Minister Ralph Goodale responds to SNC Lavalin scandal

Minister Ralph Goodale responds to SNC Lavalin scandal

"I am firmly convinced that nothing happened here beyond the normal operations of government", Butts said.

He said: "Justin Trudeau simply can not continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he has done and that is why I am calling on Mr Trudeau to do the right thing and to resign".

He also took pains to emphasize-as Trudeau has done, in what little he has said in direct response to Wilson-Raybould-that at no point did the former attorney general raise her voice or put pen to paper in order to tell anyone in the PMO to back off, or even that she felt they were out of line in the first place. He'll also seek external advice on whether to separate the dual roles of justice minister and attorney general - one political, the other legal, both held by the same person.

"In any case, that was our operating assumption. We are still a government that is working hard to promote women in business, women internationally", she said.

The truth is the charged, partisan atmosphere of the justice committee, where the Liberal majority constantly makes decisions on proceedings that favour the Liberals, is never going to get to the whole truth in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

This morning, Trudeau said mentioning he was a Quebec MP was not problematic, saying that it's up to all MPs to advocate for the people they were elected to serve, and that concern for job losses in Quebec and elsewhere were top of his mind. Butts said that decision had nothing to do with SNC-Lavalin, and that her objections around SNC only ramped up around that time.

"Can you imagine, if when we were kids, and the coal mines closed ... the best explanation someone could give us is that they thought about it for 12 days?" said Butts, whose father is a retired coal-miner. "What would be the rationale?"

In his own testimony, Butts attempted to refute Wilson-Raybould's account, suggesting that high-level discussions of the Lavalin matter focused appropriately on how the case might affect jobs and employment, not on political repercussions of the case. A second minister, Jane Philpott, resigned this week over Trudeau's handling of the matter.

Five things we heard Wednesday as the House of Commons justice committee heard from Gerald Butts, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick and deputy justice minister Nathalie Drouin.

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If testimony from Gerald Butts was supposed to be the Hail Mary pass that would let the Liberals pull victory from the jaws of defeat after Jody Wilson-Raybould's devastating testimony, the ball ended up six rows into the bleachers.

As for whether Canadians should be losing faith in the Liberals, as polls are now showing, Wilkinson said he believes the country is more interested in job security, climate change and poverty.

In her latest comments, Wilson-Raybould pointed to the limits of her solicitor-client privelege and how she was limited to speaking only about what occurred during her time as Attorney General.

Wilson-Raybould has said she made a final decision on the matter on September 16 and informed Trudeau of that during their meeting the following day, after which she maintains no one should have continued to pressure her on the issue.

What is also not lost on people is Wilson-Raybould's forced silence has not allowed her the opportunity to address the Prime Minister's Office assertion that she misunderstood friendly queries and suggestions for being inappropriately bullied.

Butts said Trudeau needed an experienced minister replacing Brison as president of the Treasury Board and was concerned about choosing a new Nova Scotia minister without alienating other Nova Scotia MPs.

"Regardless of whether you believe (Wilson-Raybould) or you don't believe her, the reality is that there are stark contradictions and one of them isn't telling the full story", Conservative House Leader and justice committee member Lisa Raitt said after the meeting.

"I'm obviously reflecting on lessons learned through this", Trudeau said.

"(Butts') evidence simply defies all logic", he said.

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