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'A line . . . was crossed' in SNC-Lavalin affair, says New Democrat MP

OTTAWA — Canadians could hear this week from Jody Wilson-Raybould about whether the former attorney general believes she faced inappropriate pressure from the prime minister’s office to halt a criminal prosecution of Quebec-based engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Wilson-Raybould is widely expected to testify as early as Tuesday at a Commons committee that is looking into the allegations, although the Liberal MP has not said definitively when she might appear.

The opposition Conservatives will also put pressure on the prime minister himself to testify at the Commons justice committee.

The Tories plan to introduce a motion calling on Justin Trudeau to take questions from the committee for two hours no later than March 15.

Both the Conservatives and New Democrats say testimony so far at the committee makes clear to them that a line was crossed in pressuring Wilson-Raybould to pursue SNC-Lavalin through a remediation agreement, rather than criminal prosecution, for fraud and bribery related to the firm’s work in Libya.

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick told the committee Thursday that Trudeau was worried a prosecution might result in SNC-Lavalin cutting Canadian jobs if it faced prosecution, but that Wilson-Raybould, who resigned from cabinet Feb. 12, was never unduly pressured.


The Canadian Press