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5 things we learned from Wilson-Raybould at the justice committee

5 things we learned from Wilson-Raybould at the justice committee

Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she came under "consistent and sustained" pressure - including veiled threats - from the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council Office and the finance minister's office to halt a criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Days later, Wilson-Raybould's chief of staff was summoned into a meeting with Butts and Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford to discuss SNC-Lavalin.

"I'm not sure how that question is relevant", she said when asked by a Liberal colleague if she still has confidence in the prime minister. "I conveyed to her that a lot of her colleagues and the prime minister were quite anxious about what they were hearing and reading in the business press about the future of the company", Wernick told the committee. If a Clerk of the Privy Council can claim with a straight face that ten calls and meetings with the attorney general, during which massive job loss, an angry PM and a lost election are threatened, don't constitute interference, then what on earth would interference look like?

"Justin Trudeau can not continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he's done", Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters after Wilson-Raybould's testimony.

"I said to him I can't help but think that this has something to do with a decision I would not take", Wilson-Raybould testified.

"No, no, no, we just need to find a solution", she said was the prime minister's answer.

"I asked: 'Are you politically interfering with my role, my decision as the attorney general?"

February 15 - Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould asked him in September whether he would direct her one way or another on the SNC-Lavalin question.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday won the public support of a top political ally, indicating there is no immediate pressure inside his Liberal Party to oust him over a political scandal.

Mr Trudeau said that to his knowledge no member of his staff has been contacted by the RCMP.

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While the decision not to pursue a "remediation agreement" was made in September, Wilson-Raybould says attempts to talk her into an agreement were 'relentless'.

In the weeks since the allegations were first leveraged, Trudeau's principal secretary and advisor Gerald Butts resigned.

While talking to journalists in Montreal, Trudeau, who is the leader of the ruling Liberal Party of Canada, made it clear that he would not resign, despite demands from the opposition.

Conservative opponents have called for Mr Trudeau to resign in the wake of her explosive testimony.

"My staff, appropriately, would make her staff aware of the economic consequences of decisions, about the important of thinking about jobs", Morneau said Thursday.

And he said ethics commissioner Mario Dion can be trusted to settle disagreements over what happened.

In a speech to the Empire Club of Canada, Wilson-Raybould's successor as justice minister and attorney general, David Lametti, said her testimony was an extraordinary symbol of transparency in the government.

Speaking at a news conference following Wilson-Raybould's testimony, Trudeau said he "completely disagrees with the former attorney general's characterization of events" and maintained that his administration was only focused on jobs. Jagmeet Singh, leader of the opposition NDP, said there should be a public inquiry but stopped short of c alling for Trudeau to step down. Michael Wernick, the top civil servant in the government, has also said that no inappropriate pressure was put on Wilson-Raybould.

He said there were "many and broad conversations about the importance of defending jobs" across the country and there was "no doubt" those discussions didn't cross any legal lines.

As for Wilson-Raybould's future as a Liberal, Trudeau said he is still mulling over whether she will be allowed to remain in caucus or run for the party in this fall's federal election.


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