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Scheer promises Tory government would launch SNC-Lavalin inquiry; Trudeau focuses on environment

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer (left) and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right). (Source: Composite image, the Canadian Press)

Andrew Scheer is promising a Tory government would launch an inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin scandal

The Conservative leader says he'd introduce legislation to prevent politicians from hiding behind cabinet confidentialit

Justin Trudeau is making more environmental promises on Day 16 of the election campaign

MONTREAL – Ethics and the environment are in focus on day 16 of the federal election campaign.

Party leaders are scattered across the country today, and in the Papineau riding of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Andrew Scheer took aim at the Grits by vowing, if he becomes prime minister, that he would launch a judicial inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

“This announcement today will ensure that Canadians will have the answers to this scandal,” he said in Montreal. “I think it’s very important that we shine a light on Justin Trudeau’s corruption, so we can get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

The Conservative leader has repeatedly raised the SNC-Lavalin affair during the course of his election campaign.

Scheer also committed to introduce legislation that would let the RCMP ask the Supreme Court of Canada for access to information protected by cabinet confidence.

“We would pass the ‘No More Cover Ups’ act, to prevent corrupt politicians, like Justin Trudeau, from hiding behind cabinet confidentiality to escape police investigation,” he said. “Cabinet confidentiality exists to protect sensitive matters of policy in order to create good policy. It doesn’t exist to protect corrupt leaders.”

Scheer will spend the rest of the morning visiting two other Montreal ridings with candidates.

Environment top of mind on Day 16 for Liberals

Before Scheer’s pledge, Trudeau was in Sudbury, Ontario where he made an environmental promise to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030.

The Liberal leader also confirmed he would take part in the climate march taking place in Montreal tomorrow.

“Marching with thousands of Canadians tomorrow in Montreal, like people are marching right across the country and around the world, to fight for the environment,” Trudeau said.

He made the announcement after paddling a canoe in the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area this morning.

The Liberals committed in their first mandate to protecting 17 per cent of land and 10 per cent of marine areas by 2020. As of the end of 2018, Environment Canada was reporting 11.2 per cent of land and 7.9 per cent of marine areas had been protected.

Trudeau is also promising to expand the Learn to Camp program, which gives travel bursaries to lower income families to spend up to four nights in one of Canada’s national or provincial parks.

Green Leader Elizabeth May will speak in the afternoon about the role she sees Quebec playing in her party’s vision of a Canada powered by renewable energy.

Meantime, the NDP’s Jagmeet singh is spending a third straight day in British Columbia, starting in Campbell River with plans to roadtrip south to Nanaimo.

Maxime Bernier of the People’s Party continues his own trip to the west, spreading his populist message in Calgary after spending yesterday in B.C.