LILLEY: Will Wilson-Raybould be allowed to speak 'my truth?'

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Liberals say they are concerned about how Trudeau's team is dealing with the fallout of a newspaper report that officials from his office put pressure on then justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould previous year to ensure construction firm SNC-Lavalin avoided a corruption and bribery trial.

"As I think people can appreciate or should appreciate, the rules and laws around privilege, around confidentiality, around my responsibility as a member of Parliament, my ethical and professional responsibilities as a lawyer are layered and incredibly complicated", Ms. Wilson-Raybould told reporters.

But two Liberals - Toronto MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and New Brunswick MP Wayne Long - joined all the opposition parties in supporting the motion.

Citing solicitor-client privilege, Wilson-Raybould refuses to speak about dealings she had on the case when she was attorney general. That seems to me to be a red herring - if there is a suggestion that Butts (or anyone else) pressured her to make a decision, there would be no privilege extended to him and she could talk freely. The move has been seen as a protest of the way Trudeau has treated her but she herself has said nothing about her reasons. And in so doing she created yet more problems for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The poll was conducted after Wilson-Raybould resigned from the cabinet but mostly before Butts quit the Prime Minister's Office on February 18. "They were absolutely unacceptable and I should have done it sooner".

The newspaper reported she was pressured to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution on bribery and corruption charges related to government contracts in Libya.

February 13 - The House of Commons justice committee debates its own probe of the issue.

Court documents show the Director of Public Prosecutions told the engineering and construction giant last September 4 about its decision not to proceed with negotiations towards a remediation agreement to help SNC-Lavalin avoid bribery and fraud charges.

She maintains she still needs to clarify what she can and cannot say, given the restrictions imposed by solicitor-client privilege covering her former position as the country's attorney general, but she has agreed to appear before the justice committee. He also wanted to know whether it was Trudeau or Wilson-Raybould who initiated that meeting. SNC-Lavalin says the charges are without merit and stem from "alleged reprehensible deeds by former employees who left the company long ago".

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Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould will be called to testify at the House of Commons justice committee examining the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

"We have a number of things going on".

Scheer shot back: "It is so telling that the prime minister can not even answer this kind of simple question".

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus, who sponsored the motion for a public inquiry, said nothing less will satisfy Canadians.

As Conservative Michael Chong pointed out, committees have all the powers of a court to compel witnesses, exploding the contention by a Liberal justice committee chair, Anthony Housefather, last week that a parliamentary committee was not the right place to investigate the SNC case.

"The way in which this story has unfolded - with nearly daily changes to the Prime Minister's version of events, with high-profile resignations, with anonymously sourced smear campaigns, and with co-ordinated cover-up manoeuvring - suggests this is not an ordinary political scandal", Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said in the Commons.

"The coverup continues", said Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus after the closed-door committee meeting.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canada can not claim to be a country based on the rule of law if the Prime Minister's Office is dictating the course of justice.

"There is a huge difference between promising to air out the dirty laundry and presenting a plan that is so full of holes that it allows Gerry Butts and the rest of the people involved to walk away without coming clean", Angus said.

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