Cameras follow Jody Wilson Raybould as she waits to appear in front of the Justice committee in Ottawa, Wednesday February 27, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Five things in Wilson-Raybould’s written evidence on the SNC-Lavalin affair

Jody Wilson-Raybould offers written, audio evidence to the House of Commons justice committee

Five things we learned from a written and audio submission made by former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to the House of Commons justice committee Friday.

On the cabinet shuffle

Trudeau’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts told the justice committee Wilson-Raybould was shuffled because they needed someone to fill in Indigenous Affairs and she refused. He said a minister has to serve at the pleasure of the prime minister and a refusal to be moved couldn’t stand.

Wilson-Raybould says she told Trudeau and his former principal secretary, Gerald Butts, she couldn’t understand the rationale for being part of the January cabinet shuffle, and that she had told them many times in the past that she would never take on a job of “delivering services to Indians” under the Indian Act and was shocked that she was then offered the Indigenous Services ministry.

Butts told the justice committee in March he didn’t know her position on that when the offer was made but acknowledged he should have known.

Wilson-Raybould also denies she ever referred to being attorney general as her “dream job” and instead said she thinks it was Butts who said it. Butts told the committee she called it her dream job when she was told she was being shuffled.

She said she took Trudeau at his word that the shuffle was not related to the SNC-Lavalin matter and agreed to take the job of veterans affairs minister, but said she made a decision to “immediately resign if the new Attorney General” issued a directive about the SNC-Lavalin case because it would confirm her suspicions she was moved for not intervening.

On her resignation from cabinet

Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet on Feb. 12, but told the justice committee in her live testimony that she couldn’t discuss the conversations she had with Trudeau on the reasons.

In her written submission, she is more clear about why she resigned, pointing to a comment Trudeau made to the media on Feb. 11.

“The Prime Minister stated publicly when issues about the propriety of the government’s conduct in relation to the SNC matter arose that my ongoing presence in Cabinet spoke for itself,” Wilson-Raybould wrote.

“I resigned the next day and I trust my resignation also speaks for itself.”

Some Liberals felt Wilson-Raybould didn’t like remediation agreements in general

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s deputy chief of staff, Justin To, in a phone call with Wilson-Raybould’s chief of staff, Jessica Prince complained that Wilson-Raybould was not intervening in the SNC-Lavalin case because she “has a philosophical problem” with remediation agreements and ”wouldn’t even use it if we could.” He calls it ironic that Wilson-Raybould is in favour of restorative justice in some sense but not for SNC-Lavalin.

Prince tells him “that is absolutely not true.”

To apologized in a follow-up email and then Prince laid out for him all the things Wilson-Raybould had done in favour of remediation agreements.

Disagreement with her deputy minister

Nathalie Drouin, the deputy minister of justice, told the justice committee that Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick, had asked her office for a briefing on the consequences, including job losses, if SNC-Lavalin did not get a remediation agreement, but that once that document was prepared, Wilson-Raybould ordered her not to give it to Wernick or anyone else in the Privy Council Office.

Wilson-Raybould denies that she ever knew about the memo or that she ordered Drouin not to hand it over to Wernick. She also says given that she had told Wernick she had made her decision she was not sure why he would have asked for such an opinion anyway.

Former prime minister Kim Campbell

Prince alleges that in a conversation with Butts, he pointed to a case involving former prime minister Brian Mulroney and the case of David Milgaard, who was wrongfully convicted for murder in 1970, and exonerated more than two decades later. Butts allegedly told Prince that Kim Campbell, who was then the attorney general, was asked by Mulroney to review the case after Mulroney met with Milgaard’s mother. Campbell, who would replace Mulroney as prime minister in 1993, is reported to have told Mulroney she couldn’t because it would interfere in an independent process.

Wilson-Raybould says she fact-checked the story with Campbell in Vancouver the next day over coffee, adding the former Tory prime minister had a “vivid memory of the case.”

“She categorically denied what Mr. Butts had said and was quite offended and outraged by the comments. She adamantly denied the characterization not only of her as the Attorney General, but also of her former boss, Prime Minister Mulroney,” Wilson-Raybould wrote.

Mulroney was “too good a lawyer to intervene improperly in the matter,” Wilson-Raybould recounted Campbell telling her.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre was shut down during police incident Monday

Local artist explores Nanaimo’s old Chinatown in new video installation

Charlotte Zhang among eight artists in Nanaimo Art Gallery’s ‘Estuary’ exhibition starting this week

Three blocks of Bruce Avenue will be closed until fall

Work will include utility upgrades, new curbs and sidewalks and new on-street bike lanes

Nanaimo Clippers won’t be hosting 2021 national championships

Hockey Canada hasn’t announced successful bid, but has advised it won’t be Nanaimo

Nanaimo students pushing for youth-led climate advisory group

Group would be responsible for organizing community cleanups, meetings and other events

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Silly Boat Regatta fills Nanaimo harbour with silly sailing

Island Red Cedar Construction wins this year’s race

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Nanaimo’s peewee girls win provincial lacrosse championship

Peewee B Timbermen defeat Coquitlam Adanacs 5-2 to win gold

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Most Read