“I hope the facts speak for themselves”
OTTAWA – POLITICS – The former Liberal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould told the Justice Committee that for four months in 2018 she ‘Experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people in the government to seek to politically interfere’ with her conduct and ‘secure a deferred prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin’.”
She stated that she was “Warned a collision with the Prime Minister should be avoided”.
Wilson-Raybould says the pressure came from eleven people in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office and the Minister of Finance’s office. She states she recalls ten meetings and ten phone calls concerning the SNC-Lavalin prosecution involving her or her staff.
The initial and continued pressure on the Attorney General started with Finance Minister Moreau’s Chief of Staff reaching out to her Chief of Staff.
The testimony includes references, Jody Wilson Raybould says at a September 17, 2019 meeting, where Prime Minister Trudeau told her that a solution should be found as SNC Lavalin would move out of Montreal to London in Great Britain. There was the issue of SNC Lavalin moving their head office out of Quebec as an election in Quebec was near.
Trudeau stressed to JWR that he was a Montreal MP representing Papineau. JWR then advised the Prime Minister it was inappropriate for him to try to get the Attorney General to change her mind based on political considerations.
During questions from the Committee, JWR said those comments from the Prime Minister were in her view entirely political and inappropriate.
“It would not be appropriate’ she stated to Prime Minister Trudeau.
JWR stated that she explained the law to PM Trudeau, that she had done his due diligence and she would not intervene.
I asked the Prime Minister – Are you politically interfering with my role as Attorney General?”
The former Attorney General states she repeatedly told officials in the PMO to stop attempting to pressure her in the SNC Lavalin issue.
Wilson-Raybould said, “What is not appropriate is pressuring the attorney general on matters that she or he cannot take into account, such as partisan political considerations … or suggesting that a collision with the Prime Minister on these matters should be avoided.”
“On January 7. 2019 I was informed that I was being shuffled out as AG & Minister of Justice. I stated I believed the reason was because of the SNC matter. They denied it.”
“One of the main needs for reconciliation today is we have in our country not followed the rule of law. I sought to serve as Attorney General above partisan politics”
I hope and expect the facts speak for themselves. This pressure or political interference to intervene was inappropriate. Canadians can judge for themselves.”
“I come from a long line of matriarchs and I am a truth teller. This is who I am and who I always will be,” concluded Jody Wilson-Raybould.