Trudeau refuses to apologize after he breached ethics
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday accepted a watchdog’s report that he breached ethics rules by trying to influence a corporate legal case but refused to apologize, saying he had been trying to defend jobs.
"I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY"
Independent ethics commissioner Mario Dion said Trudeau and his team attempted last year to undermine a decision by federal prosecutors that construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc should face a corruption trial. Dion’s scathing 58-page assessment could hurt Trudeau’s chances of retaining power in a general election in October.
"I fully accept this report... I take full responsibility. The buck stops with the prime minister," said Trudeau, adding that he nevertheless disagreed with some of Dion’s conclusions.
The scandal over SNC-Lavalin, which erupted in early February, battered Trudeau’s image as a youthful progressive at the helm of a government that had vowed to be open and transparent. He is the first Canadian prime minister found to have broken federal ethics rules.
Trudeau has admitted he tried last year to persuade former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to reconsider the prosecutor’s decision to press ahead with a trial. "What we did over the past year wasn’t good enough. But at the same time I can’t apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs," he told a televised news conference in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.