Wilson-Raybould warns she still can't tell full SNC-Lavalin story

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at Armour Transportation Systems in Dartmouth N.S. on Thursday

But the former attorney general is already warning that her hotly anticipated testimony before the House of Commons justice committee won't tell the whole the story because, she claims, an unprecedented order-in-council waiving solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality doesn't go far enough to let her speak freely.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is warning that she won't be able to speak freely about everything concerning the SNC-Lavalin affair when she finally gives her side of the story Wednesday, breaking nearly three weeks of silence that has fuelled the anonymously-sourced controversy and shaken the Trudeau government to its core. "I strongly maintain, as I have from the beginning, that I and my staff always acted appropriately and professionally".

In a letter sent Monday and addressed to the committee's chair, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, Wilson-Raybould says she wants to speak to the committee but first wants to meet with members to discuss what she feels she can and cannot talk about.

He made the stunning move Monday night after weeks of questions about whether or not Wilson-Raybould would be allowed to testify.

But it must be so, as he was able to unequivocally state that the Trudeau cabal never pressured ex-Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould on the SNC Lavalin file.

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Striking such an agreement would mean SNC-Lavalin could avoid a criminal prosecution in Canada for allegations it bribed officials in Libya to win contracts there.

Scheer told reporters Wednesday that Trudeau has "lost the moral authority to govern" and called on the RCMP to open an investigation into the matter.

Trudeau said in Question Period that Wilson-Raybould will be permitted to speak publicly, but must steer clear of jeopardizing two court cases against the engineering firm involving fraud and bribery. A Morneau spokesman denied the minister or his staff had ever pressured Wilson-Raybould. SNC-Lavalin lobbied to be the first company to be granted an agreement like this, otherwise known as a deferred prosecution agreement, since the Liberals changed the law to introduce the legal tool through an omnibus budget bill in 2018.

She said she didn't speak directly to Trudeau about SNC-Lavalin again until January 7, when he informed her he was about to move her out of the justice portfolio; she suggested the move was the result of her refusal to intervene in the prosecution, which he denied.

"At the time, I did not see it as my responsibility to resign".

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The December meeting Ms. Wilson-Raybould referenced was one of three meetings with Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick.

However, in a letter to the committee Tuesday, Wilson-Raybould warned that the waiver "falls short of what is required" for her to fully tell her side of the story. There is also a legal challenge by SNC-Lavalin seeking a judicial review of Roussel's decision not to pursue a remediation agreement. She believed that distracted from appropriate concerns in considering a remediation agreement, such as saving the jobs of innocent people or the public interest more broadly.

"We have waived privilege and we have waived cabinet confidentiality so that the former attorney general can speak fully and expansively to the matter under study", he told the Commons.

- A September 17 meeting with Trudeau and Wernick, which the clerk said was primarily focused on the stalled Indigenous rights agenda, over which he said Wilson-Raybould had "a very serious policy difference" with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and other ministers.

It has been almost three weeks since anonymous allegations first surfaced that Trudeau's office pressured Wilson-Raybould to negotiate a remediation agreement with Quebec's SNC-Lavalin, rather than pursue a criminal prosecution for corruption and bribery related to government contracts in Libya.

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