Justin Trudeau says he accepts and takes responsibility after Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion found the prime minister violated the Conflict of Interest Act by trying to influence then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to overrule a decision not to grant a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) to Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.
In his report, Dion says ”The evidence showed there were many ways in which Mr. Trudeau, either directly or through the actions of those under his direction, sought to influence the Attorney General.”
Speaking in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Trudeau said while he disagrees with some of the findings, he does accept the report and takes full responsibility for everything that happened.
”Where I disagree with the commissioner is where he says that any contact with the attorney general on this issue was improper,” said Trudeau, in reference to one of Dion’s conclusions that the prime minister should not have put made any arguments for or against a DPA to Wilson-Raybould.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Canadians now have a clear picture of who Trudeau really is.
”It’s not who he promised he would be. He promised he would be accountable and ethical. Instead, time and time again he has used the power of his office to enrich himself, reward his friends and punish his critics. He promised he would be open and honest. But let’s remember, on the day that this story first broke, Justin Trudeau denied it completely. He said that the story was false. He then said that he never pressured Jody Wilson-Raybould. We now know that is false,” continued Scheer.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says it’s unprecedented the commissioner now has found two contraventions of the Conflict of Interest Act, referring to a previous report found Trudeau violated ethics laws by accepting a free vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island.
”And this one specifically, the deep concern is that Mr. Trudeau, the prime minister, was working to benefit the interest of a multi-millionaire corporation and was working to benefit his own self-interest to get re-elected,” said Singh.
”Mr. Trudeau cannot be the prime minister.”