Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to his seat at the start of the First Ministers Meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Trudeau partially waives solicitor-client privilege for Wilson-Raybould

Wilson-Raybould could now appear at the House of Commons justice committee as early as Wednesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is partially waiving solicitor-client privilege with his former attorney general, paving the way for Jody Wilson-Raybould to finally tell some of her side of the SNC-Lavalin saga.

“I am pleased also to confirm that later today the government will confirm that the member for Vancouver-Granville will be able to address relevant matters at the committee, while ensuring that the two active court cases are not jeopardized,” Trudeau said in the House of Commons Monday afternoon.

READ MORE: Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Wilson-Raybould could now appear at the House of Commons justice committee as early as Wednesday to explain what type of pressure she felt she was under not to pursue a criminal prosecution of the Quebec engineering giant, and allow the firm to negotiate a remediation agreement instead.

The two cases Trudeau referenced are the ongoing criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin for allegedly bribing Libyan officials to secure contracts there, and a request by SNC-Lavalin executives that a judge overturn the decision by the director of public prosecutions not to enter into a remediation agreement.

Earlier this month anonymous sources told the Globe and Mail newspaper that Wilson-Raybould had been pressured by Trudeau and his aides to overturn the public prosecutor and proceed to a remediation agreement. Trudeau has said he was always clear that the final decision rested with her, though he acknowledges both he and his aides had several conversations with her throughout the fall to provide her with information to help her make the decision.

Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould have both been awaiting legal advice on the extent of solicitor-client privilege protecting their conversations. She has said more than once that the decision to waive that privilege is not hers to make.

In a letter to the Commons justice committee Monday she said she was “anxious” to appear but wasn’t going to confirm her attendance until she had “clarity” about what she can say.

The committee offered her times on both Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but as of Monday evening, there was no formal notice of her appearance.

She has asked to deliver a 30-minute opening statement before she takes questions from committee members, which is about three times the length most witnesses are granted.

The chances Trudeau gets asked to testify at the committee himself fell from slim to almost none Monday after the Liberals defeated a Tory motion asking the House of Commons to order the prime minister to appear.

Arif Virani, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, said the committee can decide for itself what witnesses to call. Liberal MP Marc Miller noted that over the course of the last week, Trudeau had answered at least 40 questions on the matter in the House of Commons.

Mia Rabson and Teresa Wright, 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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

Peace on the water

Harrison Lake was rather serene recently with the lack of usual traffic… Continue reading

‘Service beyond the classroom’: Gerry Palmer wins UFV award

Palmer has been involved with UFV for more than 30 years, starting as an instructor

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read