Canada minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns amid SNC-Lavalin affair
12 February, 2019, 22:13 | Author: Mary Valdez
The political scandal erupted after The Globe and Mail released an incriminating report that suggested that members from the PMO tried to pressure former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould into interfering in a criminal prosecution against the Montreal construction and engineering giant.
"I have met with minister Wilson-Raybould a couple of times already since arriving in BC yesterday".
In a letter published on her website Tuesday (screenshot below), 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".
"I think it's time for Justin Trudeau to stop speaking for Jody Wilson-Raybould and let her speak for herself", Scheer told a news conference in Fredericton, N.B.
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On Monday, ethics commissioner Mario Dion announced that he has launched an examination of the allegation, saying he has "reason to believe" there may have been a possible violation of Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act.
Trudeau has denied the allegations which first came to light in a Globe and Mail newspaper article last week. On Monday, he said in Vancouver that he'd told Wilson-Raybould that any decision on the subject was hers alone.
"We spoke about our shared goals for our country and for this government", he said, adding that her "presence in cabinet should actually speak for itself". "Nobody has attempted to influence me", he wrote.
Last month Trudeau moved Wilson-Raybould out of the justice and attorney general portfolios and into veterans affairs, which many consider a demotion.
To date, Wilson-Raybould has said little about the allegations, citing solicitor-client privilege. The list also includes David Lametti, who replaced Wilson-Raybould as attorney general in a January cabinet shuffle, the prime minister's chief of staff, Katie Telford, and his principal secretary, Gerald Butts.
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.
On Wednesday, the House justice committee will meet to review a request from the opposition parties that the committee investigate the allegations.
In 2017, Trudeau apologized after the office of the ethics commissioner said he had broken conflict-of-interest laws by accepting a vacation on a Bahamas island owned by the Aga Khan.
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