shuffling her to Treasury Board and planning to move Wilson-Raybould into Philpott's former post at Indigenous Services.

Trudeau gave his version of that conversation, which echoed the testimony of his former principal secretary, Gerald Butts, at the House of Commons justice committee.

"She asked me directly if this was in link to the SNC-Lavalin decision and I told her no, it was not," Trudeau said. "She then mentioned it might be a challenge for Jody Wilson-Raybould to take on the role of Indigenous Services and I asked her for her help, which she gladly offered to give, in explaining to Jody Wilson-Raybould how exciting this job was and what a great thing it would be for her to have that role."

Wilson-Raybould ultimately turned down the move to Indigenous Services and Trudeau moved her instead to Veterans Affairs.

I am so thoroughly and wretchedly disgusted with the desperately equivocal actions of the current liberal leadership, and so convinced that they are fatally compromising their ability to win the next election that I despair! The thought of bringing back the more ignorant, the more devious and the more feeble successor to the Harper PC party makes me shudder. It would be a lethal disaster for Canada.

The Liberal Caucus has to solidify an honourable response to this SNC-Lavalin debacle. I doubt if there is anyone left in Canada with a functioning brain who does not believe this file has been unbelievably stupidly handled. No one doubts that the corporation is guilty, not just of bribery in faraway Libya but right here, and systematically, in its Canadian operations. It has been skating along in its slimy path under the premise that it is too big to fail and it can always bend laws and governments to escape the consequences of its malfeasance. Humanity is surrounded by, and bamboozled by, quasi criminal "respectable" corporations who routinely defraud the public, thumb their noses at governments and even defraud their own investors. It is the very modern model of predatory capitalism. There was a time when capitalism had some honest, beneficial purpose, it defined "progress", it produced goods, created employment etc. But even in its "heyday" capitalism, as a system, has always had its dark "exploitative" side. There have always been the piratical con artist factions. Over the last 4 decades, the dark side, has, globally, overtaken the powers of nation states, bent, twisted and, evaded commonsense regulations, public protection laws, destroyed international covenants and treaties. They have been complicit in the support of dictatorships, have been promoters of human and envrionmental rights destruction and allied themselves to classic, criminal gang business models with market manipulations and wholesale money laundering.

In the global scheme of trans- or supranationalistic capitalism SNC may be a "bit" player but it is our "bit" and if we fail to hold them to account, we surely invite ever more outrageous predatory and criminal behaviour by other corporations. The typical weapons of extortion used by these pirates, the loss of jobs, the flight of capital, is by now a hollow and pitiful con. No matter how much governments and investors pander to the greed with tax breaks and subsidies and share offerings, the malefactors, in the end always betray the explicit or implicit terms of the bargain and walk away shrugging - "so sue us!"

It is time to call their bluff, and to convince the rest of the free world to join in. Where are the asset strippers going to put their money? Into Russia, into China, into the bullet riddled middle east? Where they will be soundly trounced at their own game? Fat chance!

So get some backbone Liberals and prove you deserve the privilege of leading Canada after the next election! PLEASE!

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