Trudeau denies Wilson-Raybould was ‘leaned on’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould attend a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is adamantly denying an explosive story today from the Globe and Mail, that reports senior PMO officials pressed former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to seek mediation instead of pressing criminal charges against high-profile Quebec engineering company, SNC-Lavalin.

Today in Toronto, Trudeau told reporters “the allegations in the Globe story this morning are false. Neither the current nor the previous attorney-general was directed by me or anyone in my office to take a decision in this matter.”

The Globe and Mail sources say Wilson-Raybould refused to ask prosecutors to strike a deal with the Quebec engineering company, months before she was shuffled from justice, to minister of Veteran’s Affairs.

The charges the company is facing were the result of an RCMP probe into SNC-Lavalin allegedly paying millions in bribes to Libyan public officials.

The offices of SNC-Lavalin are seen in Montreal in this file photo. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Reacting to the prime minister’s comments and the report, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer calls the allegations in the story “incredibly shocking,” and said Trudeau’s “carefully crafted” answers so far, fall short.

The Globe and Mail has reported sources speaking on the condition of anonymity, that Wilson-Raybould was leaned on to have federal prosecutors pursue the remediation agreement but she was unwilling.

The report also noted a number of registered meetings in which SNC-Lavalin lobbied high-level members of Trudeau’s office and parliamentarians on the topics of “justice” and “law enforcement.”

Jody Wilson-Raybould is the Kwakiutl Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville. Before entering federal politics, she was a Crown Prosecutor in British Columbia, a Treaty Commissioner and Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations.

In a lengthy statement about leaving the justice department, Wilson-Raybould wrote, “it is a pillar of our democracy that our system of justice be free from even the perception of political interference and uphold the highest levels of public confidence.”

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Splash is back as the host of Denendeh Sunrise, CKLB's morning current affairs program. Campbell was mentored by longtime host and Gwich'in entertainer William Greenland. Josh, as he's known professionally by folks across the broadcast industry has worked for CBC North, CKRW the Rush in Yukon, and at CJCD Mix 100. Before moving north for his love of radio and Indigenous culture in 2007, Campbell graduated from Loyalist College's Broadcast Journalism Program in Belleville, Ontario the traditional territory of the Tyendinaga Mohawks. Campbell is proud of his Scottish and Irish ancestry. He was born and raised along the Tobique River the home of the Wolastoqiyik, Tobique Maliseet Nation.

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