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Trudeau broke ethics rules by trying to exert influence in SNC-Lavalin scandal: report

WATCH: Canada's ethics commissioner has found Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act – Aug 14, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he “can’t apologize” for what the federal ethics commissioner has now ruled improper political influence in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

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That’s because he maintains he was trying to protect Canadian jobs, despite the commissioner finding Trudeau and his staff broke the rules repeatedly over the course of several months in which they pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help the Quebec firm avoid a criminal trial.

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“I can’t apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs,” he said when asked about the report on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Trudeau won’t release former Liberal minister’s SNC-Lavalin report until ethics probe wraps

Trudeau also said that while he accepts the report put out by ethics commissioner Mario Dion, which found Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act, he disagreed with the conclusion Dion drew that Trudeau should not have been putting forward any considerations he wanted Wilson-Raybould to evaluate.

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Trudeau said he believed he had the responsibility to raise the potential for job losses at the company if it was forced to go through criminal prosecution.

Dion, though, had said because any potential public interest in the case was intrinsically linked to the private interests of the company, Trudeau should not have waded in at all to argue for any particular considerations to be given more study.

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The prime minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson‑Raybould,” said Dion.

“The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer.”

The finding does not carry any fine or other form of penalty.

WATCH: Justin Trudeau says he “can’t apologize” despite Ethics Commissioner’s report 


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