Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke the federal Conflict of Interest Act by trying to exert influence over former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould in what came to be known as the SNC-Lavalin scandal, according to a new report.
Ethics commissioner Mario Dion released the hotly anticipated findings of his report into allegations that Trudeau improperly pressured Wilson-Raybould to override the decision of the director of public prosecutions not to offer the Quebec engineering giant a deal to avoid criminal prosecution on charges of corruption and bribery.
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“The prime minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson‑Raybould,” said Dion, specifying that Trudeau broke Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act, which bars public officeholders from “using their position to seek to influence a decision to improperly further the private interests of a third party, either by acting outside the scope of their legislative authority, or contrary to a rule, a convention or an established process.”
“The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer.”