Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once again denied pressure on former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Rebold to “open the back door” to a suspected corrupt construction company.
Since the scandal was fermented, assistants and cabinet members have resigned, and the opposition party called for the prime minister to resign. Trudeau did not apologize, but said that he would “learn the lesson.”
[denial of “pressure”]
Trudeau held a press conference in the capital Ottawa on the same day, responding positively to the “intervention of justice” designation. He said: “The integrity of our system, the rule of law and the system has not been undermined. Improper pressure has never happened.”
Wilson-Rebled testified in the House of Representatives last week, identifying Trudeau and a number of aides and government officials “continuously” putting pressure and even “implicitly intimidating” and asking her to instruct the prosecutor about the alleged bribery of SNC – Lan Wanling The group company opened its doors and replaced criminal proceedings with huge fines.
According to Wilson-Rebled, she was “degraded” because she did not compromise. In January this year, when the cabinet was reorganized, she lost her position as Minister of Justice and was transferred to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. She resigned on February 12.
Trudeau said that he discussed the allegations of the SNC-Lan Wanling Group with Wilson-Rebold on September 17 last year. The other party informed that it would not seek the so-called “remediation agreement” for “fine penalty”; and “I emphasize the importance of protecting Canadian jobs and reiterate that it is one of the major national issues”.
Trudeau believes that he and the aides are not wrong, but tell Wilson-Lelbourd that once the company is convicted, it will lose the qualification to undertake government projects, which may endanger thousands of jobs.
The SNC-Lan Wanling Group employs 9,000 people in Canada, and Chairman Kevin Lynch served as the Director of the Federal Civil Affairs Bureau. The prosecution accused the company four years ago of alleged bribery of Libyan officials from 2001 to 2011 to obtain Libyan government engineering contracts.
According to Trudeau, he and other officials originally thought that Wilson-Rebold would be willing to listen to the “different angles” of how to deal with the SNC-Lanwanling Group as long as the case is not over. “We understand now that she was There is no intention to change his mind.”
Trudeau said that Wilson-Lelbourd did not complain to him about “improper pressure” and he “sorry that the two sides feel different about the situation.”
He said: “Reviewing the past few weeks, we have to learn a lot from it… to reflect, understand, and do better next time.”
Trudeau, 47, became prime minister in November 2015, promising to act in a “bright way”, taking on more responsibilities and increasing the number of women in the cabinet. However, the “open door” scandal for the corrupt enterprises has caused the cabinet to “break” two well-known female ministers.
Wilson-Lelbourd identified “inappropriate pressure” officials including Trudeau’s chief assistant, Gerard Bartz, who resigned on the 18th. Canadian Treasury Board Chairman Jane Philport was dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the scandal and resigned on the 4th.
Andrew Hill, the leader of the Canadian opposition Conservative Party, has repeatedly called for Trudeau to step down and not to buy Trudeau’s response.
Hill told reporters in Toronto that Trudeau’s explanation was “full of falsehood” and that “the Canadian’s trust in Justin Trudeau has been eroded”.
Reuters reported that some members of the Liberal Party of the ruling party in Canada privately complained that the Trudeau staff had improperly handled the scandal.
The SNC-Lanwanling Group is headquartered in Quebec, a populous province. The Liberal Party led by Trudeau hopes to win more votes in this province and increase the odds in the October parliamentary elections. The scandal will surely drag down the election of the Liberal Party.
Canada’s Nanos Research Corporation released a weekly public opinion follow-up survey on the 5th, showing that the Liberal Party’s public opinion support rate was 34%; the Conservative Party was 35%. According to a poll on January 8, the support ratings of the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party were 39% and 33% respectively.