Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians should listen to the country’s top public servant when it comes to the questions about whether Trudeau’s office tried to pressure former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop prosecuting SNC-Lavalin.

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice committee Thursday, telling MPs that there was absolutely no improper pressure.

Wernick said any information Wilson-Raybould got was to ensure she had the context she needed to decide what to do but that she was always told the final decision was hers.

Trudeau’s government has been thrown off course by the allegations that Wilson-Raybould was under pressure by the Prime Minister’s Office to allow SNC-Lavalin to avoid a criminal prosecution for fraud and bribery by entering into a remediation agreement with the federal government.

READ MORE: Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Trudeau says this morning Wernick is an “extraordinary public servant” who has worked in both Liberal and Conservative governments, and that Canadians should listen very carefully when Wernick chooses to speak publicly on the matter.

Wernick also said he doesn’t think Wilson-Raybould is bound by solicitor-client privilege not to tell her side of the story but Trudeau repeats that he is still receiving advice on whether to waive it because there are potential consequences for two ongoing court cases against the company.

The Canadian Press

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