Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Lavalin: Federal minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns amid allegations

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday Canadian Press Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday
Priscilla Morrison | 12 February, 2019, 19:53

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he welcomed an investigation by Canada's ethics commissioner into allegations officials in his office had tried to pressure then-attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould past year to get public prosecutors to cut a deal with SNC-Lavalin to avoid a criminal trial.

In a letter published on her website Tuesday, Wilson-Raybould says she has hired former Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell to tell her what she can say about "matters that have been in the media over the last week".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said he welcomed an investigation by Canada's ethics commissioner into allegations his office interfered in the criminal case against SNC-Lavalin, the latest twist in the weeks-old scandal that has rocked the Liberal government.

To date, Wilson-Raybould has said little about the allegations, citing solicitor-client privilege.

Since then, Trudeau has denied he did any such thing.

Wilson-Raybould said she intends to stay on as the MP for Vancouver-Granville and thanked her constituents, staff, and officials for their support, saying she was stepping down "with a heavy heart". "Nobody has attempted to influence me", he wrote.

"We urge Mr. Trudeau's team to stop trying to discredit Ms. Wilson-Raybould and to commit to fully cooperate with the Ethic Commissioner's investigation".

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On Wednesday, the House justice committee will meet to review a request from the opposition parties that the committee investigate the allegations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds Jack Golden, six-months-old, while campaigning with Richard T. Lee, the Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South byelection, at a cafe in Burnaby, British Columbia, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

For the details of Trudeau's involvement in tampering with the SNC-Lavalin case, however, all Scheer has to go on is an anonymously-sourced report in the Globe and Mail.

"The issue of solicitor-client privilege is not a simple one so I have asked our attorney general to provide me with advice on this matter", he said.

On Sunday, Lametti told CTV's Question Period it's still possible he could direct the prosecution service to make a deal with SNC-Lavalin that would avoid a criminal trial.

Trudeau moved Wilson-Raybould to the veterans affairs portfolio in January.

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