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

Letter to the editor: Quesnel Cattlemen’s Association raise concerns over West Fraser Road detour

The association is “deeply concerned” about the condition of the detour route

College of New Caledonia budget consultation session will be Jan. 31

The public consultation session will take place Friday, Jan. 31 at 3:30 p.m.

Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run participants re-live part of Cariboo history

Mushers will be sworn in as official mail carriers Jan. 24 at 9 a.m. in downtown Quesnel

Forestry Ink: Developing a local market for biochar

Regular columnist Jim Hilton shares more information about biochar

Quesnel youth compete on the slopes

Quesnel athletes recently raced in the U16 Teck Open at Panorama Mountain Resort

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

UPDATED: Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

Most Read