Wilson-Raybould meets with Trudeau's cabinet amid SNC-Lavalin heat on the Hill
Published Tuesday, February 19, 2019 2:28PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8:00PM EST
OTTAWA – Jody Wilson-Raybould met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal cabinet on Parliament Hill Tuesday, and confirmed she remains a member of the Liberal caucus, as questions continue to swirl around the SNC-Lavalin affair and Gerald Butts’ resignation.
Wilson-Raybould’s meeting comes exactly a week after she resigned as veterans affairs minister amid allegations that when she was attorney general the PMO pressured her to abandon the prosecution of a fraud and corruption case against the Quebec-based engineering and construction giant.
Speaking with reporters on her way out of Tuesday’s meeting, she would not answer whether or not she was pressured by the PMO, saying that she is still consulting with her legal counsel about speaking publicly.
"As I think people can appreciate or should appreciate, the rules and laws around privilege, around confidentiality, around my responsibility as a member of Parliament, my ethical and professional responsibilities as a lawyer are layered and incredibly complicated," Wilson-Raybould said.
In her letter of resignation from cabinet, Wilson-Raybould said she has retained former Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell to provide advice about speaking publicly about the scandal, as she has been called on to do since the news broke in The Globe and Mail last week. CTV News has not independently verified the story.
Speaking in French on his way out of the meeting, Trudeau said that Wilson-Raybould asked to come speak to the cabinet.
"Our cabinet gets together every Tuesday to talk about a broad range of issues," Trudeau said during question period.
Other than the handful of ministers who stopped to respond to reporters' questions on their way in to Tuesday's meeting, the 35-member cabinet largely passed by without comment about the ongoing scandal. The cabinet meeting ran around an hour later than usual on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear at which point Wilson-Raybould was present.
"We had a good discussion in cabinet this morning," Treasury Board President Jane Philpott said.
Asked about what Wilson-Raybould’s presence meant -- both in the seat she held on the front bench before resigning from cabinet, and at the high-level morning meeting -- Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said it wasn’t for him to “analyze internal aspects of this.”
Similarly, when asked if perhaps this meeting is a signal that the Liberals are working to resolve this controversy internally, deputy Tory leader Lisa Raitt took issue with the level of secrecy surrounding it.
"Secret cabinet meeting, secret discussions… and what do they say in response? 'Cabinet confidence,'" she said.