Saying Justin Trudeau has “lost the moral authority to govern,” following testimony from Jody Wilson-Raybould on Wednesday, Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation.
- Jody Wilson-Raybould accepts invitation to testify on SNC-Lavalin scandal
- Gerald Butts, Trudeau's principal secretary, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin allegations
- Canada's ethics commissioner launches investigation against Prime Minister's office
Scheer’s comments come following Wilson-Raybould’s testimony around the SNC-Lavalin affair on Wednesday.
The hearings centre around the multi-billion dollar Quebec engineering firm and whether the former attorney general was pressured to drop a criminal prosecution against them.
Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet several days after allegations against the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) emerged, and little more than a month after she was shuffled from the justice office to veterans affairs. She remains a Liberal MP in the Vancouver-Granville riding.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould said that over a period of four months – between September and December 2018 – she “experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role of Attorney General of Canada, in an inappropriate effort to secure a prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin.”
Following the day’s proceedings, Scheer said he was “sickened and appalled by her story of inappropriate, and frankly illegal pressure brought to bear on her by the highest officials of Justin Trudeau’s government.”
Trudeau, he added, “can no longer, in good standing and with a clear conscience, lead this great nation.”
Scheer’s full statement is below
Justin Trudeau simply cannot continue to govern this great nation now that Canadians know what he has done. That is why I am calling on Justin Trudeau to resign. Further, the RCMP must immediately open an investigation – if it has not already done so – into the numerous examples of obstruction of justice the former Attorney General detailed in her testimony.
The testimony Canadians have just heard from the former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould tells the story of a Prime Minister who has lost the moral authority to govern. A Prime Minister who allows his partisan political motivations to overrule his duty to uphold the rule of law. A Prime Minister who doesn’t know where the Liberal Party ends and where the Government of Canada begins. And a Prime Minister who has allowed a systemic culture of corruption to take root in his office and those of his most senior cabinet and public service colleagues.
I listened carefully to the testimony of the former Attorney General, and like Canadians, I was sickened and appalled by her story of inappropriate, and frankly illegal pressure brought to bear on her by the highest officials of Justin Trudeau’s government. All to let a Liberal-connected corporation off the hook on corruption charges.
Before Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, Canadians knew Justin Trudeau had engineered an unwanted, sustained, and co-ordinated attempt to get Ms. Wilson-Raybould to change her mind and stop the criminal trial of SNC-Lavalin. Today, thanks to Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, we now know just how intense those efforts were: ten meetings and ten phone calls involving eleven senior government officials relentlessly targeting Ms. Wilson-Raybould over a four month period – with the sole objective of bullying her into bending the law to benefit a well-connected corporation.
The details are as shocking as they are corrupt: multiple veiled threats to her job if she didn’t bow to their demands. Urgings to consider the consequences on election results and shareholder value above judicial due process. And reminders from Justin Trudeau to his Attorney General about his own electoral prospects should she allow SNC-Lavalin’s trial to proceed.
As Ms. Wilson-Raybould has so clearly articulated, the people Canadians entrusted to protect the integrity of our very nation were instead only protecting themselves and their friends.
Mr. Trudeau can no longer, in good standing and with a clear conscience, lead this great nation.
Canada should be a country where we are all equal under the law. Where nobody – regardless of wealth, status, or political connections – is above the law. I believe we can be that country again.