Wilson-Raybould, out of cabinet, seeks place in Liberal caucus

Trudeau says an ‘airing’ needed on SNC-Lavalin affair, dodges questions on calls for public inquiry

Wilson-Raybould, out of cabinet, seeks place in Liberal caucus

Wilson-Raybould will say her piece - and the Liberals appear to have already concluded they can live with that testimony.

Liberal members of parliament, including Wilson-Raybould, met for nearly three hours on Wednesday and had what participants called a useful session to clear the air.

Trudeau's comments come after the Liberals on Tuesday voted against an opposition motion in the House of Commons calling for a public inquiry.

Wilson-Raybould resigned from Trudeau's cabinet last week.

"I have said that I am seeking council on this matter of what I can and cannot say".

Trudeau has acknowledged there were conversations with her about the case, but that he told her the decision was hers to make, and she was not being directed to do anything.

"I am still consulting with my legal counsel as I think people can appreciate, or should appreciate, the rules and laws around privilege, around confidentiality, around my responsibility as a member of Parliament", she said as she exited the meeting. And they prompted opposition accusations that Trudeau and his current justice minister, David Lametti, were in conflict of interest when they voted against the motion, since they too are personally involved in the controversy. Though, he joined his caucus and voted against an independent public inquiry.

Deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt said the committee hearings won't be meaningful unless solicitor-client privilege between Wilson-Raybould and the government is waived and, at a minimum, Butts can be questioned on his blanket assertion that he did nothing wrong. He said this to reporters on his way into the first Liberal caucus meeting on the Hill since Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet and his principal secretary Gerald Butts resigned, while denying any wrongdoing. "Of course we are going to be very careful about how we move forward in protecting those jobs but we are also going to, at the same time, make sure that we are standing up for the independence of our judicial system and all the processes that keep our democratic institutions safe".

But this is a scandal that looks increasingly unworthy of the "-gate" suffix and a parliamentary committee is the appropriate venue.

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During Question time in the House on Tuesday, opposition parties grilled Trudeau, all the while pressing for an independent public inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin Affair.

Wilson-Raybould strikes me as someone who would like to get things done and not much can be achieved when you're sitting so far from the action in the House of Commons, you're nearly in the translation box.

They also include the so-called Shawcross doctrine that spells out the degree to which an attorney general may consult with cabinet colleagues about a prosecution. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m.

"I understand fully that Canadians want to know the truth and want transparency", she said in the House Wednesday.

As for whether she'll be able to actually say anything when she appears at committee, expected on Monday, will be determined by whether the prime minister waives solicitor-client privilege or both sides are able to find a way to reveal more details of the still unconfirmed allegations.

The vote came just a couple of hours after Wilson-Raybould attended her first Liberal caucus meeting since resigning from her role as veterans affairs minister last week. He defended the ongoing probes as "orderly" and "logical".

"The coverup continues", said Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus after the closed-door committee meeting.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's important there be an "airing" of what happened in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

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