Prime minister’s Regina trip cancelled in favour of private meetings in Ottawa

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancels visit to Regina

"A second member of Trudeau's Cabinet resigned on Monday, saying she had lost confidence in how the government had dealt with allegations that officials inappropriately pressured former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould past year to try to help construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid a trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials", the outlet reported.

Butts also stressed in his testimony that there was no pressure on Wilson-Raybould to change her decision on SNC-Lavalin, only to inform the decision with the outside expert opinion of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.

In his own testimony, Butts attempted to refute Wilson-Raybould's account, suggesting that high-level discussions of the Lavalin matter focused appropriately on how the case might affect jobs and employment, not on political repercussions of the case.

Since then, however, Trudeau has waived privilege and cabinet confidentiality for Wilson-Raybould and all those who dealt with her on SNC-Lavalin during her time as attorney general. Jane Philpott, a close friend of Wilson-Raybould's and a star Cabinet minister, resigned this week, saying she was concerned the ex-attorney general was pressured and because she lost confidence in how the government has handled the scandal.

Wilson-Raybould resigned from Cabinet last month after being demoted to veteran affairs minister the month before.

As Gerald Butts and Michael Wernick defended themselves before the House of Commons justice committee, they came prepared with not only a carefully curated choice of words, but carefully selected attire.

He resigned from Trudeau's office last month, insisting neither he nor anyone else in the Prime Minister's Office had done anything wrong, but said he didn't want to be a distraction from the government's work. "I am firmly convinced that nothing happened here beyond the normal operations of government". But Wilson-Raybould said the pressure was not illegal and said she was not instructed to interfere.

If convicted criminally, the Montreal-based company would be banned from receiving any federal government business for a decade.

Wilson-Raybould said during testimony last week that she had experienced a "consistent and sustained effort" by Liberal officials attempting to persuade her to enact a DPA.

She resigned nearly a month after former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from federal cabinet.

"In that version of the events, the attorney general made the final decision, after weighing all of the public interest matters and a new law involved, in just 12 days", Butts said.

Trudeau is scheduled to speak again to reporters on Thursday morning, to offer his thoughts on what Butts said.

Since Wilson-Raybould's testimony, opposition parties have called for Wernick, who is supposed to be non-partisan, to be fired.

In the wake of testimony from the prime minister's former right hand man Gerald Butts and new information from Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy council, Chris Hall sits down with Peter Donolo, director of communications for former prime minister Jean Chretien, for his take on the SNC-Lavalin scandal and what should happen next. May went on to accuse Trudeau's staff of making "veiled threats" against the attorney general over the Lavalin matter.

Philpott said she would continue as a Parliament member for Trudeau's Liberal Party. Conservatives seem poised to take over the government if he doesn't, and there are few procedures for forcing a Prime Minister to step down.

With opposition leaders clamouring for Trudeau to resign - supported by half of Canadians, according to one recent survey - the justice committee and the independent ethics commissioner have both opened investigations.

Butts rejected all the key evidence Wilson-Raybould had presented to the justice committee last week.

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