Wernick warns Wilson-Raybould of 'collision' with PM over SNC in tape

Wilson-Raybould evidence on SNC-Lavalin may include recorded conversation: report

Wernick warns Wilson-Raybould of 'collision' with PM over SNC in tape

An audio recording and transcript of the December 19 call was released Friday as part of additional written testimony Wilson-Raybould submitted to the House of Commons Justice committee, which last week shut down its examination of her allegation that she was relentlessly, improperly pressured to intervene in the case.

The 43 pages of documents released publically on Friday are likely to heighten pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as his poll numbers slip ahead of elections in October.

The Liberal prime minister has been accused of pressuring Ms Wilson-Raybould to push for a legal favour for SNC-Lavalin that would allow it to avoid prosecution and instead face alternative penalties like a fine.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, former minister of justice, attorney general, and minister of veterans affairs, must know how Cassandra felt as she was pressed to intervene to let SNC-Lavalin avoid a trial on corruption charges. She makes clear at multiple points in the conversation: that it and previous conversations with the prime minister and "many other people" were "entirely inappropriate", that she was "uncomfortable having this conversation", that she was "issuing the strongest warning I can possibly issue" against interfering with decisions by the DPP, that "we are treading on unsafe ground", that "there is no way that anybody would interpret this other than interference".

However, she doesn't elaborate beyond signalling her resignation was prompted by Trudeau's suggestion her presence in cabinet showed she supported how the government was managing the file.

"All of this screams of that", she said, clearly stating that she considered the conversation and others previously as entirely inappropriate political interference.

The code of conduct for the Law Society of Ontario, of which Wilson-Raybould is an honorary member, prohibits a lawyer from recording a client without the client's permission.

She gave an audio recording and other materials to a Commons committee.

He went on to say that he is "a bit worried" that the prime minister and attorney general are at "loggerheads".

He has also maintained everything he did was within the boundaries of acceptable behaviour for his job of aiding the prime minister and cabinet as a non-partisan public servant.

Jody Wilson-Raybould taped a conversation with the Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick about the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. She says she believes she lost her job because she did not surrender to "sustained" pressure from the Administration. Campbell, who would replace Mulroney as prime minister in 1993, is reported to have told Mulroney she couldn't because it would interfere in an independent process.

He says Trudeau is "quite determined, quite firm" about this and adds: "I think he's going to find a way to get it done one way or another".

Wilson-Raybould's claim during her testimony that she was subjected to "veiled threats" was an underestimation of what was actually happening, he said. "The bigger problem is what it would look like down the road for the government".

"Alright, but ... I am anxious about a collision then because he is pretty firm about this", Wernick replied, referring to Trudeau. "I'll be, of course, part of the caucus, but we'll just wait and see how things evolve from here", said New Brunswick MP Pat Finnigan.

"Remediation agreements would be a new tool for prosecutors in Canada to use at their discretion in appropriate circumstances where it's in the public interest to do so", Sheppard told the committee, making no reference at all to the possibility of the attorney general stepping in. What is at stake in this affair remains, as Wilson-Raybould reminds the committee, nothing less than "the core principle of prosecutorial independence - a principle that at times appears to have been obscured by layers of commentary, hyperbole, and spin".

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