The Prime Minister spoke in Winnipeg today after the former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced her resignation from the Liberal cabinet.
The resignation comes at a time when Wilson-Raybould is involved in a scandal regarding attempts by the Prime Minister’s Office to pressure her into intervening in a criminal trial against SNC-Lavalin.
This is the first time Trudeau has spoken since taking questions from reporters yesterday while in Vancouver.
“Last night I accepted Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation from cabinet. Frankly I am both surprised and disappointed by her decision to step down,” said the Prime Minister. “This resignation is not consistent with conversations I’ve had with Jody a few weeks ago… nor is it consistent with conversations we’ve had lately.”
Jody Wilson-Raybould was part of a cabinet shuffle earlier in January and was removed from her position as the Attorney General and as the Justice Minister.
“Let me be direct the Government of Canada did its job and to the clear public standards expected of it. If anyone felt differently they had an obligation to raise that with me, no one including Jody did that.”
The Prime Minister has also announced that Minister Harjit Sajjan has replaced Jody Wilson-Raybould as the acting Minister of Veterans Affairs.
Regarding the question of political interference the Prime Minister claimed that the former Justice Minister didn’t bring up any of her concerns during her tenure.
“It was her responsibility to let me know about that, of course she said nothing of that to me last Fall,” said Trudeau.
On the waiving of the solicitor-client privilege the Prime Minister reiterated the fact that he asked the current Attorney General to advise him on the possibility of waiving the privilege.
“There’s a real danger of unintended consequences”, said the Prime Minister, claiming that any new information might interfere with the ongoing court cases against SNC-Lavalin.
When one reporter asked when are Canadians going to get answers about the scandal ahead of the election the Prime Minister replied “as I’ve said, we’re giving answers today.”