Trudeau Pressured Justice Minister to Help SNC-Lavalin Avoid Prosecution, Says Globe and Mail

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
February 7, 2019 Updated: February 8, 2019

OTTAWA—The Globe and Mail says former justice minister Jody Wilson−Raybould disappointed the Prime Minister’s Office by refusing to help SNC−Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution.

The Quebec engineering and construction giant has been facing legal trouble over allegations it paid millions of dollars in bribes to get government business in Libya, which would be a crime under Canadian law.

As justice minister, Wilson−Raybould could have gotten involved in the case against the company by directing federal prosecutors to negotiate a “remediation agreement,” a way of undoing damage without admitting the company itself was at fault for things particular employees did.

The Globe reports that SNC−Lavalin repeatedly lobbied Justin Trudeau’s aides for a deal and Trudeau’s office leaned on Wilson−Raybould to make it happen.

No such agreement was ever reached and Wilson−Raybould was moved to be minister of veterans affairs in a January cabinet shuffle.

Neither Trudeau nor Wilson−Raybould nor SNC−Lavalin has immediately responded to questions from The Canadian Press about the story.