New documents increase pressure on Trudeau in SNC-Lavalin affair

Brian Mulroney former prime minister of Canada.							Jacquelyn Martin  THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Brian Mulroney former prime minister of Canada. Jacquelyn Martin THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 40-plus documents, posted to the justice committee website, include a submission from Wilson-Raybould outlining her opinion on why she felt it was inappropriate to intervene in the case, as well as copies of text messages and emails with senior officials, and even an audio recording of a call she taped with Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick.

Wilson-Raybould, who was demoted to veterans affairs minister in January and resigned the following month, first made the allegations in nearly four hours of testimony to the House of Commons justice committee last month. He said a minister has to serve at the pleasure of the prime minister and a refusal to be moved couldn't stand.

"Remediation agreements would be a new tool for prosecutors in Canada to use at their discretion in appropriate circumstances where it's in the public interest to do so", Sheppard told the committee, making no reference at all to the possibility of the attorney general stepping in.

Wilson-Raybould also denies she ever referred to being attorney general as her "dream job" and instead said she thinks it was Butts who said it. Butts told the committee she called it her dream job when she was told she was being shuffled.

Previously, Prime Minister Trudeau said that Wison-Raybould's resignation from cabinet was a result of an "erosion of trust" between her and the Prime Minister's Office.

Wilson-Raybould included a recording of a phone call with Wernick last December in which he told her he was anxious about "a collision" between her and Trudeau "because he is pretty firm about this".

In the call, there is a lengthy back and forth between the pair, during which the senior public servant repeatedly notes that the prime minister is interested in having the firm avoid prosecution in favour of an agreement.

Anti-stall system was on before Ethiopian jet crash, says report
On Wednesday, Boeing unveiled an overhaul to the software system and the pilot training of its 737 MAX plane. The pilot tried repeatedly to regain control and pull the nose up, but the plane crashed into the ocean.

Wilson-Raybould stepped down from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet on February 12 following the publication of a Globe and Mail article alleging "inappropriate" pressure on her by officials in the Prime Minister's Office and others to grant engineering giant SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement.

Prince told To that wasn't true.

To apologized in a follow-up email and then Prince laid out for him all the things Wilson-Raybould had done in favour of remediation agreements.

The documents made public include an audio recording, lasting almost 18 minutes, of a December phone call between Ms Wilson-Raybould and Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick about the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. Wernick testified on two separate occasions, while Wilson-Raybould was not offered that opportunity.

Wernick tells Wilson-Raybould that Trudeau "wants to be able to say that he has tried everything he can within the legitimate toolbox" to head off the possibility of SNC-Lavalin leaving the country and putting thousands of Canadians out of work. Campbell, who would replace Mulroney as prime minister in 1993, is reported to have told Mulroney she couldn't because it would interfere in an independent process.

In response, Wilson-Raybould can be heard saying that this kind of pressure is "entirely inappropriate", calling it a "political interference".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.