A new public opinion survey from Angus Reid shows the SNC-Lavalin controversy is taking a toll on the Prime Minister and his Liberal government, with a federal election less than eight months away.
Angus Reid says if voters went to the polls tomorrow, Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party would hold a seven-point lead over Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
Among decided and leaning voters, the Conservatives lead the way at 38 per cent support, with the Liberals trailing at 31 per cent.
The survey also shows two-out-of-three Canadians believe the SNC-Lavalin affair is a sign of a “deeper scandal in the Prime Minister’s Office and more information will emerge.”
It remains unclear how much – if any – pressure Trudeau and his staff put on former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould not to prosecute the Quebec-based engineering firm.
Trudeau is waiving both solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality for Wilson-Raybould, which clears the way to tell her side of the story to the Commons justice committee and the ethics commissioner, as early as tomorrow.
At issue is whether Wilson-Raybould was pressured by the PMO to negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin, rather than pursue criminal prosecution for bribery and fraud.
According to the Angus Reid survey, 60 per cent of Canadians have an unfavourable view of the Prime Minister, while 59 per cent say their opinion has worsened over the last month.
That includes nearly a full three-in-ten who said they would vote Liberals tomorrow but have a more negative view of the PM.
Unfavourable views of Canada’s party leaders are also seen for Scheer at 54 per cent, and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh at 64 per cent.
Singh cruised to a byelection victory in the riding of Burnaby South Monday night, gaining a voice in the House of Commons.
The NDP, though, lost in Monday’s federal byelections in the Montreal riding of Outremont, formerly held by Tom Mulcair which launched the party’s orange crush wave several years ago.
On his way into a cabinet meeting this morning, Trudeau said he is looking forward to hearing his former justice minister’s testimony to the Commons justice committee.
Canadians go to the polls in the next federal election October 21.
With files from the Canadian Press.