Trudeau: Mistakes made in SNC-Lavalin affair, no rules broken

Trudeau: Mistakes made in SNC-Lavalin affair, no rules broken

Since the crisis erupted a month ago, Trudeau has seemed "disconnected" and "not in control" of his government, said Eric Montigny, a politics professor at Laval University in Quebec City.

The Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, the Clerk of the Privy Council and their staffs have all been accused of pressuring former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to politically interfere in an independent ongoing criminal prosecution.

Many Albertans, he noted, feel like the prime minister is "bending over backward" for the Quebec-based company saying jobs are at risk, while western Canada has lost thousands more.

Facing calls to resign over the snowballing scandal, Trudeau addressed the allegations head-on in a morning news conference in Ottawa - saying he had learned "lessons" from the crisis, but denying any wrongdoing. "I can tell you without a doubt that I have taken and will continue to take many lessons from these recent days and weeks". "Twice. Remember your reactions?"

People looking for more defections from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet can cross Ahmed Hussen's name on any list of potentials.

On Thursday, Trudeau said he was not aware at the time that there was an erosion of trust between his officials and Wilson-Raybould.

"When I mentioned to the AG on September 17 that there was an election in Quebec, I did not do so out of partisan considerations", he said.

He offered few details about the content of those subsequent conversations between officials from the Prime Minister's Office and Wilson-Raybould and her staff, though Wilson-Raybould and Butts have characterized them very differently.

The Federal Court of Canada on Friday dismissed a request by SNC-Lavalin to review a federal prosecutor's decision declining to settle criminal charges against the company out of court.

"Canadians are hugely accepting of that, I don't think they would have thought less of him".

The company said in a statement it was disappointed and vowed to "vigorously defend itself against the charges in court if no remediation agreement is possible".

Federal Court Justice Catherine Kane said in a ruling Friday that "It has no reasonable prospect of success in the context of the law and the governing jurisprudence and taking a realistic view".

Trudeau: Mistakes made in SNC-Lavalin affair, no rules broken

It is not clear whether 9,000 jobs are actually in danger.

Butts, who stepped down as principal secretary, testified before the House of Commons justice committee on Wednesday and said he wanted Wilson-Raybould to get a second opinion from a judge who was retired so the government could show it had considered all legal options.

For a hint of how things might play out, many will look to the March 19 federal budget vote.

Mr Trudeau said Mr Wilson-Raybould did not come to him to express her concerns about inappropriate pressure and said he wishes she had.

Wilson-Raybould has said the pressure was "inappropriate" but not illegal.

But aside from those issues, aside from what this says about Trudeau's treatment of women and Indigenous people, there is a bigger conundrum. "I told her that I was preoccupied with the number of jobs involved in this in Quebec and obviously across the country. That's the difference between Justin Trudeau and me". "As we now learn ... that was not the case", Trudeau said.

Moe also criticized Trudeau for involving Canada's ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, in the SNC-Lavalin issue when he should be working to get rid of US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium.

"She has indicated she has important information, and Justin Trudeau has refused to lift the gag order on her", Scheer said. In Butts' view a prime minister and his personal entourage should be almost all-powerful.

Trudeau responded to the Globe report by telling the news media that his government did not "direct" her on the matter.

Absent testimony from Wilson-Raybould, the scandal grew.

Under current laws, SNC-Lavalin could be banned from federal procurement contracts for 10 years if found guilty. "As we now learned through this testimony, that was not the case".

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