Former cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould will be called before the House of Commons justice committee to address allegations she was pressured by the Prime Minister's Office not to prosecute a Quebec engineering giant.
Meanwhile, Wilson-Raybould showed up for the weekly Liberal caucus meeting today but wouldn't say if she will provide any explanations to her fellow MPs. Last week, Liberal MPs on the justice committee shut down opposition attempts to call the former justice minister as a witness in the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Her resignation followed accusations in the press that the Prime Minister's Office pressured her to help SNC-Lavalin obtain a leniency deal while she was attorney general.
Her comments were greeted with applause from opposition benches and added fuel to their demands that Trudeau waive solicitor-client privilege to allow Wilson-Raybould to finally speak freely.
On Monday, Trudeau's principal secretary and longtime political adviser Gerald Butts resigned from his position while repeating that he did not pressure Wilson-Raybould.
Trudeau is a self-declared feminist and his initial comments criticizing Wilson-Raybould's decision to resign might also cause problem with women voters.
Trudeau said he took the opportunity of the caucus meeting to offer an apology to Wilson-Raybould for his failure last week to immediately denounce anonymous criticism and cartoons about her that many felt were racist and sexist.
"My reputation is my responsibility and that is for me to defend", Butts wrote in a public letter. "I will appear", she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt has said that the new timeline of events "casts the September 17 meeting between PM Trudeau and Jody Wilson Raybould in a much more serious light".
Scheer shot back: "It is so telling that the prime minister can not even answer this kind of simple question".
According to court documents obtained by The Globe and Mail, the director of public prosecutions Kathleen Roussel had informed SNC-Lavalin on September 4th that she had full intention to proceed with a prosecution on bribery and fraud charges against them.
Sheer demanded to know whether Trudeau knew of Roussel's decision when he met with Wilson-Raybould on September 17 and assured her it was her decision alone whether to intervene with the public prosecutor.
In question period, Trudeau faced a barrage of questions from the opposition demanding he let Wilson-Raybould speak, and accusing him of sexism for giving his side of the story while simultaneously muzzling her by refusing to wave privilege. "Have an independent hearing that is not run by the hand-puppets of the Liberal members of the justice committee".
Justice committee member and Liberal MP Iqra Khalid makes her way to a committee meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday February 19, 2019. She refused, and shortly later was demoted by Trudeau to the Veterans Affairs portfolio, which she has since resigned from.
Unless those two accounts are glaringly at odds, that may well be the end of the matter and we are all going to wonder whether it was worth paralyzing the government of Canada for much of the past month.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, asked about the chances of the government losing its focus, said "we are working very hard to ensure that doesn't happen". "It'll make the determination as to who it needs to hear from, but I think it is important that there be an airing on this situation", Trudeau said.
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