Wilson-Raybould’s decision on SNC-Lavalin was hers to make: Trudeau

Motz blasts PM and his office for handling of SNC-Lavalin ordeal

Gerald Butts, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, has resigned over accusations that it was he who applied pressure to then Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to help the Montreal engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal case on corruption charges. It is facing trial for an alleged $48 million in bribes and $130 million in fraud from its dealing in Lybia from 2001 to 2011.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves his office with his principal secretary Gerald Butts to attend an emergency cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

While talking about the demotion of former attorney general Jody Wilson Raybould, Housefather told host Elias Makos the cabinet shuffle may have had to do with her lack of French.

The prime minister said there were "obviously" many discussions unfolding around the company, including questions asked of him by two different Quebec premiers, representatives of the company, MPs, and a range of individuals.

Wilson-Raybould resigned from the Cabinet as veterans affairs minister last week but gave no reasons.

Wilson-Raybould proceeded to quit the cabinet on February 12.

"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.

"Where I think the government fell short is that as soon as Wilson-Raybould resigned they should have offered the very sound economic and business rationale for using remediation in the SNC-Lavalin case", Wiseman said.

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. Trudeau also reportedly said that there were many discussions going on about SNC-Lavalin and that Wilson-Raybould asked him if he would be directing her to take a particular decision. He said, "Her presence in cabinet should actually speak for itself".

Trudeau was in Ottawa Friday at a Blackberry announcement. "What appears even more shocking, however, is that it seems the Prime Minister fired his Attorney General for refusing to bow to his demands".

He says after Liberal justice committee members attempted last week to obstruct any attempt to get to the bottom of the allegations, while the prime minister repeatedly changed his story, it's become clear that a public inquiry is needed. Wilson-Raybould has yet to address the allegations head-on, citing solicitor client privilege.

"Canadians deserve answers, and that's why Conservatives will explore all legal options to hold Justin Trudeau to account for this cover-up".

He said it was Wilson-Raybould's choice to make. Anyone who serves there deserves respect. "I don't understand how the Liberals think this is going to work", he said. "As an Indigenous woman, she achieved one of Canada's highest level roles as she worked for all people in Canada".

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