Ethics commissioner to probe Prime Minister's Office over SNC-Lavalin scandal

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SNC-Lavalin was charged with paying out $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials in the decade leading up to the NATO-led overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi's government in 2011, payments meant to influence government decision-making, though the company was also charged with defrauding Libyan companies of about $130 million.

Monday, he said in Vancouver that he'd told Wilson-Raybould that any decision on the subject was hers alone.

Canada's ethics watchdog has launched an investigation into allegations that the Prime Minister's Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help construction giant SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

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"This is an issue that has been much talked about over the past few days and I think it's extremely important that Canadians can continue to have confidence in our system".

Since Thursday, Wilson-Raybould has refused to comment on the allegations, citing solicitor-client privilege. On Sunday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer wrote to Trudeau to demand that he waive that privilege and allow Wilson-Raybould to speak openly. "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. The attorney general must consent to the negotiation of the agreement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Veterans Affairs Minister Jodie Wilson-Raybould attend a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

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Trudeau dismissed a question about her absence, pointing out that other B.C. Liberal MPs also weren't there.

Her departure comes one day after Mr. Trudeau said Ms. Wilson-Raybould's continued membership in his cabinet as an indicator to Canadians that she is not unhappy with his government.

The December 2017 report found Trudeau broke four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act, including Section 11, which prohibits the receipt of gifts unless they are from friends and relatives.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called an emergency cabinet committee meeting to deal with the fallout.