Ethics Commissioner launches investigation into SNC-Lavalin case

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday

For the details of Trudeau's involvement in tampering with the SNC-Lavalin case, however, all Scheer has to go on is an anonymously-sourced report in the Globe and Mail.

Guelph's MP says it isn't up to backbenchers like himself to call for an open and transparent investigation into an allegation that former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould was pressured by the Prime Minister's Office to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

On Monday, Canada's independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner confirmed he has launched an examination following a request from two opposition New Democrat MPs.

"The issue of solicitor client privilege is not a simple one so I have asked our attorney general to provide me with advice on this matter", said Trudeau speaking on Wilson-Raybould's silence about the allegations after citing her "solicitor client privileges" during her time as Attorney General.

Trudeau denies the allegations but Dion has decided they're worth investigating.

SNC-Lavalin was charged with paying out $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials in the decade leading up to the NATO-led overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi's government in 2011, payments meant to influence government decision-making, though the company was also charged with defrauding Libyan companies of about $130 million. "And at the end of the day, I abide by the long-standing principle that when acting as attorney general, I will apply my judicial mind to a decision, and not my political mind".

The newspaper reported that she had refused to ask prosecutors to make a deal with the company that would have avoided a trial.

However, Wilson-Raybould was not in attendance at the event, despite representing a neighbouring riding.

"We spoke about our shared goals for our country and for this government", he said, adding that her "presence in cabinet should actually speak for itself".

Mr Trudeau told journalists on Monday that he has met Ms Wilson-Raybould in recent days and confirmed with her they had a conversation last autumn, during which he told her all decisions related to the case "were hers alone".

On Wednesday, the House justice committee will meet to review a request from the opposition parties that the committee investigate the allegations.

New Brunswick MP Wayne Long said in a statement posted to social media that he was "extremely troubled" when the allegation surfaced last week and nothing he has heard since has made him feel less unsettled. Long is not a member of the justice committee, however.

Under the Conflict of Interest Act, a member of the government is prohibited from giving "preferential treatment to any person or organization based on the identity of the person or organization".

Charlie Angus, the party's ethics critic, said in a statement that Trudeau promised Canadians he would change the way politics worked in Ottawa, but instead his Liberal government "continues to prioritize helping insiders and the rich get ahead".

That license was later cancelled.

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