Jody Wilson-Raybould testifies at justice committee

The former justice minister broke her silence on the SNC-Lavalin affair when she testified at the House justice committee

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Former Liberal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould walks to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Jody Wilson-Raybould had remained mostly silent on the SNC-Lavalin affair that’s gripped Ottawa for most of the last month. Until today, when Wilson-Raybould testified at the House of Commons justice committee. The former justice minister delivered a 36-minute opening statement to the committee and remained in her chair for the full meeting.

You can read Wilson-Raybould’s opening statement to the justice committee. Here’s an excerpt:

For a period of approximately four months between September and December 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with SNC-Lavalin. These events involved 11 people (excluding myself and my political staff) – from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, and the Office of the Minister of Finance. This included in-person conversations, telephone calls, emails, and text messages. There were approximately 10 phone calls and 10 meetings specifically about SNC-Lavalin that I and/or my staff was a part of.

Wilson-Raybould’s testimony included claims that on four occasions, senior Liberals—including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—made reference to possible electoral consequences if the SNC-Lavalin file were mishandled.