Scheer: Trudeau should resign over SNC-Lavalin affair

Scheer: Trudeau should resign over SNC-Lavalin affair

Scheer: Trudeau should resign over SNC-Lavalin affair

"My team and I have always acted in a professional manner", Trudeau told reporters Thursday morning, rejecting suggestions he or his staff overstepped in their numerous conversations with Wilson-Raybould about their view that an engineering company facing bribery and fraud charges should not be prosecuted.

"Justin Trudeau can not continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he's done", Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters after Wilson-Raybould's testimony. The ordeal dredges up ghosts of the party's past, which is marked by hand-in-glove ties with corporate Canada - particularly in Quebec.

She didn't speak directly to Trudeau about SNC-Lavalin again until January 7, when he informed her he was about to move her out of the justice portfolio and she told him she believed the move was the result of her refusal to intervene in the prosecution.

SNC-Lavalin has said it had sought to avoid a trial because the executives accused of wrongdoing had left the company and it had overhauled its ethics and compliance systems. A guilty verdict on corruption for SNC-Lavalin would mean the massive engineering-construction firm would be barred from bidding on federal procurement contracts for 10 years.

Trudeau has said there were vigorous discussions within government about the case but that he repeatedly assured Wilson-Raybould that a decision on intervening to halt the prosecution was hers alone. She spoke to lawmakers only after Trudeau waived privilege to allow her to do so, and believes she wasn't even legally able to intervene. "Of course I support the prime minister 100 percent".

Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet several days after allegations against the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) emerged, and little more than a month after she was shuffled from the justice office to veterans affairs. So did Gerald Butts, the government's principal secretary and a close college friend of Trudeau who is widely credited as being the architect of his electoral victory in 2015.

How did Trudeau defend himself?

"At that point the Prime Minister jumped in stressing that there is an election in Quebec and that quote I am an MP in Quebec, the member for Papineau, endquote".

She added that Mr Michael Wernick, the clerk of the privy council, also warned her that the company "will likely be moving to London" without an intervention.

One top official said there was no talk for now of a leadership challenge.

She met Butts in December in Ottawa, and was already frustrated by what she called "the barrage of people hounding me and my staff".

"I suspect ... they are now working overtime to try to come up with some sort of evidence that would corroborate an alternative narrative", she told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

Morneau's comments came hours after Trudeau told reporters, again, that Wilson-Raybould's continued membership in the Liberal caucus was under consideration. She said Prince told her Telford said: "We don't want to debate legalities anymore".

"My role is and continues to be to think about how we protect Canadian jobs, how we make sure the economy is strong, so I will continue to do that", he said.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also said that today's revelations give more reason for there to be a public inquiry into the matter.

In a speech to the Empire Club of Canada, Wilson-Raybould's successor as justice minister and attorney general, David Lametti, said her testimony was an extraordinary symbol of transparency in the government.

Citing her chief of staff's account of the exchange, Wilson-Raybould quoted Butts as saying: "There is no solution here that does not involve some interference". She resigned the next day.

Now, people are calling on him to resign.

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