MP’s emergency debate follows devastating testimony from Wilson-Raybould

Saul Bowman
March 3, 2019

"I strongly maintain, as I have from the beginning, that I and my staff always acted appropriately and professionally", Trudeau told a televised news conference in Montreal.

Normally, the attorney general is required to resign, but Martin says he is sympathetic to the fact that Wilson-Raybould said she thought her successor would simply follow the orders she was resisting.

Wilson-Raybould reiterated her intention to remain part of the Liberal team as she exited the committee room, even though she refused during questioning to say whether she still had confidence in the leader of that team.

SNC-Lavalin is facing charges of corruption and fraud in connection with work it sought in Libya.

If convicted criminally, the company would be banned from receiving any federal government business for a decade.

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer also said police should investigate and called Trudeau a disgraced prime minister. He also called for a federal investigation into the possibility that government officials obstructed justice. Michael Wernick, the top civil servant in the government, has also said that no inappropriate pressure was put on Wilson-Raybould.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening, he said he was anxious about jobs at SNC Lavalin and how pensioners would be affected.

Ms Wilson-Raybould said she made clear she was not prepared to help the company avoid a trial, which is now pending.

And she said she believes that she was shuffled out of justice to another portfolio in January over her refusal to take action in the case. In response, I explained to him the law...

It has been a long time in politics since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the general election in 2015, surfing into office on a wave of optimism. But the Trudeau government's "clumsy and dubious manoeuvres" now risked making a solution for the company politically untenable.

Trudeau stressed on Thursday that his main concern was to protect jobs, not his political future or that of his party. Trudeau said he hadn't reviewed her entire testimony and needed to see that before he made any decision on her membership.

Speaking at an event south of Montreal, Trudeau said he was satisfied to have this looked into by the Ethics Commissioner's Office.

"The degree of pressure, what she described as veiled threats, they were pretty thuggish".

The Canadian PressJody Wilson-Raybould appears at the House of Commons Justice Committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Only weeks later, Trudeau's chief adviser, and one of his closest confidants, Gerald Butts resigned abruptly from his position as principal secretary in the PMO.

Wilson-Raybould testified that she withstood four months of attempts to get her to reverse a decision not to make a plea-bargain-type deal with the company. He said he was quitting to avoid distracting from the government's agenda and suggested he wanted to be free to defend himself.

But the most egregious pressure came the following day, on December 19, when Wilson-Raybould said she received what she deemed to be three "veiled threats" that she could lose her job from the clerk of the Privy Council, Wernick.

In the past, SNC-Lavalin has had a hand in several other projects in B.C., including the Evergreen Line and rehabilitation of the runway at the Kelowna International Airport.

While the progressive, self-confessed feminist Prime Minister immediately became one of the internet's favourite world leaders, scandals and missteps have taken the shine off him at home.

"In my 10 years as an MP, I've never seen anything like this to this extent", said the Port Moody-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly in a call with The Tri-City News.

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