Wilson-Raybould testimony sparks calls for further investigation

Jody Wilson-Raybould

Opposition leader calls for Trudeau to resign amid corruption scandal

Justin Trudeau has steadfastly denied any direct involvement. She, Lariviere, McKay, Daniels and other future leaders will be watching closely to see what steps Wilson-Raybould takes next.

Federal conservative leader Andrew Scheer spoke to the House of Commons following Wilson-Raybould's testimony, saying Trudeau has lost the moral authority to govern.

MPs are in the thick of an emergency debate on the SNC Lavalin scandal.

The prime minister said that his government "always acted appropriately and professionally" on the SNC-Lavalin file. The company's stock plunged the most in six years October 10 when it revealed that the Public Prosecution Service of Canada ruled out a negotiated settlement that would have staved off a trial.

If convicted criminally, the company would be banned from receiving any federal government business for a decade.

It was clear from the first line of Jody Wilson-Raybould's testimony: the Trudeau government is now officially in crisis, the jobs of several of its top officials hanging by a thread.

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She told the committee she was "hounded" to end the prosecution for months after the director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, had rejected the idea of negotiating a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin and long after she had unequivocally declared that she would not direct Roussel to reverse her decision.

At the time that Wilson-Raybould says she was being pressured to cut a deal, Quebec was also in the middle of a heated provincial election that eventually led to the ousting of Quebec Liberal premier Philippe Couillard.

For his part, Singh said Wilson-Raybould's testimony painted a picture of a prime minister and other members of government who were willing to disregard the rule of law and were more interested in helping powerful friends than average Canadians.

Wilson-Raybould's chief of staff, Jessica Prince, was eventually summoned to an urgent December 18 meeting with Trudeau's chief of staff, Katie Telford, and his principal secretary, Gerald Butts.

One of the meetings was with Trudeau himself, in September.

The questions that need to be asked are what is the prime minister hiding and what is he afraid of? "I therefore completely disagree with the former attorney general's characterization of events".

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"The prime minister again cited the potential loss of jobs and SNC moving", while also stressing that he represents an electoral district in Quebec.

Trudeau also participated in this "sustained effort", according to Wilson-Raybould, and at one point he directly implied that Wilson-Raybould should consider the party's political fortunes in Quebec. You are told growing up that these systems, and the people within them, are here to protect you and that you should aspire to be them, and then you realize they can be so badly broken. She pushed back. "I raised how I needed everybody to stop talking to me about SNC, as I had made up my mind and that the engagements were inappropriate". While Trudeau gave a very favourable view of that discussion in an appearance before the media, he had blocked her from talking about these very same conversations and more. The decision around SNC-Lavalin was Ms. Wilson-Rabyould's and hers alone.

"As we said before, we are constantly looking at - [and] our priority is - maintaining and looking after shareholder value".

Mr Trudeau's Liberals have struggled to contain the controversy over the past three weeks.

The NDP and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May called for an independent public inquiry into the affair and demanded that Trudeau fire Wernick.

Mr Butts, who quit earlier this month while proclaiming his innocence, asked on Thursday to speak to the justice committee to address Ms Wilson-Raybould's remarks.

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