Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Trudeau says fears of job losses drove SNC-Lavalin talks

Then-justice minister Jody Wilson Raybould on Parliament Hill Monday Then-justice minister Jody Wilson Raybould on Parliament Hill Monday
Sandra Phillips | 18 February, 2019, 21:02

Former cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould spent February 14 delivering valentines to veterans.

MaryAnn Mihychuk, who served with Wilson-Raybould in cabinet until January 2017, said neither Trudeau nor his staff ever pressured her when she was minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Trudeau also reportedly said that there were many discussions going on about SNC-Lavalin and that Wilson-Raybould asked him if he would be directing her to take a particular decision.

Trudeau's remarks come after a Globe and Mail report came out last week alleging officials in the Prime Minister's Office had tried to pressure Wilson-Raybould to get public prosecutors to cut a deal with SNC-Lavalin to help the Montreal engineering giant avoid a criminal trial.

Randy Hoback put out a press release to media late Friday afternoon calling on Trudeau to waive solicitor-client privilege, and for the Liberals on the Justice Committee to stop blocking the Conservatives' attempts to call Wilson-Raybould, Trudeau's principal secretary Gerald Butts and his senior Quebec advisor Mathiew Bouchard to testify at committee.

"There are always a wide range of factors that go into making that decision", he said.

During the political firestorm that followed the report, Wilson-Raybould refused to comment on the case, saying she was still bound by solicitor-client privilege.

She was, at the time, both minister of justice and attorney general and had final say on remediation agreements.

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In the third, Monfils broke for 2-1, taking control of his opponent's mighty backhand. Three-time major victor Wawrinka said he hopes to build on his run this week.

"I, of course, said no, that it was her decision to make and I expected her to make it", Trudeau told reporters.

Instead, he hit back, with a combative news conference where he all but called Wilson-Raybould a liar.

Trudeau also slammed anonymous Liberals who made unflattering remarks about Wilson-Raybould by suggesting she was hard to work with and didn't seem to be a team player.

Trudeau said the conversations were appropriate given the economic effects of a conviction for a company that employs thousands of people at home and overseas. He once again gave his evolving side of the story, claiming she had been "inconsistent" with him all while condescendingly referring to the former attorney general as "Jody" while calling her male colleagues by their last names and titles.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that recently resigned cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould would not have been moved from her former position as attorney general and justice minister if former Treasury Board President Scott Brison's resignation didn't trigger a cabinet shuffle.

Wilson-Raybould who is a former Crown attorney, and Assembly of First Nations regional chief for B.C., has retained the legal counsel of Thomas Cromwell.

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