Monday, September 30, 2013

Canadian diplomat offended by Imbert's personal attacks

Canadian HC Gerard Latulippe - CBC photo
Canadian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Gerard Latulippe told the Express newspaper Sunday he is deeply offended by statements made about him in Parliament by Opposition MP Colm Imbert.

Imbert spoke about the diplomat last Friday when he moved a motion in Parliament calling on the Government to terminate all contractual arrangements with the Canadian construction firm SNC-Lavalin. 

During his contribution to the debate Imbert stated that Latulippe resigned as Solicitor General for the French-Canadian province of Quebec in 1987 because of "allegations of conflict of interest and improper practices".

Latulippe told the Express, "Mr Imbert’s Google-based speech in an irresponsible manner tarnished me personally, and my reputation as representative to Canada."

Latulippe spoke with the Express at his home in Maraval.

"I never resigned for conflict of interest; never for a breach of integrity, but rather because of my integrity," the High Commissioner told the paper.

"I resigned as minister for an appearance of conflict of interest. I wanted the democratic institutions to be completely free to do work and investigate whether the contracts were given according to the law. I did not want it to be seen that as minister I could have intervened. The facts presented (by Imbert) are not accurate, not complete,” Latulippe told the paper.

He explained to the Express that following his resignation a parliamentary committee was appointed to investigate the matter of contracts awarded to Latulippe's law firm. He said the committee found every contract was granted correctly and according to rules.

The Express said Latulippe described the experience as one of the worst of his life. He said he left politics after that.

He added "What I see today is a precedent that a diplomat doing his work as a representative of a country for the reason of doing his work and duty is personally attacked for reasons related to internal politics. 

"I have been all my life in public space...what matters to me is to support and enhance if possible the strong relationship between this country and Canada,” he said.

He acknowledged that he had invited Imbert for a meeting to explain the findings about SNC-Lavalin by the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).

“He refused. I was surprised; I believe in a democracy it is important for both the government and Opposition to have an understanding of all the angles. If he had accepted he could have also asked by about what he found on Google,” Latulippe told the paper.

“Freedom of expression even under parliamentary immunity bears responsibility and respect for human rights,” Latulippe added.

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai