Justin Trudeau set to shuffle cabinet on Friday


Most B.C. Liberal MPs are avoiding public comment one day after Vancouver Granville Liberal MP and former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before a House of Commons justice committee that she received "veiled threats" from senior members of the federal government in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

SNC-Lavalin had been pushing for what's known as a deferred prosecution agreement to end a criminal case dating back more than a decade, related to corruption charges.

She said she began to be concerned immediately about what she viewed as pressure on her to overturn the decision not to negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin but that her concerns were heightened as the calls and meetings continued even after she said she had made up he mind not to arrange for a deal.

Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould's telling of the events shortly after her testimony.

Wilson-Raybould resigned in January, along with Trudeau's longtime ally and principal secretary Gerry Butts, who has been vague about his reasons for leaving the government.

Canada's former justice minister could have been more flexible in her decision-making process, says the co-chair of the Liberal Indigenous Caucus.

"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.

"Justin Trudeau simply can not continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he has done and that is why I am calling on Mr. Trudeau to do the right thing and to resign", Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who is slated to run against Trudeau in Canada's upcoming October 2019 election, said in a statement to reporters.

September 17 - Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould discuss the SNC-Lavalin file. "And my job as prime minister is always to stand up for good jobs, to invest in good jobs".

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

"I therefore completely disagree with Ms Wilson-Raybould's characterization of events".

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Mr Trudeau said any lobbying by him or his inner circle for engineering giant SNC-Lavalin was done to protect jobs.

However, she characterized the pressure as inappropriate, not illegal, reports the New York Times.

The hearings centre around the multi-billion dollar Quebec engineering firm and whether the former attorney general was pressured to drop a criminal prosecution against them. He said "everything" was still on the table and that Trudeau "might need to resign" after an inquiry.

The opposition Conservative Party is demanding Mr Trudeau resign.

"I and my staff always acted appropriately and professionally", Trudeau said Wednesday night in Montreal, where he was celebrating a Liberal Party by-election victory.

"The government likes to say, 'We were anxious about jobs.' What was clear from her [Wilson-Raybould's] statement was they were anxious about electoral concerns and a favoured company", said McLeod. Wilson-Raybould refused to interfere in the case, and it remains set for trial.

Her explosive testimony left critics ready to pounce on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government.

Columnist Patrick Lagace, writing in Montreal newspaper La Presse, said her remarks suggest that "for the Prime Minister and people acting on his orders, the rule of law and the independence of the Attorney General were at least negotiable".

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who is Trudeau's top rival, demanded the prime minister step down over the revelations.

"Where they became very clearly inappropriate was when political issues came up, like the election in Quebec, like losing the election were SNC to move its headquarters".