PM Justin Trudeau welcomes ethics probe into SNC-Lavalin case

12 February, 2019, 22:10 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday

"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".

Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould quit on Tuesday amid news reports that she was pressured to go easy on a major firm past year when she was justice minister, a development that deepened a political crisis for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just months ahead of an election.

"In our system of government, of course, her presence in cabinet should actually speak for itself", he said following a housing announcement - one that Wilson-Raybould didn't attend, unlike a handful of fellow Liberals from the city.

Trudeau also appeared to use the media availability to attempt to quell rumours of a rift between him and Wilson-Raybould, repeatedly referring to her as "Jody" and saying they've met twice since he arrived in B.C. on Sunday. A few months after that decision, she was moved from the attorney general's office to become the new minister of veterans affairs.

It's highly likely that the issue was discussed by the prime minister and senior cabinet members, but that's not unusual given the possible ramifications if SNC-Lavalin has the book thrown at it for influence peddling and bribery on foreign soil.

The federal ethics commissioner is investigating the allegations.

Jody Wilson-Raybould gave no reasons for her surprise decision to step down from the veterans affairs portfolio.

However, Wilson-Raybould was not in attendance at the event, despite representing a neighbouring riding.

Baby rescued from stormwater drain doing well in hospital
She was subsequently airlifted to Albert Luthuli Central Hospital to be treated and then taken to another unnamed facility. Cllr De Boer said some residents told her that they heard the baby crying as early as 1am and thought it was cats mating .

Notwithstanding the ethics commissioner's probe, Scheer said the House of Commons justice committee also needs to launch an investigation.

"I'm the attorney general", he said.

Singh said Trudeau is talking about his conversations with Wilson-Raybould and should waive privilege so that she, too, "can talk about what really happened".

Government officials have confirmed that Wilson-Raybould was involved in intensive internal discussions last fall about whether to instruct the director of public prosecutions to drop her insistence on a trial and negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin.

Liberal MP Wayne Long is supporting those calls, writing in a statement that he is "extremely troubled" and "deeply unsettled" by the Globe's report.

Lametti, meanwhile, faced a fresh round of questions about the simmering political controversy after speaking to a Canadian Bar Association meeting Monday. That would be interference. "I only wish that I could have served you longer", she writes.

- With files from Jim Bronskill, Laura Kane in Vancouver and Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.



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