OTTAWA- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Jody Wilson-Raybould would still be the justice minister in his cabinet if it wasn’t for the resignation of former Treasury Board president Scott Brison.
Trudeau, who made the remarks in Ottawa this morning, says Brison’s sudden decision to leave politics resulted in having to “move things around” on the team, including shuffling Wilson-Raybould into the veterans affairs portfolio.
He said there was many discussions on the SNC-Lavalon, from the Mayor to union groups. He said the reason for meeting with Wilson-Raybould he says was her decision alone to make.
“There has been a lot of discussion over these past weeks on the fact that the government has been engaged in looking to protect jobs , to create jobs,” but he said meetings with SNC-Lavalin he said was done in full respect to Canada’s judicial system.
He spoke about the whisper campaign that has been going on. He had been criticized for calling her by her first name and spoke on reports from anonymous sources that attacked her character. He said the comments were unacceptable and no room for sexist or racist comments and there is no tolerance for it.
Wilson-Raybould suddenly quit the cabinet this week, but Trudeau isn’t saying what reasons she gave for her resignation.
He only says he accepts her decision, even if he doesn’t totally understand it.
Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that Wilson-Raybould felt pressured to instruct the director of public prosecutions to negotiate a remediation agreement with Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin rather than pursue a criminal trial on charges of bribery and fraud linked to the company’s efforts to secure business in Libya.
Trudeau says he told Wilson-Raybould any decision on the file was hers alone after she asked him during a fall conversation if he was going to direct her on what to do.