(Ottawa) The three main opposition parties doubt the sincerity of Dominic Barton’s testimony. The former big boss of the McKinsey firm answered questions from deputies for two hours on Wednesday. He maintained that he had nothing to do with the hundred million dollars in federal contracts awarded to his former employer.
“I think he had voluntary memory lapses and his interest was simply to do his two hours and go home,” Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus lamented on Thursday.
“I want to become a leader of McKinsey, it’s a life of happiness. You wallow in ignorance and you’re going to get no worse pay,” scoffed the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet.
“No one seems to know anything so we have to get to the bottom of it,” said BC NDP MP Gord Johns. He is calling for the parliamentary committee inquiry to be expanded to include other consulting firms that have won federal government contracts, such as Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Ernst & Young.
Mr. Barton repeatedly testified that as global manager of McKinsey he did not know the fine detail of the contracts, that his work for the federal government as chairman of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth had no connection with the contracts that the firm received and that he did not know Justin Trudeau personally.
The Conservatives claim that the Prime Minister and Mr. Barton are friends. “We do not claim it, these are facts, argued Mr. Paul-Hus. Mme Freeland made that clear when Mr. Barton was appointed ambassador.
It refers to remarks made by the Deputy Prime Minister in 2019, when she was Minister of Foreign Affairs. “I have known him for a long time, the Prime Minister knows him well too,” she said.
Mr. Barton had been appointed Canada’s Ambassador to China. It had a mandate to release the two Michaels, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who spent more than 1,000 days in arbitrary detention there before being released in 2021.
Mme Freeland also indicated that it was important to carry out this work “to have someone who can pick up the phone at any time to speak directly to the Prime Minister or to speak directly to me.” »
“Someone who has that personal connection and a personal connection built over time,” she added.
The former McKinsey boss said he simply wanted to “serve his country” and that it was the “greatest honor” of his life to be able to do this job.
The NDP’s motion to expand the investigation is to be debated on Monday. The Liberals who sit on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates came out in favor on Wednesday. The Bloc Québécois does not intend to support it. The Conservatives have yet to make their position known.