Friday, 15 February, 2019

Ethics commissioner launches investigation into political interference allegations in SNC-Lavalin case

Ethics commissioner to probe Prime Minister's Office over SNC-Lavalin scandal Trudeau government faces ethics probe over SNC-Lavalin fraud case
Nellie Chapman | 12 February, 2019, 19:53

She also says that she has retained former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her on this front.

When Wilson-Raybould refused to ask federal prosecutors to make the non-prosecution deal with SNC-Lavalin in December, according to the Globe and Mail, Trudeau essentially fired her, leaving her to wash up at Veterans Affairs, a significant demotion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he welcomed an investigation by Canada's ethics commissioner into allegations officials in his office had tried to pressure then-attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould previous year to get public prosecutors to cut a deal with SNC-Lavalin to avoid a criminal trial.

Jody Wilson-Raybould made her resignation letter public on February 12, 2019.

"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.

On Monday, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Mario Dion, agreed to a request from New Democrats to begin an investigation into the attempts by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his office to provide SNC-Lavalin with a reduced punishment stemming from serious corruption charges.

Wilson-Raybould will, however, be staying on as an MP in Vancouver-Granville.

The company was charged in 2015 with bribing Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011 in exchange for construction contracts.

The Conservatives issued a letter over the weekend urging Trudeau to waive that privilege so that Wilson-Raybould can clear the air on what they called "very troubling" allegations.

"I respect her view that due to privilege she can not comment or add on matters recently before the media", Trudeau said at the time.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds Jack Golden, six-months-old, while campaigning with Richard T. Lee, the Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South byelection, at a cafe in Burnaby, British Columbia, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

Federal opposition parties have jumped at the allegations of political interference and are pushing to have some of Mr Trudeau's top aides and a number of Liberal MPs appear before Parliament's justice committee.