Then and now: Trudeau’s take over the last 8 months on the SNC Lavalin affair

Then and now: Trudeau's take over the last 8 months on the SNC Lavalin affair

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had a lot to say about the SNC-Lavalin affair that has turned his government upside down over the last eight months. Here’s a look at the evolving narrative from the prime minister:

Feb. 7, the day the Globe and Mail publishes allegations that Trudeau pressured his then-attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to overrule the director of public prosecutions and allow Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin to negotiate an agreement to avoid criminal prosecution for bribing foreign officials:

“Neither the current nor the previous attorney general was ever directed by me or anyone in my office to take a decision in this matter.”

“The allegations in the Globe story this morning are false.”

Aug. 14, the day of the release of the report by the ethics commissioner into the matter:

“Even though I disagree with some of his conclusions, I fully accept this report and take responsibility for everything that happened.”

Feb. 11, Vancouver, B.C.:

“(Wilson-Raybould) confirmed, for me, a conversation we had this fall, where I told her directly that any decisions on matters involving the director of public prosecutions were hers alone…. I believe that it’s extremely important that Canadians can continue to have confidence in our system and that’s why I welcome the ethics commissioner’s interest in this matter.”

Feb. 12, at a press conference in Winnipeg, after Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet:

“Allow me to also be very clear: our government did its job and according to all the rules.”

Aug. 14, Niagara-on-the-Lake:

“What happened over the past year shouldn’t have happened. I take responsibility for it.”

Feb. 27, Montreal:

“I strongly maintain, as I have from the beginning, that I, and my staff, always acted appropriately and professionally. I, therefore, completely disagree with the former attorney general’s characterization of events.”

“I welcome the investigation by the ethics commissioner to clear the air on this matter, and it’s important that we trust him to do his job.”

Aug. 14, Niagara-on-the-Lake:

“Taking responsibility means recognizing that what we did over the last year wasn’t good enough, but I can’t apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs because that’s part of what Canadians expect me to do.”

March 7, news conference in Ottawa:

“I think people understand that a Canadian government always needs to stand up for workers, needs to stand up for jobs, needs to look to grow the economy, and that is something that all Canadians right across the country expect of their government. What they are seeing in this context is the result of disagreements internally on the best ways to proceed. And it’s something that within the various perspectives that we heard in testimony, I can repeat and reassure Canadians that there was no breakdown of our systems, of our rule of law, of the integrity of our institutions.”

Aug. 14, Niagara-on-the-Lake:

“I recognize that this was a situation that shouldn’t have happened, but my desire to protect Canadians and at the same time protect the integrity and the independence of our judicial institutions remained throughout. We recognize that the way this happened shouldn’t have happened and I take responsibility for the mistakes that I made.”


The Canadian Press

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