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Liberal MP fields SNC-Lavalin scandal questions during federal budget tour stop in Okanagan

MP Carla Qualtrough of Delta, B.C., says Liberals are "rallying behind Trudeau because they believe him.".
MP Carla Qualtrough of Delta, B.C., says Liberals are "rallying behind Trudeau because they believe him.". Global News

Justin Trudeau is on the right track, according to Canada’s minister of public services and procurement and accessibility, despite “a breakdown of trust in communication.”

Speaking in Penticton, B.C., on Tuesday, Liberal MP Carla Qualtrough responded to questions about Trudeau and the ongoing SNC-Lavalin scandal. Qualtrough, from Delta, was in the Okanagan to discuss the federal Liberal budget at a local college.

“Well, I think the prime minister can and has weathered it quite well,” Qualtrough said of Trudeau and the ongoing SNC-Lavalin issue. “He was very honest with Canadians when he said that there was a fundamental breakdown in the trust — and communication, quite frankly — between himself and a couple of cabinet ministers.

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“Putting it into perspective, we’re going to weather this, we’re going to come out stronger. We’re all rallying behind the prime minister because we believe in him. I have the luxury of sitting next to him in the House of Commons. I speak with him every day. He’s a good man, he’s a man of integrity,” Qualtrough added.

“He kind of admitted that he wished he would have done things differently, and we’re moving on.”

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Asked by Global News if it was challenging to promote the budget with the SNC-Lavalin scandal hanging over the Liberals’ heads, Qualtrough said no.

“I don’t think so,” she said. “It’s such a great budget, and there’s something in it for everyone. It’s why we’re here in Penticton. But it’s certainly a distraction.”

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Asked if MPs Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were staging a coup of sorts against Trudeau because of the scandal, Qualtrough said: “That’s not the case at all.”

“I think what you see is a breakdown of trust in communication between the prime minister and a couple of our cabinet (ministers),” said Qualtrough.

“But I think our cabinet is strong. I think the prime minister will kind of ably lead us into the election and I think you’ll see another Liberal government for another four years.”

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Qualtrough was also asked if Wilson-Raybould and Philpott would be welcomed to stay in the Liberal caucus.

Earlier this month, Philpott announced that she was resigning as a member of cabinet, specifically citing the SNC-Lavalin scandal in her resignation.

WATCH (March 25, 2019): Trudeau says it’s up to Wilson-Raybould, Philpott whether to speak in House

Trudeau says it’s up to Wilson-Raybould, Philpott whether to speak in House
Trudeau says it’s up to Wilson-Raybould, Philpott whether to speak in House

Also this month, Wilson-Raybould announced that she was running in the 2019 federal election as a Liberal candidate. In February, she announced her resignation as the minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence.

“I’m in the Liberal caucus because I believe in the leader,” said Qualtrough. “I share his vision for the country, and my values are Liberal. If they continue to believe in the leader, have the same vision and value, then I welcome them in our caucus.”

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