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Ex-senior Trudeau advisor expected to testify Friday in military misconduct probe

Click to play video: 'Conservatives slam shutting down committee probe on military misconduct, MP calls Bloc complicit' Conservatives slam shutting down committee probe on military misconduct, MP calls Bloc complicit
On Thursday, Conservative MPs John Brassard and Gérard Deltell criticized the recently passed motion by the Liberals and Bloc Québécois (BQ) to end the probe by the standing committee on national defence – Apr 15, 2021

A former senior advisor to the prime minister is expected to testify on Friday as part of a defence committee probe into who knew what when about sexual misconduct allegations against Gen. Jonathan Vance.

According to previous witness testimony before the House of Commons defence committee, Elder Marques was informed in March 2018 by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan‘s then-chief of staff that an allegation had been made regarding Vance.
Witnesses have testified that Marques, a senior advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the time, was involved in asking for a probe by bureaucrats at the Privy Council Office.
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That probe was subsequently abandoned.

Global News has viewed a notice circulated internally by the House of Commons defence committee that states Marques “has agreed to appear” on Friday afternoon at the committee.

The Canadian Press first reported on the notice on Wednesday.

Read more: Sajjan doubles down in heated testimony over his handling of 2018 Vance allegation

Trudeau has said he was not personally aware of the allegation against Vance.

But the fact the allegation was shared with a senior staffer in the Prime Minister’s Office and apparently never shared with Trudeau himself has led to questions over whether Marques informed anyone else in the office, and whether staff failed to do their jobs and inform Trudeau of the allegation.

It remains unclear whether the government will attempt to instruct Marques not to appear, which it previously did when the committee requested Sajjan’s former chief of staff Zita Astravas as well as when other committees requested staffers involved in the WE Charity scandal.

Liberal MPs on the defence committee have also recently filibustered discussions on witnesses, causing several to be repeatedly delayed and ultimately passing a motion last week to shut down the committee’s probe into high-level military misconduct allegations first brought to light by Global News.

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