Canadian PM Trudeau's former top aide testifies in his defence

Treasury Board president Jane Philpott, considered a star minister, said in a resignation letter that it was "untenable" for her to continue in the Cabinet because she lost confidence and could not defend the government.

Minister Philpott seemed excited by the challenge, but expressed concern that Wilson-Raybauld would see her shuffle as a demotion.

During Wernick's February 21 appearance he offered off-topic opening remarks on the state of online discourse, partisanship and the prospect of political assassinations. Wilson-Raybould has alleged that the Prime Minister's Office improperly pressured her to stop a criminal prosecution of the Montreal engineering firm.

They will be appearing between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. "I share these message so you can appreciate why I was so surprised to hear months later that the minister experienced that dinner as pressure".


Wilson-Raybould has claimed that a year ago she was put under pressure to order a deferred prosecution agreement for the Quebec-based engineering and construction firm's fraud and corruption charges, and that her refusal to do so led to her being shifted out of the attorney general post to the veterans' affairs portfolio. The company is a major employer in Quebec, with about 3,400 employees in the province, 9,000 employees in Canada and more than 50,000 worldwide.

SNC-Lavalin is accused of having paid C$47.7m (€31.6m) in bribes to Libyan officials in order to gain contracts there, and ultimately defrauded the Libyan government of C$129.8m (€86m).

Butts disagrees on the timeline and nature of the interactions, saying that it was "inconceivable" that anyone in the Prime Minister's office would act in such a manner, and he said that no government official, Trudeau included, would "direct or ask the attorney general to negotiate a remediation agreement". Female respondents were more likely than male respondents to believe Wilson-Raybould's account of events than Trudeau's, more likely to believe that the story isn't overblown and deserves the attention it is getting, more likely to want a public inquiry or police investigation.

Butts said all officials working on the file knew that the decision to direct Director of Public Prosecutions Kathleen Roussel to enter into negotiations on a DPA or remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin was exclusively at the discretion of the attorney general.


Wilson-Raybould resigned from Cabinet last month after being demoted to veteran affairs minister the month before.

Butts stressed the decision to remove her from her post had nothing to do with SNC Lavalin and the decision to shuffle the cabinet was only made after MP Scott Brison told the Prime Minister he would not seek re-election. But, a spokeswoman for the company said Trudeau changed his schedule.

Bothwell said Trudeau is not like his father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who swept to office in 1968 on a wave of support dubbed "Trudeaumania" and governed for most of the next two decades.


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