Committee chair says probe of Wilson-Raybould affair a possibility

Committee chair says probe of Wilson-Raybould affair a possibility

Saskatchewan's only Liberal MP Ralph Goodale was in the hot seat Tuesday in Regina as he was grilled by reporters about former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould's cabinet resignation and the state of the public's trust in the government and the Canadian judicial system. "I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter, and as such have retained Honerable Thomas Albert Cromwell, CC as counsel", Wilson-Raybould wrote in the letter.

Housefather says he believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he says nobody from his office pressured Wilson-Raybould but he also believes more clarity is needed to explain exactly what went on.

A blossoming relationship between B.C. First Nations and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal Liberals has suffered a major setback with the resignation from cabinet of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The prime minister has denied the allegations.

The Liberals have been backsliding on their commitment to reconciliation for some time and Wilson-Raybould's resignation is just the latest manifestation, said Sheryl Lightfoot, a professor of political science, and First Nations and Indigenous studies, at UBC.

Wilson-Raybould, 47, appointed justice minister when Trudeau came to power in November 2015, is one of the most prominent aboriginal politicians in federal politics.

In Regina to announce federal climate action funding for the City of Regina, Goodale was peppered with questions about allegations that the Prime Minister's Office may have attempted to interfere with Wilson-Raybould's decision-making as attorney general regarding SNC-Lavalin.

He also insisted, as he has since the story broke, that he did not direct Wilson-Raybould to come to any specific conclusions on whether to direct the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to reach an agreement with SNC-Lavalin. 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.

She responded by quitting cabinet.

In her letter to Trudeau, she stated "many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media" and revealed she had hired a top lawyer to advise her on how much she could say.

"I'm not going to get ahead of the determination that members of the parliamentary committee make".

"It's tragic for her and I think it's tragic for the country", Wilson said.

"The current Liberal brand has been taking a beating on this portfolio", she said.

And on Monday, Trudeau said he welcomed news that federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion has initiated his own investigation into the matter, specifically whether there's been a violation of a Conflict of Interest Act provision which prohibits a public office holder from seeking to influence a decision so as to improperly further another person's private interests. Instead he said it was for the Liberal-dominated committee to decide.

The engineering firm faces corruption and bribery charges in relation to Libyan construction projects that date back to 2001.

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