Well, That SNC-Lavalin Controversy Escalated Quickly (Podcast)

Well, That SNC-Lavalin Controversy Escalated Quickly (Podcast)

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. A conviction would bar the company from bidding on Canadian government business, potentially devastating it.

October 9, 2018 - Federal prosecutors refuse to offer SNC-Lavalin a remediation agreement, a decision the company challenges in court.

Some have alleged that Raybould-Wilson was shuffled out of her more prominent position into the less-prominent veterans affairs portfolio because she pushed back.

January 14, 2019 - Trudeau shuffles his cabinet after the resignation of treasury board president Scott Brison. David Lametti, a Montreal MP who was formerly a law professor, becomes justice minister.

In a statement, Butts denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the office improperly pressured Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal case on corruption and bribery charges related to government contracts in Libya. Trudeau denies any impropriety.

Wilson-Raybould has declined to speak, citing solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality.

February 11 - Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion says he's beginning an investigation.

He says Wilson-Raybould should have come to him with any concerns she might have had about the matter.

The heartwarming activity stood in sharp contrast to the political firestorm sparked by her resignation as veterans affairs minister earlier this week. Her continued presence in his cabinet speaks for itself, he says. Which is why Jody Wilson-Raybould asked me if I was directing her, or going to direct her, to take a particular decision and I, of course, said no, that it was her decision to make and I expected her to make it.

The Montreal Liberal MP and chair of the House of Commons justice committee made a number of media appearances recently, including on his hometown station CJAD 800.

Nevertheless, Butts says the allegation is distracting from the "vital work" Trudeau is doing so it's in the best interests of the Prime Minister's Office for him to step aside. Liberals use their majority to call one closed-door meeting and hear from senior officials (Lametti as justice minister, the top bureaucrat in his department, and the clerk of the Privy Council) who can talk about the tension between the minister of justice's duties as a politician and his or her responsibilities as attorney general of Canada. His Liberals, whose fortunes he revived after they were reduced to third-party status by the Conservatives under Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have a long track record of questionable back-room ties to corporate Canada.

One of the key architects of Trudeau's 2015 electoral win and his longtime friend, Gerry Butts said he resigned as the prime minister's principle secretary to avoid distractions for the government facing another tough ballot fight in eight months.

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