Bill Wilson had harsh words for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when his daughter, Jody Wilson-Raybould, resigned from cabinet following reports suggesting that she was inappropriately pressured to help SNC-Lavalin duck a criminal prosecution.
On Wednesday, the same day that Wilson-Raybould testified before the parliamentary Justice Committee about the events that preceded her move from attorney general to the veterans affairs portfolio, Wilson again had strong words for Trudeau, accusing him of “retreating into a corner” after the prime minister said he was “definitely not in agreement” with the former minister’s account of events.
Trudeau said Wednesday that he “completely” disagrees with Wilson-Raybould’s characterization of events and maintained that he and his staff have “always acted appropriately and professionally.”
Wilson, a Kwakwaka’wakw hereditary chief, said Trudeau could have given his daughter an opportunity to respond far sooner “but he refused.”
“Now that he’s let the truth out of the bag, I don’t know what he’s doing. Is he running for cover?” Wilson told Global News Radio’s Charles Adler.
“He’s the prime minister, for heaven’s sake. I find it difficult for me to believe he could respond in that kind of a manner.
“He simply wants to dump on Jody. Would that make things right?”
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In her testimony, Wilson-Raybould accused people with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the prime minister himself of spending four months placing pressure on her to “politically interfere… in an inappropriate effort to secure a deferred prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin.”
The testimony came weeks after she said she could not speak to the matter because she was bound by solicitor-client privilege. Trudeau subsequently allowed her to speak, but she was not able to address any matters that arose after she was moved to veterans affairs.
Wilson-Raybould alleged that efforts by 11 people from the PMO, the PCO and the finance minister’s office amounted to what she called an “inappropriate effort to secure a deferred prosecution agreement” with the Quebec-based engineering company.
With her testimony over, Wilson told Global News Radio he sees it as unlikely that Trudeau will sign her nomination papers now.
“The reality is that I believe that he will abandon her,” Wilson said.
For his part, Trudeau didn’t answer definitively on Wednesday whether Wilson-Raybould would run as a Liberal in the next election.
WATCH: Wilson-Raybould — I was pressured to ‘help out’ in SNC case
“I haven’t yet had the opportunity to review her entire testimony,” Trudeau said.
“I will do that before making any further decisions.”
—With files from Amanda Connolly, Jon Azpiri and John Hua