Dr. Eric Hoskins, head of a Liberal advisory council on pharmacare, denied he was being used as a human shield Wednesday to deflect attention away from the SNC-Lavalin affair when he released an interim report Wednesday a mere eight pages long.
Flanked by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor at a Toronto press conference, Hoskins said he wasn’t being used as a distraction to the situation unfolding on Parliament Hill, where Gerald Butts, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was preparing to appear before the House of Commons justice committee about allegations that he inappropriately pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to prevent SNC-Lavalin from being prosecuted in a bribery case.
Hoskins said his panel was mandated to release an interim report and that Wednesday’s release had been weeks in the making.
“Quite some time ago, a number of weeks ago, if not more than a month, we set out a path (that we) would arrive here on this day,” Hoskins told reporters.
“There are other things happening today, but it was always the intention for the three of us to meet.”