Justin Trudeau “is not who he pretends to be.”
This is what Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is saying after the prime minister was found in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion made that ruling in a report released today on Trudeau’s involvement in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Dion found that Trudeau tried to pressure former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould into offering the Quebec-based construction giant a deferred prosecution agreement.
The SNC-Lavalin affair is a political scandal and controversy involving allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) politically interfered with the justice system.
SNC-Lavalin is facing bribery and fraud charges related to payments to Libyan officials.
A conviction would prevent SNC-Lavalin from bidding on federal government contracts for 10 years.
Johns, who is a federal NDP member, said it’s a sad day for Canada.
“People are sad to see that again, the Liberals have served their own interests and the interests of the rich and the powerful,” he said. “The report basically proves that the Liberal government has put the wealthy and well-connected above the law and the Prime Minister is personally responsible.”
He added, “We have proof now that the Prime Minister went so far as to break the law, to cut backroom deals for his corporate friends and to benefit his political party and it’s not the first time, it’s the second time the Prime Minister has been found in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act which is the first in Canadian history.”
Meanwhile, North Island-Powell River NDP MP Rachel Blaney said the Ethics Commissioner’s findings supports the truth that Wilson-Raybould “bravely” spoke back in February.
She added that it “supports what we’ve been saying for a long time: the Prime Minister and his government are more concerned with the interests of their rich and well-connected friends, than they are about the rest of us.”
“Sadly, many people I hear from in our communities are not at all surprised,” Blaney said. “They’ve become used to Conservative and Liberal governments that put rich corporations first. Canadians deserve an honest government that will put people first.”
Wilson-Raybould was shuffled to another cabinet position after her refusal, eventually resigned from cabinet, and was then, along with fellow Liberal MP Jane Philpott, expelled from the Liberal caucus.
Trudeau’s Principal Secretary, Gerald Butts, resigned and Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council, retired early in the wake of the scandal.