Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been under immense scrutiny lately due to the SNC-Lavalin controversy, which has caused his popularity and trustworthiness to drop among Canadians. In the midst of the controversy, Justin Trudeau has publicly addressed the SNC-Lavalin scandal and says he will not apologize for it. The prime minister continues to insist that he did not do anything wrong.
So why has the SNC-Lavalin scandal caused some Canadians to lose trust in the prime minister? Well, Justin Trudeau and his office have been accused of inappropriately pressuring Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was then Canada's former attorney, to avoid pressing criminal charges in the SNC-Lavalin court case.
Wilson-Raybould has now stepped down from the role due to the scandal, and twos have as well – Trudeau's advisor and longtime friend Gerald Butts and Treasury Board President Jane Philpott.
In the midst of the controversy, many Canadians have called for Justin Trudeau to resign. Now, the prime minister himself has publicly addressed the SNC-Lavalin scandal and is still refusing to apologize.
Trudeau spoke at a press conference today on Thursday, March 7. The conference took place at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa. The prime minister said that he "takes responsibility" for what he calls an "erosion of trust" between former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould and his office, according to Global News.
He continues to refute her claim that his office inappropriately pressured her, and did not apologize for his actions in this incident. Trudeau continues denying that there were any inappropriate or illegal interactions.
Trudeau was asked not once but twice by reporters whether he would apologize for himself and his team in light of the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Both times, he refused to say sorry for the incident, Global News reports.
Trudeau had no apology whatsoever to how he handled the SNC-Lavalin case. When he was asked specifically if he would apologize for the controversy, he refused to. Instead, he continued to deny the allegations.
"In regards to standing up for jobs and protecting our rule of law, I continue to say there was no inappropriate pressure," he responded to reporters, according to Global News.
"I’m obviously reflecting on lessons learned through this and I think Canadians expect that of us … there are things that we have to understand and reflect on and do better next time."
Trudeau's latest address of the SNC-Lavalin affair is one month after it was revealed to the public through a report by The Globe and Mail that the Prime Minister’s Office inappropriately pressured Wilson-Raybould to prevent criminal charges from being pressed in the court case of SNC-Lavalin.
Since the report was released, the prime minister has been facing immense public backlash. Initially, he flat-out denied the report and called it "false", but just days later, he switched his defense and said that he was trying his best to save jobs through the way he handled the court case.