Canada PM Trudeau calms restless MPs over shock resignations

Liberal MP Jody Wilson Raybould leaves the Parliament buildings following Question Period in Ottawa Feb. 19 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized to Liberal MP Jody Wilson-Raybould for not condemning sooner the personal attacks against her by unnamed Liberal sources in the days after the SNC-Lavalin controversy began unfolding.

Speaking to media on her way to the caucus meeting, Wilson-Raybould said she knows her continued deferral to solicitor-client privilege is "frustrating for many people", and that is why she is seeking legal advice, "to be able to ensure that I am confident in what I can and cannot say", when she appears before committee. Last week, Liberal MPs on the justice committee shut down opposition attempts to call the former justice minister as a witness in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

On Friday, Mr. Trudeau again claimed that Wilson-Raybould was told on September 17th that the SNC-Lavalin prosecution was hers alone to make, using the exchange as a type of evidence that he did not put pressure on her to allow the engineering giant to avoid prosecution.

"I categorically deny the accusation that I or anyone else in (Trudeau's) office pressured Ms. Wilson-Raybould", Butts said in a statement when he resigned on Monday.

She stunned observers by attending a meeting Tuesday of the very cabinet from which she resigned a week ago.

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Trudeau said he took the opportunity of the caucus meeting to offer an apology to Wilson-Raybould for his failure last week to immediately denounce anonymous criticism and cartoons about her that many felt were racist and sexist. "I will appear", she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt said the committee hearings won't be meaningful unless solicitor-client privilege between Wilson-Raybould and the government is waived and, at a minimum, Butts can be questioned on his blanket assertion that he did nothing wrong. "Privilege and confidentiality are not mine to waive and I hope that I have the opportunity to speak my truth", she concluded, as even louder applause broke out through the House.

A Liberal MP said that when a parliamentary colleague from any side of the aisle is in trouble, he flips them a note of support.

According to court documents obtained by The Globe and Mail, the director of public prosecutions Kathleen Roussel had informed SNC-Lavalin on September 4th that she had full intention to proceed with a prosecution on bribery and fraud charges against them.

"Very respectful", said Liberal MP Marc Miller when asked about the reception Wilson-Raybould received in caucus.

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We will engage them with candour and humility. "We will lay down our lives for the flocks entrusted to us". The Vatican isn't expecting any miracles or even a final document to come out of the summit.

Though, on Sunday's episode of CTV's Question Period, Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew said the government's treatment of Wilson-Raybould has done serious damage to the party's reputation with Indigenous people in Canada, saying that many had "made up their mind" on the issue.

Wilson-Raybould, who is consulting lawyers about how much she can reveal about what happened with SNC-Lavalin, did not answer directly when asked whether she would address the meeting of legislators.

Angus said it is a "joke" to suggest the Liberal-dominated committee will get to the bottom of anything, particularly when it has not so far agreed to call anyone from the Prime Minister's Office to testify.

This scandal is hurting the Liberals with voters that are paying attention and anxious what it means for the justice system in Canada.

Lametti said on Tuesday he'd be advising the prime minister "in due course".

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She made clear she meant to remain at the helm, however. "We need to focus all of our energy on this test". "It's not appropriate. The vehicle eventually arrived in the early hours of Wednesday morning and finally took to the track mid-afternoon.

"I want to highlight something I said at caucus this morning".

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