VIDEO: Trudeau repeats non-apology for ‘standing up for jobs’ in SNC-Lavalin case

PM reiterates he disagrees with report, but accepts it and takes responsibility for his actions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is repeating what’s sure to be his go-to election campaign message on the SNC-Lavalin affair: He’s not about to apologize for what he calls standing up for Canadian jobs, communities and citizens.

During an event in Fredericton on Thursday morning, Trudeau reiterated that he accepts Wednesday’s damning report from federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion and takes full responsibility for what happened.

“I’m not going to apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs, because that’s my job — to make sure Canadians and communities and pensioners and families across the country are supported, and that’s what I will always do,” he said during a brief, impromptu news conference.

“I disagree with the ethics commissioner’s conclusions, but he is an officer of Parliament doing his job and I fully accept his report, which means I take full responsibility.”

He also says the government intends to implement the recommendations of a separate report from former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan on the merits of having the justice minister and the attorney general under the same cabinet portfolio, “to make sure this government and no future government gets in this situation ever again.”

That report recommends keeping the two jobs together, but better educating parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and staff members on how best to consult with federal attorneys general.

Pressure is mounting on Trudeau to say he’s sorry to former cabinet members Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, but the prime minister is making it clear that no such apology will be forthcoming.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion concluded that the prime minister violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring Wilson-Raybould, who was attorney general at the time, to halt the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Dion concluded that Trudeau’s attempts to influence Wilson-Raybould on the SNC-Lavalin prosecution contravened a provision of the ethics law, which prohibits public office holders from using their position to try to influence a decision that would improperly further the private interests of a third party.

In an interview today with The Canadian Press, Philpott — who quit cabinet in a show of solidarity with Wilson-Raybould earlier this year, about a month before both of them were kicked out of the Liberal caucus — said the prime minister still owes Canadians an apology, not for how the two women were treated but for Dion’s primary conclusion: that he violated the Conflict of Interest Act.

“I do believe that the people of Canada deserve an apology,” Philpott said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

‘Erratic’ driver arrested on Highway 16 near Vanderhoof

A 23-year-old man from Calgary, Alberta, was arrested on July 6 and faces multiple charges.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read