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After ethics commissioner report on SNC-Lavalin affair, opposition calls on RCMP to investigate

Ottawa (August 15, 2019) – Federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion explained in his report about the SNC-Lavalin affair on Wednesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau contravened Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act. On the same day, the RCMP stated that they are following the ongoing developments, but will not further comment on the issue after various opposition members repeatedly called on the authorities to launch a criminal probe, CBC reports.

‘The RCMP is examining this matter carefully with all available information and will take appropriate actions as required,’ spokesperson Chantal Payette said in a statement to CBC News Wednesday. She further elaborated that ‘it would be inappropriate for us to provide any more comments on this matter at this time.’

Even though the RCMP neither verified nor negated any ongoing investigations, the statement goes beyond the usual protocol of not commenting unless charges are laid. Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould stated that she did not believe that PM or his office had committed an illegal offense when was asked by the House of Commons Justice Committee about the affair.

“In my opinion, it’s not illegal,” Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told the committee.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters in Regina that ‘He [Justin Trudeau] promised he would be accountable and ethical. Instead, time and time again, he has used the power of his office to enrich himself, reward his friends and punish his critics.’ Scheer already twice called the RCMP to investigate in the issue. On the other hand, Dion wrote in his report that in his opinion there’s a lack of evidence to proceed on the assumption that an obstruction of justice took place.

SNC-Lavalin is charged with bribery and fraud. Between 2001 and 2011, the Quebec-based engineering firm allegedly paid almost $50 million to public officials in Libya to guarantee business contracts. The company is scheduled to appear in court September 20.