Trudeau Says Wilson-Raybould’s Move Due to Brison’s Resignation


Former B.C. premier Christy Clark says that if Jody Wilson-Raybould felt she was being inappropriately pressured by the Prime Minister's Office in the SNC-Lavalin case, it was her responsibility to report it and resign. "There were many discussions going on, which is why Jody Wilson-Raybould asked me if I was directing her, or going to direct her, to take a particular decision".

Wilson-Raybould has only said that she can not comment on the matter, since she is bound by solicitor-client privilege, since the allegations came to light.

If convicted, the company could be blocked from competing for federal government contracts for a decade.

Trudeau said the conversations were appropriate given the economic effects of a conviction for a company that employs thousands of people at home and overseas.

Government officials are likely to know where that line is, she added, because "these issues don't come up infrequently when statutory decision makers need to make a decision".

Multiple caucus sources told CBC News that Trudeau convened an extraordinary caucus meeting by telephone Tuesday evening to reassure them that nothing untoward had taken place in his office's interactions with Wilson-Raybould over the SNC-Lavalin case when she was justice minister.

"It's crystal clear that Justin Trudeau is attempting to cover-up the SNC-Lavalin Affair", he states in the release.

Wilson-Raybould is moved from Justice to Veterans Affairs, widely seen as a demotion.

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The opposition parties quickly rejected Trudeau's explanation.

"It's impossible to overstate his (Butts') commitment to Trudeau and his importance to this government and today's Liberal Party", said senior Liberal Scott Reid, who served as chief spokesman to former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin from 2003 to 2006.

Meantime, Singh, the NDP leader, has joined Green Leader Elizabeth May in calling for a public inquiry to get to the bottom of the scandal.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel tweeted that she wasn't sure "what is worse: the inanity of the statement itself, or the arrogance of thinking we're all stupid enough to buy that pile of garbage". Max St-Pierre tweeted: "It's ok, I usually blame my husband for everything too".

Monday, Trudeau suggested her continued presence in the cabinet meant nothing untoward had happened. What is in dispute is whether the discussion Trudeau and those in his office had with then-AG Wilson-Raybould were simply unethical or criminal. "It's imperative that Justin Trudeau waive solicitor-client privilege in this case so Ms. Wilson-Raybould can speak".

He also wouldn't answer questions about what Wilson-Raybould told him when she tendered her resignation, saying only that he accepted her decision even if he didn't understand it.

In her resignation letter, she said she has retained the services of lawyer Thomas Cromwell, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, to advise her on "topics that I am legally permitted to discuss on this matter".

"I made a lot of change and I really pushed the envelope".