Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, rejecting an opposition call for his resignation, disputed allegations on Wednesday by his former justice minister that government officials inappropriately pressured her to help a major company avoid a corruption trial.
The remarks by Jody Wilson-Raybould, made during a testimony to the House of Commons justice committee, deepened the worst crisis of Trudeau’s tenure months before an October election.
Wilson-Raybould said she had confronted Trudeau over what she said were persistent efforts by officials to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc evade trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials. “I strongly maintain that I and my staff always acted appropriately and professionally,” Trudeau told a televised news conference in Montreal.
“I, therefore, completely disagree with (Wilson-Raybould’s) characterisation of events,” he added, brushing off a demand from Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer that he step down. The case forced the resignation of Trudeau’s principal private secretary, Gerald Butts, earlier this month.