Question of solicitor-client privilege comes to fore in SNC-Lavalin controversy

Question of solicitor-client privilege comes to fore in SNC-Lavalin controversy

Question of solicitor-client privilege comes to fore in SNC-Lavalin controversy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answered reporters' questions this afternoon in Winnipeg about Jody Wilson-Raybould's resignation from cabinet.

Her resignation also comes less than one month after Wilson-Raybould was changed from Attorney General to Minister of Veteran Affairs.

Wilson says he last spoke to his daughter about two years ago, and that he's "proud of her".

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".

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday February 7, 2019 in Ottawa.

The letter, posted in full on her website, states that she entered politics "with the goal of implementing a positive and progressive vision of change".

Shortly before her resignation announcement, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs issued an open letter to Trudeau demanding that he publicly condemn "the racist and sexist innuendo" that's circulated about Wilson-Raybould since her demotion, suggesting that she's hard to work with and not a team player. Wilson-Raybould has a lot of clout and knowledge about First Nations communities, North said.

Housefather says he believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he says nobody from his office pressured Wilson-Raybould but he also believes more clarity is needed to explain exactly what went on. He has denied directing Wilson-Raybold to arrange such a deal.

"I am aware that many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media over the last week".

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In the wake of that Cabinet shuffle, she released a statement saying that the justice system must "be free from even the perception of political interference and uphold the highest levels of public confidence".

Then he said she had reconfirmed a conversation the pair had last fall in which he told her that the final decision in any federal prosecution was hers alone.

"I'm not going to get ahead of the determination that members of the parliamentary committee make".

"The current Liberal brand has been taking a beating on this portfolio", she said.

"If Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government shut the justice committee's work down, it would send a unsafe signal to Canadians about the state of our democracy".

"Obviously Justin Trudeau's trying to hide something", Scheer said.

Until Wilson-Raybould's demotion and resignation, the Liberals had done a good job of selling themselves as a "sunny ways party", he opined.

SNC-Lavalin faces charges of fraud and corruption in connection with almost $48 million in payments made to Libyan government officials between 2001 and 2011.

And on Monday, Trudeau said he welcomed news that federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion has initiated his own investigation into the matter, specifically whether there's been a violation of a Conflict of Interest Act provision which prohibits a public office holder from seeking to influence a decision so as to improperly further another person's private interests.

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