Evidence of meeting #135 for Justice and Human Rights in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was general.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Michael Cooper  St. Albert—Edmonton, CPC
Michael Barrett  Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, CPC

7:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Going to September 17, you described the meeting you had requested of the Prime Minister on a different topic; it was supposed to be a one-on-one meeting, by which I infer that you did not expect the Clerk of the Privy Council to be present when you went to meet with the Prime Minister. Is that correct?

7:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

I didn't expect that. I will say that the fact that he was there...I didn't ask him to leave.

7:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

In the context of the pressure that was being applied and the political concerns that were being raised, I'm going to put forward a positive statement and see if you agree.

The appropriate role for the Clerk of the Privy Council is to support an Attorney General who says, “You're on dangerous ground here; back off; this is political interference”. The job of the civil service is to remain non-partisan and give good advice. Did you think the Clerk of the Privy Council was behaving appropriately in applying political pressure to anyone, in this case?

7:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

I did not believe that he was behaving appropriately, which is why I was very surprised when he raised issues of the Quebec election and a board meeting that was supposedly happening with SNC.

7:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Do you believe that the Clerk of the Privy Council appeared to be placing your deputy minister of justice under pressure that could have affected her confidence in her job security?

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Honestly, I don't believe I can answer that question.

7:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Okay.

Lastly, you said that you—

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Housefather

Ms. May, you have to wrap up. You're over your time.

7:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Okay. HÍSW̱ḴE.

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Gilakas'la.

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Housefather

Thank you very much.

Mr. Fortin, you have the floor.

February 27th, 2019 / 7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould, I, too, want to thank you for being here today. I want to say that what you're doing today takes a lot of courage, and I appreciate it.

That said, my questions may lead us down a bit of a different path. I'd like to revisit the reasons for your decision. I realize that there are certain things you can't talk about, so you can answer as we go.

My first question is about why you didn't think a remediation agreement should be negotiated with SNC-Lavalin. Would I be correct to assume that you came to your decision after reviewing the criteria in sections 715.31 and 715.32 of the Criminal Code?

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Thank you for the comments and the question.

All I can say with respect to the question was that I did not believe, based on the section 13 notice that I received from the director of public prosecutions and the due diligence that I undertook, that it was appropriate with respect to SNC to issue a directive and intervene in the prosecution, to intervene in the discretion that was exercised by the director of public prosecutions.

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Did you discuss the reasons why you did not think it was appropriate to negotiate such an agreement? Did you discuss them with the Prime Minister or someone from his office?

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Yes, I did.

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Can you tell us who you discussed them with?

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

I discussed it with the Prime Minister, with the Clerk of the Privy Council, with Elder Marques and with Mathieu Bouchard, among other individuals including the principle secretary to the Prime Minister—indirectly, as my chief of staff, Jessica Prince, discussed it with the principle secretary—as well as the chief of staff to the Prime Minister and the chief of staff to the Minister of Finance.

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

I realize that you can't—that, in your view, you can't—tell us the reasons you felt it was not appropriate to negotiate a remediation agreement.

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

I felt at the time and made the decision that it was inappropriate for me as the Attorney General to interfere in the discretion that was exercised by the director of public prosecutions with respect to SNC and the decision that was made to not enter into negotiations around a deferred prosecution agreement.

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Thank you very much.

Which of the conditions prescribed by law—

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Housefather

Mr. Fortin? Mr. Fortin?

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Yes?

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Housefather

Unfortunately, your three minutes are up.

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

After three and a half hours, Mr. Chair, I get three minutes. You must admit I've been very patient. Is there any way I could have an extra minute or 30 seconds?

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Housefather

You can have 30 more seconds.

Just for everyone's information, when political parties—