Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a waiver allowing former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak to the House of Commons Justice Committee about her discussions with government officials on SNC-Lavalin.
In an order-in-council posted online, the government said the waiver authorizes Wilson-Raybould “and any persons who directly participated in discussions with her relating to the exercise of her authority under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act respecting the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, to disclose to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner any confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada contained in any information or communications that were directly discussed with her respecting the exercise of that authority while she held that office.”
The cabinet order also waives “solicitor-client privilege and any other relevant duty of confidentiality to the Government of Canada” with respect to Wilson-Raybould’s discussions with government officials “respecting the prosecution” of SNC-Lavalin while she was justice minister.
The waiver does not, however, permit Wilson-Raybould to discuss conversations she may have had with the director of public prosecutions on SNC-Lavalin, a restriction that’s meant to “uphold the integrity of any criminal or civil proceedings,” the order states.
WATCH: Trudeau ‘pleased’ Wilson-Raybould able to testify at SNC-Lavalin hearing
Earlier Monday, Wilson-Raybould said she was keen to appear before the justice committee but needed more clarity on what she would be allowed to say.
She has asked to deliver a 30-minute opening statement before she takes questions from committee members, which is about three times the length most witnesses are granted.
Wilson-Raybould could now appear at the House of Commons justice committee as early as Wednesday to explain what type of pressure she felt she was under not to pursue a criminal prosecution of the Quebec engineering giant, and allow the firm to negotiate a remediation agreement instead.
However, the chances Trudeau gets asked to testify at the committee himself fell from slim to almost none Monday after the Liberals defeated a Tory motion asking the House of Commons to order the prime minister to appear.
WATCH: Top public servant defends government’s handling of SNC case
Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of justice into veterans affairs in mid-January, and the Conservatives allege she was moved because she didn’t do what the Prime Minister’s Office wanted on SNC-Lavalin.
A spokeswoman for the PMO said Monday the government does not comment about human resource decisions.
Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet altogether a few days after the allegations first surfaced but remains a Liberal MP and says she intends to run again as a Liberal in the next election.
— With files from the Canadian Press