The "SNC-Lavalin Affair" has plagued the Trudeau government for weeks now. According to an explosive report from The Globe and Mail, the government removed MP Jody Wilson-Raybould from her position as Attorney General after she refused to intervene to in a case involving Montreal engineering company SNC-Lavalin.
The report states that SNC-Lavalin officials campaigned for months to avoid trial and instead pay a fine and admit wrongdoing outside court for alleged acts of bribery in Libya. Suspiciously, the government introduced and passed legislation that would allow just that type of agreement.
Since the release of the report, which suggested that the prime minister's office put "undue pressure" on Wilson-Raybould, she and Trudeau aide Gerald Butts have resigned from their positions in government.
TL;DR Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has called the "SNC-Lavalin Affair" a "textbook case of government corruption." This is a definite rhetorical escalation.
Now, opposition parties are pushing for more clarity from the government about exactly what happened. In addition to hearings scheduled for later this week, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is also calling for the prime minister, himself, to testify about his knowledge of the affair.
In a press conference today, Scheer called the SNC-Lavalin Affair a "textbook case of corruption" and for Trudeau to "come clean" and "account for what he has done."
Canada is a country of the rule of law and nobody should be entitled to special treatment. What we’ve seen unfold over the last two weeks is a textbook case of government corruption. Justin Trudeau must come clean. He must account for what he has done. pic.twitter.com/wuIhMhJOAK— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) February 25, 2019
Watch the entire press conference here:
This charge of corruption from the opposition leader is a definite rhetorical escalation. Scheer's words will have no direct legal consequence, but they do imply, at least, that the Conservatives are confident enough to continue to press the issue.
Scheer has also introduced a bill that calls on the prime minister to submit himself as a witness to an investigating committee, according to the CBC.
While the prime minister has expressed regret about the departures of Wilson-Raybould and Butts, he has been unforthcoming about his own involvement in the attempt to steer prosecutorial tactics.
This story is sure to develop quickly.