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Dan-in-Ottawa

Trudeau guilty, again

Canadian political history was made as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was found guilty for the second time in contravening the Conflict of Interest Act.

In the ruling released this week, Mario Dion, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, found Mr. Trudeau guilty of seeking to influence a decision by the Attorney General in relation to the prosecution of SNC Lavalin.

This situation led to the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal cabinet, before Mr. Trudeau removed her and Jane Philpott (who also resigned from cabinet due to concerns on the subject) from the Liberal caucus.

The report, known as Trudeau II, raises some very troubling findings.

The Commissioner found:

"The Prime Minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson-Raybould. The authority of the Prime Minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson-Raybould as the Crown's chief law officer.”

The Commissioner noted that he was denied some of the required information to view "the entire body of evidence" and that some witnesses were also unable to share certain information because of these same restrictions.

Ultimately his conclusion was:

"The evidence showed there were many ways in which Mr. Trudeau, either directly or through the actions of those under his direction, sought to influence the Attorney General."

Since the report was released, Mr. Trudeau stated that he "takes responsibility for the mistakes that I made" yet, at the same time, he has also stated that he disagrees with some of the Commissioner’s findings.

Having now read the Commissioners report in full, I also have a few thoughts.

When this SNC Lavalin situation was first reported in the Globe and Mail, Mr. Trudeau told reporters:

"The allegations in the Globe story this morning are false."

Later, during a March 7, 2019 news conference, Mr. Trudeau stated:

"In Ms. Wilson-Raybould's case she did not come to me and I wish she had.”

The challenge with this statement is that the Trudeau II report clearly reveals that on Sept.17, 2018,  Ms. Wilson-Raybould did meet with Mr. Trudeau and relayed her concerns directly to him.

In other words, the comments made by Mr. Trudeau in March of 2019 do not reconcile with the facts of Sept. 17, 2018 as outlined in the report.

My question this week:

  • What do you think the Prime Minister should do in light of this serious report?

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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