Gerald Butts full statement to the Commons justice committee on SNC-Lavalin

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a Liberal Climate Action Rally in Toronto Monday

The Global News says the first of multiple interruptions occurred while the prime minister was attempting to address the resignation of his now former Treasury Board president, Jane Philpott, over the corruption scandal.

Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told the House of Commons justice committee last week that she and her staff had been subjected to persistent unwelcome pressure.

After weeks of mounting pressure and some high-profile resignations from his administration, Trudeau allowed Wilson-Raybould to testify in front of Parliament and she promptly delivered a bombshell testimony.

During Wernick's February 21 appearance he offered off-topic opening remarks on the state of online discourse, partisanship and the prospect of political assassinations.

She told the Prime Minister she anxious that Wilson-Raybauld might wonder if the move was connected to the SNC-Lavalin affair.

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared at a rally on Monday amid the still-unfolding SNC-Lavalin affair, and the tone grew tense at times", the outlet reports.

A conviction against SNC-Lavalin could result in the company being barred from bidding on federal contracts for a decade, potentially endangering as many as 9,000 jobs.

Wilson-Raybould declined to answer last week if she had confidence in Trudeau.

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Mr Butts said that it was always understood that any final decision on whether to offer SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement was for the attorney general alone to make.

As a result, Butts said Trudeau and the PMO determined that only Jane Philpott had the capacity and institutional knowledge to take over the complicated role, but anxious what signal it would send by shuffling one of its most capable ministers from the Indigenous Services portfolio.

When she refused to cave, Wilson-Raybould says, Trudeau fired her.

The departures of the two ministers show that women who speak truth to power and have strong principles need not seek cabinet posts, the NDP's women's-equality critic Irene Mathyssen agreed on Tuesday.

"I think its quite plausible that Gerry Butts didn't register how distressed Jody Wilson-Raybould was particularly because their conversation was friendly", May said. He said he attempted to talk Brison out of stepping down, telling him it would trigger a cabinet shuffle and the Prime Minister "was happy with the team he had".

"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", she said. "The Attorney General could have spoken or written to the Prime Minister at any time during this process to say attempts to contact her office on the meeting were improper and they should cease immediately".

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said after hearing Butts' testimony she still believes Wilson-Raybould's version of events, though noted that Butts may not have given certain interactions the same magnitude Wilson-Raybould had.

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