PM Justin Trudeau welcomes ethics probe into SNC-Lavalin case

Gladys Abbott
February 12, 2019

OTTAWA-Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is quitting the federal cabinet.

Monday, he said in Vancouver that he'd told Wilson-Raybould that any decision on the subject was hers alone.

The Globe reported that the Prime Minister's Office tried to influence Wilson-Raybould to ask prosecutors to make a deal to pursue a remediation agreement rather than a criminal prosecution in the corruption and fraud case against the Quebec-based engineering and construction company.

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"We welcome the ethics commissioners investigation this is an issue that has been much talked about over the past few days, and i think its extremely important that Canadians can continue to have confidence in our system", said the Prime Minister.

Trudeau denies the allegations, claiming "Neither the current nor the previous attorney general was ever directed by me or anyone in my office to take a decision in this matter".

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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.

"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". Wilson-Raybould moved to Veterans Affairs.

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.

During a tour of the Conrad rental housing development in Vancouver, Justin Trudeau addressed the political interference allegations surrounding the Prime Minister's Office and SNC-Lavalin.

The second case investigation, completed in September 2018, found that Trudeau's close ally and then fisheries minister Dominic LeBlanc broke ethics rules when he approved a lucrative Arctic surf clam licence to a company linked to a family member.

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