Conservative leader Andrew Scheer urges Justin Trudeau to lift his solicitor-client privilege so that Canadians can find out about his dealings with the former Attorney General on SNC-Lavalin .
“As you know, any client may choose to waive the solicitor-client privilege,” says Scheer in a letter to Trudeau, dated Sunday, also sent to the media. In this case, Mr. Prime Minister, you can waive your duties to the former Attorney General of Canada. ”
The Leader of the Opposition also recalled that in the investigation of Senator Mike Duffy, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper had agreed to make public his exchanges with his Attorney General, as Paul Martin at the time of the Gomery commission.
In the Canadian system, the Attorney General, who is also the Minister of Justice, has the client as his client, of which he is the lawyer and the legal advisor.
By evoking the solicitor-client privilege with her former client, former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, now Minister of Veterans Affairs, was able to refrain from commenting Friday on allegations of interference by the Prime Minister’s Office. the case against SNC-Lavalin.
Legal or illegal?
An article published in the Globe and Mail Thursday suggested that members of the Trudeau cabinet would have pressured Ms. Wilson-Raybould, so that the Director of Public Prosecutions will drop the legal proceedings against SNC-Lavalin to avoid the economic consequences. a conviction. The Quebec engineering consulting firm, which employs 52,000 people worldwide, is accused of pouring millions of dollars of bribes to high-ranking Gaddafi regime in Libya to obtain contracts between 2001 and 2011.
Negotiating an agreement with an organization accused of an offense to avoid a conviction is not illegal. An amendment to the Criminal Code permits this since 2018, but only if the Attorney General agrees.
“We have the right to know. If there is a logical explanation, we will have it, but right now, it is complete silence, “denounced Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus on TVA News.
The opposition will continue to press
Following the publication of the report, Justin Trudeau firmly denied the allegations of the Toronto daily, but Andrew Scheer was not convinced.
“[The statement by Jody Wilson-Raybould] confirms that the former Attorney General believes that there is a” case “related to the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin,” reiterated the Conservative leader in his letter.
If the Prime Minister refuses to comply, the Conservatives could turn to the courts, Andrew Scheer’s firm told QMI Agency on Sunday.
The opposition is also calling for an emergency meeting of the justice committee of the House of Commons this week.