Trudeau says fears of job losses drove SNC-Lavalin talks

19 February, 2019, 06:10 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Then-justice minister Jody Wilson Raybould on Parliament Hill Monday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that if former Treasury Board president Scott Brison had not left his position in December, Jody Wilson-Raybould would not have been shuffled to veterans affairs. It is facing trial for an alleged $48 million in bribes and $130 million in fraud from its dealing in Lybia from 2001 to 2011.

"Gerald Butts has been the entire brain power behind Justin Trudeau and it was all of his brain power and authority that directed Justin to win the last election and over the last several years as prime minister".

Butts issued a statement denying that anyone in Trudeau's office pressured then Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.

In her resignation letter, she said she has retained the services of lawyer Thomas Cromwell, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, to advise her on "topics that I am legally permitted to discuss on this matter".

The unusual call to Liberal MPs came as Trudeau's government scrambled to deal with the aftershocks of Wilson-Raybould's abrupt resignation Tuesday as Veterans Affairs minister.

Butts says he's served Trudeau "to the best of my abilities and I have at all times given the prime minister free and unfettered advice".

Trudeau was peppered over and over with questions about what happened with Wilson-Raybould, including why she was demoted and why she resigned.

February 15 - Trudeau says in Ottawa that Wilson-Raybould asked him in September whether he would direct her one way or another on the SNC-Lavalin question; he says he told her he would not.

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And she did all that without speaking French.

Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said the Butts resignation is "big and simply feeds the story that Butts pressured Wilson-Raybould".

Trudeau will be in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata to announce $40 million of federal money for BlackBerry, the one-time smartphone leader that is now working on software to enable self-driving cars. "What appears even more shocking, however, is that it seems the Prime Minister fired his Attorney General for refusing to bow to his demands".

"What's clear after the Justice Committee meeting, is that the Liberals have no interest in finding the truth and are only interested in helping the Prime Minister cover this up", said Motz. "Canadians deserve answers, and that's why Conservatives will explore all legal options to hold Justin Trudeau to account".

We know that there were discussions, the Liberals have not denied that, the PM has not denied that.

The New Democrats will is also asking Trudeau to allow Wilson-Raybould to be able to speak about the issue.

"Wilson Raybould is a person of extraordinary principle, leadership and belief in progressive politics of support for all people. I don't understand how the Liberals think this is going to work", he said.

A government official says the federal money, to come from the Strategic Innovation Fund, will go towards software development and skills training for workers.

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