VIDEO: Trudeau repeats non-apology for ‘standing up for jobs’ in SNC-Lavalin case

PM reiterates he disagrees with report, but accepts it and takes responsibility for his actions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is repeating what’s sure to be his go-to election campaign message on the SNC-Lavalin affair: He’s not about to apologize for what he calls standing up for Canadian jobs, communities and citizens.

During an event in Fredericton on Thursday morning, Trudeau reiterated that he accepts Wednesday’s damning report from federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion and takes full responsibility for what happened.

“I’m not going to apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs, because that’s my job — to make sure Canadians and communities and pensioners and families across the country are supported, and that’s what I will always do,” he said during a brief, impromptu news conference.

“I disagree with the ethics commissioner’s conclusions, but he is an officer of Parliament doing his job and I fully accept his report, which means I take full responsibility.”

He also says the government intends to implement the recommendations of a separate report from former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan on the merits of having the justice minister and the attorney general under the same cabinet portfolio, “to make sure this government and no future government gets in this situation ever again.”

That report recommends keeping the two jobs together, but better educating parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and staff members on how best to consult with federal attorneys general.

Pressure is mounting on Trudeau to say he’s sorry to former cabinet members Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, but the prime minister is making it clear that no such apology will be forthcoming.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion concluded that the prime minister violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring Wilson-Raybould, who was attorney general at the time, to halt the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Dion concluded that Trudeau’s attempts to influence Wilson-Raybould on the SNC-Lavalin prosecution contravened a provision of the ethics law, which prohibits public office holders from using their position to try to influence a decision that would improperly further the private interests of a third party.

In an interview today with The Canadian Press, Philpott — who quit cabinet in a show of solidarity with Wilson-Raybould earlier this year, about a month before both of them were kicked out of the Liberal caucus — said the prime minister still owes Canadians an apology, not for how the two women were treated but for Dion’s primary conclusion: that he violated the Conflict of Interest Act.

“I do believe that the people of Canada deserve an apology,” Philpott said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Robbie Burns Day recognized with bagpipes and haggis

Nanaimo celebrates life and works of 18th-century poet

Licensed cannabis store opens in Nanaimo’s north end

Mood Cannabis Company’s Metral Drive location opened Jan. 18

Two women struck by vehicle at Nanaimo intersection

One woman taken to hospital with possible broken bones

Nanaimo school district to explore trustee wage increases, benefits

SD68 staff compile report comparing trustee remuneration with five similar school districts

Cars crash on old Island Highway at Mary Ellen Drive

No injuries reported in accident, which happened at about noon

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 23

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read