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SNC-Lavalin scandal expected to ‘overshadow everything else’ for Grits in coming months; it’s time for a Trudeau ‘mea culpa,’ say Liberal insiders and pollsters

By Peter Mazereeuw and Abbas Rana      

Continuing to deny any wrongdoing could blow up in the prime minister's face if new allegations or negative details in this scandal arise. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should admit falling short on ethics, so he can move forward and start running on his achievements in office, say Liberal insiders and political observers.

Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former principal secretary Gerald Butts, PMO chief of staff Katie Telford, and Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Ms. Wilson-Raybould alleges that Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Butts, Ms. Telford, and Mr. Morneau, along with seven other top officials, inappropriately pressured her to intervene in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. The Hill Tmes photographs by Andrew Meade and file photographs

It will be a tough slog for the Liberals in the coming months, as the SNC-Lavalin scandal has devastated their post-partisan feminist brand and demotivated their base, say pollsters and Grit insiders. It’s not yet clear how far the scandal will resonate with the general public, but any new revelations—for example, if the government does award the Montreal company the deferred prosecution agreement it has sought—could prove extremely damaging, as could other aggrieved government insiders taking similar cases of PMO pressure to the public. Insiders and pollsters say the Liberals should apologize for their ethical failures, get on the road, and run on their record and protecting jobs.

Abbas Rana

Abbas Rana is the assistant deputy editor of The Hill Times. He reports on the Parliamentary caucuses, nomination contests, political leadership campaigns, Elections Act laws, and the Senate. Abbas loves to chat with sources on-the-record or on not-for- attribution basis especially when they have verifiable story tips that could be followed as news stories. Brown envelopes are also always a lot of interest to him. Born and raised in Pakistan, Abbas speaks Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi. When not chasing politicians down on the Hill, he likes to watch cricket and movies.
- arana@hilltimes.com


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