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Trudeau’s problem is that Wilson-Raybould didn’t give him what he wanted

6 11 551

Let’s cut to the chase: Despite the cascade of revelations surrounding the crisis consuming the Trudeau government, the situation has become much clearer.

From everything we know now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his top adviser did everything they could to get Jody Wilson-Raybould to block a prosecution against SNC-Lavalin on corruption charges. Their argument — and we have the prime minister’s own statement in the House of Commons on this — was prompted by intense concern over the potential economic impact of the trial, including lost jobs.

Last year the Liberals slipped through a new law specially tailored to let SNC-Lavalin escape such a trial. But the law itself prevents economic concerns from being considered when deciding to apply it. So it would appear that the prime minister was asking Wilson-Raybould to overlook the very rules his government had put in place, even after a decision had been made to proceed with prosecution.

The bitter dispute that has developed centres on whether or not the efforts by Trudeau, and his former principal secretary Gerald Butts, constituted undue pressure. Liberal caucus members, justifiably alarmed at the damage the party has been doing to itself, now seem willing to buy into Trudeau’s insistence that he and Butts acted correctly. But the facts are running against them.

A timeline that emerged Wednesday undermines Trudeau’s claim. The decision to proceed against Lavalin was made by director of public prosecutions Kathleen Roussel on Sept. 4. Wilson-Raybould had the power to reverse that........

© National Post