Trudeau looking forward to Wilson-Raybould testimony on SNC-Lavalin controversy

Trudeau government clears Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak to justice committee on SNC-Lavalin

Those constraints, outlined by her in the letter, include claimed solicitor-client privilege, which she says only the government can waive, and the sub judice rule, which bars parliamentarians from saying anything that could impact ongoing court cases.

Wilson-Raybould was bound by her solicitor-client privelege with the Prime Minister which prevented her from speaking on the SNC-Lavalin political interference allegations.

Despite limits on what she can say about things that happened more recently, former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould will be able to speak freely about what pressure she felt not to pursue a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

Ms Wilson-Raybould said she and her staff were faced with four months of "sustained" and "inappropriate effort" to advocate for a potential deferred prosecution agreement for SNS-Lavalin. After 30 days it's only $5 a month.

"I therefore completely disagree with (Wilson-Raybould's) characterization of events", he added, brushing off a demand from Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer that he step down.

She was referring to events on Saturday, Oct. 20, 1973, when U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire the special prosecutor assigned to the Watergate scandal.

"It is important that people get an opportunity to testify or share their point of view with the committee", he said.

Mr Trudeau is being pressured to reveal what he knows about whether officials from his office inappropriately pressured a former cabinet minister to become involved with a prosecution on construction giant SNC-Lavalin.

However, it keeps the myriad of questions swirling around the controversy in the spotlight and could force the government to explain its reasoning if members and Trudeau himself vote against the motion.

His comments could also indicate the government has determined there are aspects of the matter that are not covered by solicitor-client privilege and which she should feel free to speak about, and more information is expected shortly.

On Monday Wilson-Raybould wrote to the committee chair, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, stating that she is "anxious" to appear.

The waiver does not, however, permit Wilson-Raybould to discuss conversations she may have had with the director of public prosecutions on SNC-Lavalin, a restriction that's meant to "uphold the integrity of any criminal or civil proceedings", the order states.

- A December 19 conversation Wernick had with Wilson-Raybould in which he told her Trudeau and other ministers were "quite anxious" about the potential impact of a criminal conviction on the financial viability of SNC-Lavalin and on innocent employees, shareholders, pensioners and third-party suppliers who would suffer as a result.

Wilson-Raybould said she reacted by looking him in the eye and asking, "Are you politically interfering with my role, my decision as the attorney general?"

Wilson-Raybould resigned from the Cabinet on February 12 as veteran affairs minister but gave no reasons.

Trudeau has insisted he was always clear the decision whether to prosecute was Wilson-Raybould's alone. Top bureaucrat Michael Wernick alluded to these communications when he testified before the committee last week. Butts has confirmed Wilson-Raybould raised the SNC-Lavalin matter briefly and he advised her to speak to Wernick.

She disputed that version of events, saying Trudeau only offered some vague assurance after she confronted him directly at the September 17 meeting, two weeks after Roussel had decided not to consider a remediation agreement.

Trudeau did not dispute that the SNC-Lavalin case was a hot topic of discussion with Wilson-Raybould.

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