Ethics commissioner to probe Prime Minister's Office over SNC-Lavalin scandal

Jody Wilson-RaybouldAdrian Wyld  THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Liberal government should also support the work of the Justice Committee who will be looking into other questions such as, why was the law that would help SNC-Lavalin changed in the first place and who pressured the former Attorney General to let SNC-Lavalin off the hook", said NDP BC Liaison Nathan Cullen, "Canadians deserve answers.

The Globe story claims that Wilson-Raybould resisted pressure to intervene with the Public Prosecution Service's decision to proceed with a trial.

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.

The company was charged in 2015 with bribing Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011 in exchange for construction contracts.

"This is an issue that has been much talked about over the past few days and I think it's extremely important that Canadians can continue to have confidence in our system".

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

Since Thursday, Wilson-Raybould has refused to comment on the allegations, citing solicitor-client privilege.

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Regional authorities have also suspended several officials following the incident. Some 79 000 litres of tainted liquor were also seized in raids.

"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". "At no time did I or my office direct the current or previous attorney-general to make any particular decision in this matter", he said.

On Monday, Canada's independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner confirmed he has launched an examination following a request from two opposition New Democrat MPs.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is out of Justin Trudeau's cabinet.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called an emergency cabinet meeting for Tuesday morning, though ministers are in their ridings or fanned out across the country, so many will be teleconferencing in and not all together around the cabinet table in Ottawa.

Trudeau wouldn't commit to that on Monday, and instead told reporters he has asked his new attorney general, David Lametti, to review that option and report back.

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

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