HIGHLIGHTS: Justin Trudeau responds to SNC-Lavalin testimonies


The Liberal government is seeking outside legal advice on separating the attorney general and justice minister position, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He told reporters Canadians can have faith in the institution of their government and the rule of law. Why did Wernick accept a call from SNC board chairman Kevin Lynch, who used to be in the job Wernick now has? Trudeau said he wanted to be the kind of leader whose team feels the ability to come to him when things aren't going the way they want. "Twice. Remember your reactions?"

Patty Hajdu, the minister of employment, workforce development and labour, speaks during an announcement at the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association on Thursday, March 7, 2019. She said that was a partisan and political consideration that had no bearing on the decision and should never have been raised with her.

She arrived to learn that Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, Trudeau's deputy minister in the bureaucracy, had also been invited - and while the meeting was not specifically about the SNC-Lavalin issue, she said Trudeau raised the issue "immediately".

There is indeed an "erosion of trust" here - between the prime minister and Canadians. When pressed, the prime minister said he would not apologize for his actions as he believed his team was performing its duties appropriately.

At the center of the SNC-Lavalin affair were claims that the Montreal-based construction giant paid around $35.75 million in bribes to Libyan officials in an effort to win contracts there when the country was under Muammar el-Qaddafi's leadership.

But what about the things that Ms. Wilson-Raybould alleged? He said situations were "experienced differently and I regret that".

In other words, jobs, even jobs in Quebec, even allegedly 9,000 SNC jobs, are not to be part of a prosecutor's decision.

Butts would only say he received internal government briefings on the matter.

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"I'm obviously reflecting on lessons learned through this", Trudeau said.

The comments, made at a news conference in Ottawa, seem unlikely to stop the swirl of questions about a controversy that has already cost Trudeau two female Cabinet ministers and a key aide - and could shape his prospects in an upcoming election.

Scheer has also asked the RCMP to investigate possible obstruction of justice following Wilson-Raybould's testimony last week to the justice committee that has been variously described by the media as "damning", "scorching", "stunning", and a "bombshell".

After handing in her resignation over the way the incident was handled, Wilson-Raybould claimed she received "veiled threats" and came under sustained pressure from Trudeau's staff. Trudeau said he asked his staff to follow up after his meeting with her because he believed she was still open to considering new arguments. "She said that she would", he said of a September 17, 2018, meeting. "I do question whether or not it would have been wise for her to occupy that space and maybe come up with some solutions, but it is a hard situation". The Prime Minister wasn't saying yes or no.

"I have and will continue to take many lessons from these recent weeks".

He said in the future, he'll make sure there are measures in place to improve how his office "engages with ministers". However, should they persist in saying they have no confidence in Trudeau's government, the source said Liberal MPs would likely demand they be kicked out of caucus and Trudeau would refuse to allow them to run for the party again.

She crafted Bill C-16, which entrenches gender theory into law by adding "gender expression" and "gender identity" to Canada's Human Rights Code and to the Criminal Code's hate crime section, announcing the bill at a press conference attended by a 10-year-old Charlie Lowthian-Rickert, a "trans girl" from near Ottawa, as reported by the CBC. The corollary to that view is that Wilson-Raybould had to be moved, somewhere, to set an example, pour encourager les autres.

At that point, she said, the prime minister 'jumped in, ' reminding her that he was the MP for Papineau.

"There were detailed conversations on a broad range of things that were discussed and laid bare in the various testimonies that we heard over the past weeks", Trudeau responded.