NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions


Gerald Butts, Trudeau's principal secretary and long-time friend, announced he would be resigning due to a scandal that has rocked the Trudeau government. But the fact is that this accusation exists.

He said he's leaving in order to defend himself without distracting from the prime minister's work. She is the first Indigenous person to hold the post, which combines duties as a politician (heading the Department of Justice) and a legal official (overseeing prosecutions). "He talks about his reputation and he seems to fear that it is at risk, and it could very well be", said Jody Wilson-Raybould's father.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, fifth from left, and Governor General David Johnston, centre, pose for a group photo with the new Liberal cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. "They go back to being undergraduates at McGill (University) at the same time".

Trudeau, who faces a re-election bid in October, has faced criticism since Wilson-Raybould quit his Cabinet following a Globe and Mail newspaper report this month that officials in Trudeau's office had urged her to let SNC-Lavalin escape with a fine rather than face trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials.

Trudeau was peppered over and over with questions about what happened with Wilson-Raybould, including why she was demoted and why she resigned.

To date, the director of public prosecutions has refused to allow the company to avoid a trial by negotiating a DPA or remediation agreement.

If convicted criminally, the company would be banned from receiving any federal government business for a decade.

SNC-Lavalin employs about 9,000 people at its Montreal office.

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"One of the seniors members of our team stepped down and we had to move things around on the team", Trudeau said.

Government officials are likely to know where that line is, she added, because "these issues don't come up infrequently when statutory decision makers need to make a decision".

In her resignation letter, she said she has retained the services of lawyer Thomas Cromwell, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, to advise her on "topics that I am legally permitted to discuss on this matter".

For her part, Wilson-Raybould has cited solicitor-client privilege when asked to speak publicly on the matter.

Glen Motz, MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner, raised concerns on Friday about the SNC-Lavalin situation and the extent of involvement by the Prime Minister and/or his office, according to a press release.

Trudeau accepted Butts' resignation and said he had served the country with "integrity, sage advice and devotion".

Singh, who's campaigning in Burnaby, B.C., for a byelection next Monday, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government appears to be acting on behalf of its "friends" in this situation.

"The latest resignation shows a gov't in chaos as Trudeau desperately tries to cover up this scandal", Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer wrote on Twitter, a few hours after the news broke.