Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said Thursday she didn’t realize just how aggressively SNC-Lavalin had lobbied senior members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to create a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) regime, a legal avenue it hoped would help it avoid a criminal trial for alleged corporate wrongdoing.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion documented the extensive lobbying efforts — the content of which were largely unknown to the public until now — in his report on Trudeau’s ethics violations.
“That was of surprise to me. I did not have knowledge,” Wilson-Raybould said, in an interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics. “There were many conversations that were being had by former colleagues of mine, political staffers, around SNC, meeting with officials of the company and having discussions that I wasn’t aware of.”
Wilson-Raybould said she knew there were some talks between SNC-Lavalin and the upper echelons of the Liberal government, but she didn’t realize that the very idea of establishing a DPA regime came from the company itself.