Corruption scandal could bring down Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancels visit to Regina

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancels visit to Regina

Feminism has been a key element of the Liberal party's appeal to voters since the 2015 election campaign but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's handling of the fallout from the SNC-Lavalin affair shows that he's a hypocrite, opposition parties say.

Wilson-Raybould has claimed that past year she was put under pressure to order a deferred prosecution agreement for the Quebec-based engineering and construction firm's fraud and corruption charges, and that her refusal to do so led to her being shifted out of the attorney general post to the veterans' affairs portfolio.

"We know what it's like when a company or a community collapses", he said, referring to the shutdown of the coal mine operations in which thousands of people lost their jobs.

"For a period of approximately four months between September and December 2018, I 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 as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with SNC-Lavalin", she testified.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, left, and Jane Philpott have both resigned from the cabinet over the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Gerry Butts told the House justice committee Wednesday that the former attorney general only raised the issue of the DPA with him once before the shuffle - at the tail-end of a dinner at the Château Laurier hotel - and never framed the overtures of PMO or Privy Council Office staff on the issue as inappropriate.

SNC-Lavalin faces fraud charges relating to bribes the company is said to have offered to Libyan officials to influence the awarding of contracts between 2001 and 2011.

Trudeau has denied any wrongdoing in connection to Wilson-Raybould's investigation or her demotion.

"I think women across the country are looking at that and understanding it", she said. "It was about ensuring that the attorney general was making her decision with the absolute best evidence possible", Butts said during his testimony Wednesday.

"The attempt by the cabinet to highlight a personal relationship as an explanation as to why the cabinet minister resigned is completely false", Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt said in an interview. "I want to thank her for her service", Trudeau said at a campaign-style event.

Bothwell said Trudeau is not like his father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who swept to office in 1968 on a wave of support dubbed "Trudeaumania" and governed for most of the next two decades. "My advice was that the prime minister should not set the precedent that a Cabinet minister could refuse a new position and effectively remain in one position for the life of the government". "It wasn't an accusation, it wasn't a threat, it was genuine surprise that someone I had spent so much time with, and the Prime Minister had spent so much time with, could interpret the move in such a dark light".

Wiseman said the last time he can recall something like this was in 1963 when three Cabinet ministers resigned over then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's opposition to the stationing of American nuclear weapons on Canadian soil.

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