During a tour of the Conrad rental housing development in Vancouver, Justin Trudeau addressed the political interference allegations surrounding the Prime Minister’s Office and SNC-Lavalin.
The Prime Minister’s comments came after an announcement on funding for 3 more rental and housing projects in Vancouver.
Appearing at the BC housing development alongside Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Jonathan Wilkinson, Justin Trudeau said he welcomes an investigation.
“We welcome the ethics commissioners investigation this is an issue that has been much talked about over the past few days, and i think its extremely important that Canadians can continue to have confidence in our system,” said the Prime Minister.
Throughout the questions the Prime Minister did not answer directly, when asked whether a member of his office was involved in any political pressure.
“I have met with minister Wilson-Raybould a couple of times already since arriving in BC yesterday. She confirmed for me a conversation we had this Fall where i told her directly that any decisions on matters regarding public prosecutions were here own,” said Justin Trudeau.
“Were bound by cabinet confidentiality…. Her presence in cabinet should speak for itself.”
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.
The Prime Minister continued to repeat these talking points throughout the press release.
The political scandal erupted after The Globe and Mail released an incriminating report that suggested that members from the PMO tried to pressure former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould into interfering in a criminal prosecution against the Montreal construction and engineering giant.
This is the first time the Prime Minister has addressed the affair since the story broke last week.
Shortly after the Globe and Mail report, the Prime Minister denied the allegations, calling the story false.
“The allegations reported in the story are false. At no time did I or my office direct the current or previous attorney-general to make any particular decision in this matter,” said the Prime Minister. ” “As I’ve said, at no time did we direct the attorney-general, current or previous, to make any decision whatsoever in this matter.”
Even though the Prime Minister has denied the allegations, pressures have mounted for an investigation into the matter.
After outcry from members of the opposition and the public, the ethics commissioner has announced that they will be conducting an independent probe into the accusations.