Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated Canada’s ethics regulations when he pressured his then-justice minister to intervene in the criminal case against engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin, Canada’s federal ethics commissioner ruled Wednesday. Commissioner Mario Dion said Trudeau violated the nation’s Conflict of Interest Act when he allegedly pressed Jody Wilson-Raybould to override the director of public prosecutions’ decision not to offer SNC-Lavalin a deal to avoid criminal prosecution on charges of corruption and bribery. The decision comes as Trudeau’s party is in a neck-and-neck battle ahead of October’s general election.
“The prime minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson-Raybould,” Dion wrote in his findings. “The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine, and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson-Raybould as the crown’s chief law officer.” SNC-Lavalin was charged with allegedly dealing with the Gaddafi regime in Libya for a decade. Trudeau’s scandal has resulted in multiple resignations from his cabinet and inner circle.