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profishingrods.com February 21, 2019


Prime Minister Trudeau Under Fire over SNC-Lavalin Claims

10 February 2019, 02:14 | Dale Webster

Globe: PMO pressured justice minister to help SNC-Lavalin avoid prosecution

Trudeau denies report his office pressured attorney general to help SNC-Lavalin

The company is facing allegations that it bribed Libyan officials millions of dollars to secure government contracts.

On the day she was removed from the office of Attorney General by Mr. Trudeau, Wilson-Raybould wrote: "It is a pillar of our democracy that our system of justice be free from even the perception of political interference and uphold the highest levels of public confidence".

Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the justice portfolio last month, with Trudeau naming her veterans affairs minister.

Neither Trudeau nor Wilson-Raybould nor SNC-Lavalin has immediately responded to questions from The Canadian Press about the story.

During the heady days of Justin Trudeau's "because it's 2015" declaration, Wilson-Raybould's ascension to the role of the nation's top justice official defined the moment.

The Globe reported that PMO aides leaned heavily on Wilson-Raybould to persuade the federal director of public prosecutions to negotiate a "remediation agreement" with SNC-Lavalin as a way of holding it to account for wrongdoing by some of its executives, rather than pursuing a criminal prosecution that could financially hobble the company.

The topic kept the Liberals hopping in Question Period.

SNC-Lavalin shares tumbled in October after prosecutors ruled out a negotiated settlement over past corruption charges. On the matter of issuing directives to the director of public prosecutions (or "DPP"), the document says: "It is appropriate for the attorney general to consult with cabinet colleagues before exercising his or her powers under the DPP Act in respect of any criminal proceedings, in order to fully assess the public policy considerations relevant to specific prosecutorial decisions".

Conservative Opposition Leader Andrew has demanded that parliament convenes an emergency meeting to address the accusations of political interference. If the attorney general directs the Public Prosecution Service of Canada on a case, it gets published publically in the Canada Gazette.




"Even more shocking, the prime minister may have fired her from her role as our country's first Indigenous justice minister and attorney general", said McLeod, the Conservative party's Indigenous Affairs critic.

The New Democrats have since officially requested an investigation from the Ethic's Commissioner.

"All this cries out for some serious investigation, " he said in a telephone interview from Burnaby, where he is campaigning for a seat in the House of Commons in a February 25 byelection.

Justice Minister David Lametti speaks during question period in the House of Commons on February 7, 2019.

She has refused to comment on the alleged pressure from PMO to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial, telling the Globe and Mail that the matter is "between me and the government as the government's previous lawyer".

The relationship between federal prosecutors and the attorney general was reshaped in 2006 with the The Director of Public Prosecutions Act, contained in an accountability bill passed by the Conservative government of the day under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

As to whether Wilson-Raybould is truly bound to secrecy on this by solicitor-client privilege, as she insists she is, it is hard to say for certain without knowing exactly what she discussed with the Prime Minister's Office.

The fact that such directives must be done publicly is meant to constrain a justice minister from doing anything overtly political.



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