Indigenous politicians split on support for Wilson-Raybould

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February 25 - Trudeau partly waives both solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality for his former attorney general, paving the way for Wilson-Raybould to tell her side of the SNC-Lavalin saga to the justice committee and ethics commissioner.

SNC-Lavalin heavily lobbied the government to settle the corruption case out of court.

Wilson-Raybould says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others brought up concerns that such prosecution would result in the company pulling out of Montreal, costing jobs in the period leading up to a provincial election in Quebec.

Over almost four hours of explosive testimony Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould told the committee there were 10 meetings and 10 phone calls involving 11 people between September and December 2018, all aimed at getting her to "politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada".

In particular she alleges she was demoted by Mr Trudeau in a January Cabinet shuffle after refusing to help the construction company.

When asked by Conservative MP Lisa Raitt whether she thought she was removed as attorney general because she "spoke truth to power", Wilson-Raybould said she was "concerned" that was the case. She was the Justice Minister at the time. The bulk of the funds went to the prime minister's Liberal Party.

Last week, Wernick asserted that the prime minister's staff conducted themselves to "the highest standards of integrity" and neither they nor he applied improper pressure on her.

"We stand behind you 100 per cent. Jody, you are from here and you are part of us and we fully support you and I think what you did yesterday was fearless", said Cheryl Casimer, a Ktunaxa woman and member of the First Nations Summit executive.

September 17 - Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould discuss the SNC-Lavalin file. "The prime minister raised the issue immediately".

He said he will review all of Wilson-Raybould's testimony before deciding whether she can remain in the Liberal caucus or seek re-election this fall as a Liberal candidate. "And therefore I completely disagree with the characterization of the former attorney general about these events". Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Scheer said Trudeau has no moral authority to govern Canada.

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In Canada, an attorney general is supposed to act independently with respect of his or her prosecutorial function and decisions are not supposed to be politically motivated.

"In our culture, matriarchs are the heart of our home fires and we wanted to thank her for everything she's done to highlight the spirit and intent of our people", FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a release.

Opposition Conservatives are calling on the Liberal PM to resign.

"I have 100 percent faith in the prime minister", she said.

When asked about her testimony on the pressure to which she was subjected, Hardie said, "Was there pressure?"

Columnist Patrick Lagace, writing in Montreal newspaper La Presse, said her remarks suggest that "for the Prime Minister and people acting on his orders, the rule of law and the independence of the Attorney General were at least negotiable".

"It is troubling because I very deeply believe in our institutions".

Trudeau has said there were vigorous discussions within government about the SNC-Lavalin case, but that he repeatedly assured Wilson-Raybould a decision on intervening to halt the prosecution was hers alone.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's former principal secretary Gerald Butts is asking to testify on the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Meanwhile NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who was elected on Monday, called on Trudeau to fully waive solicitor-client privilege so that Canadians can get the full story about what took place.

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