Top advisor to Canada PM Trudeau resigns amid controversy

19 Février, 2019, 00:15 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

That pressure was said to have come a year ago when Wilson-Raybould was justice minister and attorney general.

Singh, who's campaigning in Burnaby, B.C., for a byelection next Monday, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government appears to be acting on behalf of its "friends" in this situation. Lawyers dispute claim solicitor-client privilege bars ex-AG comment on alleged PMO "pressure' in SNC-Lavalin case Some legal experts dispute the assertion that solicitor-client privilege bars Jody Wilson-Raybould from making any comment on The Globe and Mail's explosive but unproven allegation that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) "pressed" the then-attorney general last fall to nix the bribery prosecution of SNC-Lavalin in favour of a remediation agreement enabling the Montreal-based construction giant to remain eligible for lucrative federal government contracts".

It also says opposition MPs worked together to come up with a witness list to get to the bottom of the affair at the Justice Committee, including Jody Wilson-Raybould, the prime minister's principal secretary Gerald Butts and his senior Quebec adviser Mathieu Bouchard.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, fifth from left, and Governor General David Johnston, centre, pose for a group photo with the new Liberal cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015.

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".

He says Wilson-Raybould should have come to him with any concerns she might have had about the matter. She had been demoted from justice minister last month and was furious, releasing a 2,000 worth statement after that.

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.

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The meeting has become a key incident in the controversy over allegations that Wilson-Raybould was subjected to political arm-twisting to help the company avoid criminal prosecution.

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

SNC-Lavalin employs about 9,000 people at its Montreal office. The prime minister acknowledged cabinet held talks about the case, but said he didn't express a preferred outcome to Wilson-Raybould.

The Globe reported that the PMO pressured Wilson-Raybould to intervene after the Public Prosecution Service of Canada announced criteria for a remediation agreement was not met and would not be offered to the company.

Trudeau issued a brief statement on Twitter.

Trudeau, who faces a re-election bid in October, accepted Butts' resignation and said he had served the country with "integrity, sage advice and devotion".

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