Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Wilson-Raybould resigns from Trudeau cabinet in wake of SNC-Lavalin claims

Wilson-Raybould resigns from Trudeau cabinet in wake of SNC-Lavalin claims

The commissioner is limited from saying much else until the examination is complete, but the statement does confirm this is in regards to the allegations in the Globe and Mail that the PMO attempted to pressure the now-former justice minister to cut a deal with SNC-Lavalin in order to drop criminal charges against the company.

"We welcome the ethics commissioner's investigation", the prime minister said following an event in Vancouver, Wilson-Raybould's hometown.

SNC-Lavalin was charged with paying out $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials in the decade leading up to the NATO-led overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi's government in 2011, payments meant to influence government decision-making, though the company was also charged with defrauding Libyan companies of about $130 million.

Dion informed the NDP MPs who requested the investigation Monday that there is sufficient cause to proceed with an inquiry into the actions of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on this matter.

Her departure comes one day after Mr. Trudeau said Ms. Wilson-Raybould's continued membership in his cabinet as an indicator to Canadians that she is not unhappy with his government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said he welcomed an investigation by Canada's ethics commissioner into allegations his office interfered in the criminal case against SNC-Lavalin, the latest twist in the weeks-old scandal that has rocked the Liberal government.

Her move to Minister of Veterans Affairs has been widely characterized as a demotion.

It had hoped that it could come to a remediation agreement with prosecutors that would be an alternative to trial.

He also added that he had "full confidence" in Wilson-Raybould and appeared to suggest she would have resigned from cabinet if she felt any inappropriate pressure had been applied by officials. He did say there was nothing wrong with Wilson-Raybould being involved in internal discussions about whether to let SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

New Brunswick MP Wayne Long said in a statement posted to social media that he was "extremely troubled" when the allegation surfaced last week and nothing he has heard since has made him feel less unsettled.

"It is important to remember that while the attorney general sits at a certain distance from his cabinet colleagues, in Canada - unlike in other countries - he does not work in isolation from them, or the important experiences or considerations that those colleagues bring to the table".

Notwithstanding the ethics commissioner's probe, Scheer said the House of Commons justice committee also needs to launch an investigation.

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