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Ethics Commissioner launches investigation into SNC-Lavalin case

Last Updated Feb 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm MDT

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The federal ethics commissioner has now officially launched an investigation into the political interference controversy involving the Prime Minister’s Office and Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.

In a statement, the ethics commissioner’s office has confirmed an investigation has been launched after it received complaints from two NDP MPs.

The commissioner is limited from saying much else until the examination is complete, but the statement does confirm this is in regards to the allegations in the Globe and Mail that the PMO attempted to pressure the now-former justice minister to cut a deal with SNC-Lavalin in order to drop criminal charges against the company.

The prime minister has denied the allegations. Government officials have confirmed discussions took place but denied there was any pressure.

Speaking in Vancouver on Monday, Trudeau said he welcomes the investigation by the ethics commissioner. He says he continues to have “full confidence” in Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was demoted to the veterans-affairs portfolio in a January cabinet shuffle.

Although she has not appeared with him at events Sunday and today in the Vancouver area, Trudeau says he has met with her a couple of times since arriving in her hometown.

Wilson-Raybould has refused to comment on the allegation since it surfaced last Thursday, citing solicitor-client privilege.

Trudeau says he looking into requests for him to waive solicitor-client privilege.

Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould reminded him of a conversation they had last fall, in which he says he told her it was entirely up to her as attorney general to decide whether to instruct the director of public prosecutions to negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin over its dealings in Libya, thereby avoiding a criminal trial.

In any event, Trudeau says the fact that Wilson-Raybould is still a cabinet minister, having neither resigned nor been dismissed, speaks for itself.