SNC – Lavalin : The PMO and Jody Wilson-Raybould

Updated August 21, 2019 4:05pmET

Liberal MPs voted down attempts Wednesday to bring ethics commissioner Mario Dion and government officials before committee to discuss his report on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Dion’s Aug. 14 report concluded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by trying to influence former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould’s decision in the criminal prosecution of the Quebec construction and engineering firm.

In his 63-page report, Dion wrote “Mr. Trudeau used his position of authority over Ms. Wilson‑Raybould to seek to influence, both directly and indirectly, her decision on whether she should overrule the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to invite SNC-Lavalin to enter into negotiations towards a remediation agreement. Therefore, I find that Mr. Trudeau contravened section 9 of the Act.”

This marks the second time that Trudeau has been found to be in violation of the Act. In December 2017, then-ethics commissioner Mary Dawson ruled that the prime minister’s 2016 vacation to the Aga Khan’s private Caribbean island breached four sections of the federal conflict of interest law.

While the prime minister said he takes “full responsibility” for anything that occurred in his office, he maintained he will not apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs.

Watch the prime minister’s full news conference.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer held a news conference in Regina in response to the report, calling Trudeau’s actions “unforgivable” and saying the scandal will be “top of mind for Canadian voters” in the upcoming October election.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh told reporters in Victoria that the “bombshell” report shows Trudeau cannot continue to be prime minister.

Wilson-Raybould responded to Dion’s report in a Facebook post. She wrote the report “represents a vindication of the independent role of the Attorney General and of the Director of Public Prosecutions in criminal prosecutions” and that it “affirms the position I have taken from the outset”.

A few hours after Dion released his findings, the government made public a report about the dual role of the country’s justice minister and attorney general. Trudeau had asked former deputy prime minister and justice minister Anne McLellan to examine whether the roles should be separated in light of concerns raised amid the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

“I do not believe that further structural change is required in Canada to protect prosecutorial independence and promote public confidence in the criminal justice system,” McLellan wrote. The structural model as been in place since Confederation.

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