Wilson-Raybould warns she still can't tell full SNC-Lavalin story

Adjust Comment Print

Ms Wilson-Raybould said: "Within the conversations, there were expressed statements regarding the necessity of interference in the SNC-Lavalin matter, the potential of consequences and veiled threats if a deferred prosecution agreement was not made available to SNC".

Trudeau's remarks also do not indicate whether the government will waive solicitor-client privilege, which Wilson-Raybould has claimed is blocking her from answering questions on the allegations of attempts by the Prime Minister's Office to get her to interfere in the SNC-Lavalin court case to help the firm avoid a criminal trial, which could lead to a ban on bidding for government contracts.

- A December 19 conversation Wernick had with Wilson-Raybould in which he told her Trudeau and other ministers were "quite anxious" about the potential impact of a criminal conviction on the financial viability of SNC-Lavalin and on innocent employees, shareholders, pensioners and third-party suppliers who would suffer as a result.

The order, which Trudeau says was not issued lightly, is outlined in an Orders in Council decision online.

Wilson-Raybould accepted the committee's invitation to testify but complained in a letter to the justice committee that the waiver does not release her to talk about any communications she had after she was named minister of veteran affairs or her resignation from the Cabinet.

His comments could also indicate the government has determined there are aspects of the matter that are not covered by solicitor-client privilege and which she should feel free to speak about, and more information is expected shortly.

Wilson-Raybould said that during a September 17 meeting with Trudeau and Michael Wernick, the government's top public servant, she was warned that if SNC-Lavalin is not given a remediation agreement-a type of plea bargain that would allow the company to avoid a criminal conviction-it would mean the loss of many jobs and SNC-Lavalin moving out of Montreal.

Jason Witten Comes Out Of Retirement, Returns To Cowboys
Witten , 36, missed one game during his career, appearing in 15 games during his 2003 rookie campaign. Jason Witten will be on " Monday Night Football " again this season - but not as an announcer.

Manuel Pellegrini doesn’t expect charmed life at Manchester City
"Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho were injured in the final and may miss Wednesday game, but again I do not expect City to be weaker".

US Criticizes Guaido for Failed Coup in Venezuela
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has arrived in Brasília for talks with Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Caracas is also on the itinerary for Juan Guaido , the Venezuelan opposition chief who declared himself president.

Given what he heard then and subsequent assurances from the country's top public servant that there was no undue pressure, Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said he's not expecting anything surprising or dramatic.

"On Sept. 17, Jody Wilson-Raybould told the prime minister and the clerk of the Privy Council in no uncertain terms she wasn't going to overrule her deputy on the matter", Raitt told CTV.

However, it keeps the myriad of questions swirling around the controversy in the spotlight and could force the government to explain its reasoning if members and Trudeau himself vote against the motion. Remediation agreements are a kind of plea bargain that would require the company to pay restitution but avoid the potentially crippling impact of a criminal conviction.

Wilson-Raybould was unexpectedly demoted in January and resigned from the Cabinet this month.

"I therefore completely disagree with (Wilson-Raybould's) characterization of events", he continued, brushing off a demand from Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer that he resign.

Gerald Butts, Trudeau's closet adviser, resigned last week but denied that he or anyone else pressured Wilson-Raybould. Trudeau and other officials insist there was no wrongdoing. Wernick was not present at that meeting and offered no details. Wernick said he was informing the minister of "context" surrounding her decision on the company but insisted it was not inappropriate pressure. The opposition Conservatives and New Democrats have sought testimony from Trudeau and several senior PMO staff believed to be central to the story, and called for a public inquiry, with no success.

So far, the Liberal majority on the justice committee has balked at calling staffers as witnesses, but it could reconsider after hearing from Wilson-Raybould.

Comments