PM Justin Trudeau welcomes ethics probe into SNC-Lavalin case


The federal ethics commissioner has now officially launched an investigation into the political interference controversy involving the Prime Minister's Office and Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin. But the prime minister said he'd met with her a couple of times since arriving in her hometown on Sunday and said he continues to have "full confidence" in her.

A source close to the B.C. politician said this was a really terrible day for the minister and for her supporters who consider her to be a person of high integrity.

In recent days, Liberal operatives have attempted to smear Wilson-Raybould's performance even though she was widely seen as a credible and competent Minister throughout her tenure.

The current justice minister and attorney general David Lametti has been asked by Trudeau for recommendations on whether to waive said privileges, which would allow Wilson-Raybould to speak about the allegations.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported last week that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's aides leaned on Wilson-Raybould to help avoid a prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on bribery and fraud charges.

In a statement, the ethics commissioner's office has confirmed an investigation has been launched after it received complaints from two NDP MPs.

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The newspaper says Wilson-Raybould was shuffled to the veterans affairs portfolio after she refused to direct the public prosecutor to forge a remediation deal with the company, which would bypass a criminal conviction.

Trudeau has said the report is "false" but admitted on Monday he has since been reminded of a conversation with Wilson-Raybould on the matter. He did say there was nothing wrong with Wilson-Raybould being involved in internal discussions about whether to let SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

The Globe story claims that Wilson-Raybould resisted pressure to intervene with the Public Prosecution Service's decision to proceed with a trial. Government officials have confirmed discussions took place but denied there was any pressure.

New Brunswick MP Wayne Long says in a statement posted to social media that he was "extremely troubled" when the allegation surfaced last week and nothing he has heard since has made him feel less unsettled.

"It is important to remember that while the attorney general sits at a certain distance from his cabinet colleagues, in Canada - unlike in other countries - he does not work in isolation from them, or the important experiences or considerations that those colleagues bring to the table".

On Wednesday, the House justice committee will meet to review a request from the opposition parties that the committee investigate the allegations.