As I sit down to write my weekly report I must admit to being at a loss for words.
Earlier today on Parliament Hill, the former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould shared her details related to the emerging situation with SNC Lavalin.
To be candid this testimony was shocking and has left Ottawa reeling.
Ms. Wilson-Raybould stated on the record that she was the target of a “consistent and sustained” effort by Prime Minister Trudeau and his most senior staff to politically interfere in the criminal case against SNC-Lavalin.
The testimony included references allegedly quoted from Mr. Trudeau’s Principal Secretary, stating that there would be (political) interference, that there was no solution without some interference.
In addition, Mr. Trudeau’s Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, allegedly said they were “sick of legalities”.
Other comments included statements such as “we need to get re-elected.” and that if the former Justice Minister changed her mind that the they would line-up people to write op-eds claiming everything was legal.
The testimony from Ms. Wilson-Raybould ultimately referenced the Prime Minister, Clerk of the Privy Councillor, former principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the Chief of Staff to the Finance Minister.
In total 11 people were raised in a series over 10 calls and 10 meetings.
Ultimately Ms. Wilson-Raybould was told “He's (Mr.Trudeau) going to find a way to do it one way or another”.
The testimony later revealed that the former Justice Minister’s deputy minister was allegedly informed by the Clerk that there would soon be a “new (Justice) Minister and that the first thing the deputy should do with the new minister is have a discussion about SNC (Lavalin) and the DPA (deferred prosecution agreement).
I will share some of the final words in her prepared statement from Ms. Wilson-Raybould:
“I hope and expect that the facts speak for themselves. I imagine Canadians now fully understand that in my view, these events constituted pressure to intervene in a matter, and that this pressure or this political interference to intervene was not appropriate.”
My question this week relates to this statement:
Do you believe that Mr. Trudeau and his inner circle attempted to pressure the former Justice Minister to politically interfere in the criminal case against SNC- Lavalin?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.