PM admits to ‘erosion of trust’ between office and former minister

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there was an “erosion of trust” between his office and former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould over the SNC-Lavalin case.

In a news conference Thursday morning, Trudeau said there was a clear lack of communication and he should have been made aware of the erosion.

Trudeau said Wilson-Raybould did not come to him to discuss the pressure she believed she was under to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution.

The government has been under fire since allegations first surfaced that Wilson-Raybould was improperly pressured to stop the criminal prosecution of the engineering giant and was later shuffled out of the justice portfolio.

Former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Gerald Butts, testified Wednesday and methodically rebutted Wilson-Raybould’s explosive testimony from a week ago.

Wilson-Raybould said she was relentlessly pressured by Butts and others last fall to stop the criminal prosecution.

He said that Wilson-Raybould was first offered the Department of Indigenous Services in the January cabinet shuffle, but she turned it down. She was then moved to Veterans Affairs and resigned not long afterwards.

Treasury Board president Jane Philpott resigned in solidarity on Monday, saying she’d lost confidence in the government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.