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Friday, December 06, 2013
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Imbert provides evidence to support his statements
People’s National Movement (PNM) MP Colm Imbert has written to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran citing a negative World Bank Institute paper concerning Canadian High Commissioner Gerard Latulippe. Imbert did so yesterday after reading comments made by Dookeran which questioned the veracity of his statements.
The Opposition MP raised Latulippe’s political history in Parliament last week during a motion he piloted calling for the Government to halt the SNC-Lavalin contract for the Penal hospital. The Government has since announced that it has terminated its dealings with SNC-Lavalin.
Imbert also said he came under “Canadian pressure” to meet with the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Latulippe the day before the motion was presented. He also expressed concern that the meeting he was invited to by the High Commissioner included SNC-Lavalin officials. Communications Minister Gerald Hadeed, in a release, subsequently deemed Imbert’s claim in Parliament as “inaccurate.”
Dookeran on Tuesday also said Latulippe’s curriculum vitae had gone through the normal scrutiny process and was approved at all levels when he was proposed as high commissioner. Dookeran said he did not know about the issues Imbert had raised or their veracity. He said he’d spoken to the High Commissioner recently and the latter had expressed concern that his personal matters were raised in the Parliament and had added there was no truth to Imbert’s contentions.
However, Imbert in a letter to Dookeran yesterday, pointed to a paper from the World Bank Institute titled “The Media’s Role in Curbing Corruption” published by the World Bank Institute in 2000. Imbert stated, “If you go to Box 7, on Page 9, you will see a reference to the matter that I raised in Parliament with respect to the resignation of Mr Latulippe as Solicitor General of Quebec in 1987.”
He cited a passage he said was relevant, which reads: “Gerard Latulippe resigned from his cabinet post as solicitor general of the Canadian province of Quebec in 1987 three days after being confronted by two Montreal Gazette reporters about allegations of favoritism and conflict of interest.” Imbert also pointed Dookeran to a link from CBC News: www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/politics/inside-politics-blog/2010/02/everyone-love...
The link leads to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation blog on politics. The blog quotes a letter written by Michael Ignatieff, PC, former leader of the Opposition in the Canadian Parliament, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Lawrence Cannon, in February 2010. The Canadian government wanted to appoint Latulippe president of Rights and Democracy in Canada.
But Ignatieff said his Liberal Party was unable to support the appointment, explaining: “I believe he is not suitable for this role at this critical time for this particular organisation.”
Imbert noted, “The following extract is relevant: ‘There are many other issues regarding this candidate. The CV you provided includes as part of Mr Latulippe’s professional experience the following: ‘1985-1989 Solicitor General (Minister of Public Security) and Member of Parliament.’ This could be seen as an overstatement since we all recall that Mr Latulippe was forced to resign as Quebec’s Solicitor General in 1987 due to conflict of interest allegations.’”
Imbert added, “What I said in Parliament, therefore, has been publicly said by others and it is incorrect, therefore, for anyone to say ‘there was no veracity’ to my contentions.” Seeking correction of the record, Imbert told Dookeran, “Indeed, if what I said was not true, then both the World Bank and the former leader of the Opposition in Canada, among numerous other organisations and persons, are also guilty of misrepresenting the facts, which is hardly likely.”
There was no reply at Dookeran’s cellphone number yesterday. His secretary said he was out of office.
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