Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the ethics code by trying to influence then justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to overrule a decision to not grant a deferred prosecution agreement to Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has found.
"The evidence showed there were many ways in which Mr. Trudeau, either directly or through the actions of those under his direction, sought to influence the Attorney General," Dion wrote,in his report released Wednesday.
"The Prime Minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson?Raybould. 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," Dion said.
Dion found Trudeau contravened Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act through a series of "flagrant attempts to influence" Wilson?Raybould to reach an agreement with SNC-Lavalin to avoid criminal prosecution. That section of the code prohibits any official responsible for high level decision-making in government from seeking to influence the decision of another person to "improperly further another person's private interests."