Late night email reveals Senate squabbles over Bombardier loan – Politics

Independent Senator Frances Lankin accused a Conservative senator of playing “partisan games” over the Liberal government’s loan to aerospace giant Bombardier in an email sent to all members and employees of the Senate in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The tone of the email exchange reveals mounting tensions between Senate Independents and the opposition Conservatives as they spar over the legislative agenda and the government’s attempts to remove party politics from the Red Chamber.

Quebec Conservative Senator Leo Housakos emailed his Senate colleagues Friday evening pointing to a report in the Vancouver-based National Observer about a motion he introduced to have the Senate’s transport committee study the terms of the Trudeau government’s loan to Bombardier.

The government is providing $373 million in interest-free loans to the aerospace firm to support the Global 7000 business aircraft, which is scheduled to go into commercial service next year. The company ignited a political firestorm after it handed down multi-million dollar bonuses to executives after the loan was announced.

Housakos said the government’s point man in the Senate, Peter Harder, and his lieutenant, Deputy Government Representative Diane Bellemare, are trying to shield the government from a Senate inquiry.

 Senator Diane Bellemare

Independent Quebec Senator Diane Bellemare adjourned debate on Conservative Senator Leo Housakos’ motion to study the government’s loan to Bombardier. (Senate of Canada)

“If the Trudeau government won’t give Canadians the answers they deserve about the use of their tax dollars, then the Senate must. They’re trying basically to pull the wool over the eyes of the public,” Housakos is quoted as saying in the National Observer story.

“Really, Leo?” said Lankin in a reply sent at 12:28 a.m. Saturday that was cc’d to all senators, staff members, Senate administration, Parliamentary Protective Officers and even members of the cleaning staff and later shared…

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