Where do our MPs stand on the SNC-Lavalin fiasco?

PM Trudeau has been accused of pressuring former attorney general Wilson Raybould to reach an out-of-court settlement with an engineering firm facing bribery and corruption charges

Justin Trudeau regrets 'erosion of trust' over political scandal

"As prime minister. I should have been", Trudeau said.

Philpott's was the third resignation, so far, in the ongoing SNC-Lavalin affair that has shrouded the Prime Minister's Office in scandal.

According to testimony by his former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada's first indigenous woman to hold that position, she was pressured by the government to drop criminal proceedings against the influential Quebec-based SNC-Lavalin engineering company for allegedly bribing Gaddafi-era officials in Libya and allow it to settle out of court through a so-called "deferred prosecution agreement" that was added to the criminal code a year ago through the efforts of its lobbyists.

With these words, Treasury Board President, Jane Philpott resigned from Justin Trudeau's Cabinet this week.

"I have never raised partisan considerations" with former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, Trudeau told a press conference.

He admitted he had made mistakes in his handling of the matter and that "there are lessons to be learned from this situation".

Mr Trudeau said he tries to foster an environment where his lawmakers can come to him with concerns, but one of his Liberal party colleagues, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, took issue with that, tweeting, "I did come to you recently.

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They denied this to be the case", Wilson-Raybould said, as reported in the Globe and Mail.

Andrew Korybko is joined by Christopher C. Black, worldwide criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and global relations, and a commentator on global affairs.

The affair has prompted the resignation of two high-profile ministers and Trudeau's closest political aide.

Trudeau and his aides deny doing anything wrong, saying they were only pointing out that prosecution could endanger thousands of people's jobs because a conviction would make the company ineligible for government contracts.

Canada's Conservative leader Andrew Scheer says Justin Trudeau's cabinet should all quit from a government which is in "total chaos". On Friday, they renewed their calls for Trudeau to resign.

Ms Wilson-Raybould had the power to scrap the decision to go to trial and impose a fine but decided against it.

"We considered that she was still open to hearing different arguments and different approaches on what her decision could be", Mr Trudeau said.

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But it is not clear whether Trudeau will allow her to remain in the Liberal caucus, since he has repeatedly renounced her testimony.

"I am focused on the work that the prime minister has asked me to do, which is to improve the immigration system", he said.

The firm, which employs 9,000 people in Canada, is based in the province of Quebec, where Trudeau's Liberals need to pick up seats to win a federal election set for October The scandal has cast a shadow over Trudeau's domestic image of commitment to transparent government, potentially harming his electoral prospects.

Trudeau's inner circle is accused of pressuring his former attorney general to shield Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin from a bribery trial.

She said this continued after she made the decision not to offer SNC-Lavalin an agreement.

SNC had been lobbying for DPAs to be brought to Canada since 2015, just months after the company was charged by the RCMP with bribing a foreign public official (under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act) and fraud (under the Criminal Code of Canada) and a few months before the Trudeau government was elected.

"It's now beyond dispute that he and his office bullied and threatened Ms. Wilson-Raybould to get her to let SNC-Lavalin off the hook (and) when she resisted the attempts he fired her", Scheer added.

Canada’s Trudeau denies interfering in SNC-Lavalin case
Under a 2018 federal law, prosecutors may negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with corporate offenders. Trudeau was expected to strike a conciliatory tone but at times sounded defensive.

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