February 28, 2019
Read also – Canada: Justin Trudeau stopped being cool
On February 7, the Globe and Mail revealed that the entourage of Justin Trudeau would try to influence Jody Wilson-Raybould to suspend the proceedings against the SNC-Lavalin. This Canadian construction giant, which employs 50,000 people worldwide, including 9,000 in Canada, has been accused since 2015 of bribery for paying C $ 48 million in bribes (32 million euros) to Libyan officials in the dictator's time. Muammar Gaddafi, between 2001 and 2011. In case of conviction, the company may be banned for 10 years from any federal public contract. She did a lot of lobbying work to avoid it.
Justin Trudeau denies any pressure
On Wednesday, Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke for the first time publicly in this case. "Between September and December 2018, I was under constant pressure from several people within the government to intervene politically (…) and inappropriately to reach an amicable agreement with SNC-Lavalin "she said. Jody Wilson-Raybould testified that eleven senior officials, including the Prime Minister himself, had intervened with her ten times in that regard.
The former minister also claimed to have been the subject of "veiled threats" and to have been told by the country's highest official that she should "avoid a clash with the prime minister" on the issue. She said she thought she was demoted to the position of Minister of Veterans Affairs during a reshuffle in January because of her refusal to intervene on this issue. She finally resigned in mid-February.
On the other hand, if Justin Trudeau admitted to having discussed the subject with her, he categorically denied any pressure: "I maintain … that I and my employees have always acted appropriately and professionally. totally disagree with the description of the events of the former Attorney General. "
In the polls
This case has already cost Justin Trudeau dear: the one who is considered his eminence grise and the architect of his rise to power, Gerald Butts, was forced to submit his resignation in mid-February to devote himself to his own defense in this case.
The latter could also significantly affect the popularity of Justin Trudeau, already in sharp decline for a year and his move to India where he had multiplied communication errors. According to a survey by the Léger Institute, 41% of respondents believe that Justin Trudeau acted incorrectly in the SNC-Lavalin case, 12% believe that he acted correctly and 41% say they are incapable to form an opinion for the moment.
At eight months of the federal election, the survey gives the Liberal party the second largest voting intentions at 27 percent, three points behind the conservative Andrew Scheer. In general, satisfaction with the government is also down to 36% against 45% in November. It should be noted, however, that half of SNC-Lavalin's employees are in Quebec. A decisive province in the federal election. And of which Justin Trudeau is an elected.