15 new revelations from Wednesday’s Justice Committee testimony: Conservatives

Gerald Butts
Photo: Twitter

TESTIMONY from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s top civil servant Michael Wernick and his former top political advisor Gerald Butts shed new light on the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal, the Conservatives say.

Here are 15 important new revelations from Wednesday’s testimony:


  1. Deputy Minister of Justice Nathalie Drouin confirmed that she was advised of [then-Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada] Jody Wilson-Raybould’s final decision to not intervene in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on September 11.
  2. The Prime Minister and Clerk of the Privy Council knew of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s decision on September 17.
  3. Jody Wilson-Raybould told her Deputy Minister on September 18 that she was uncomfortable with the Prime Minister’s actions during their September 17 meeting.
  4. In Michael Wernick’s notes from his September 18 meeting with SNC-Lavalin, his assistant wrote “Go to [DPP] Kathleen [Roussel], public interest argument, will want to get it right, timing -> DPP back today.”
  5. Jody Wilson-Raybould told her Deputy Minister that she did not want to talk about the SNC-Lavalin matter any further on September 19.
  6. Michael Wernick was in contact with SNC-Lavalin Chairman and former Clerk of the Privy Council Kevin Lynch, despite it not being recorded on the lobbyist registry.
  7. Gerald Butts confirmed that he was not aware of new evidence to prompt the coordinated and sustained effort to stop the trial.
  8. SNC-Lavalin signed a twenty-year lease on their headquarters in 2017 and undertook major renovations.
  9. Deputy Minister of Justice Nathalie Drouin briefed Attorney General Lametti on the SNC-Lavalin matter when he became Minister, but refused to answer whether she told him about Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s final decision.
  10. Michael Wernick confirmed that he has retained counsel following this matter being referred to the RCMP for investigation.
  11. The Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick confirmed that he brought up considering the outcome of the Quebec election when discussing this matter with the former Attorney General.
  12. Deputy Minister of Justice Nathalie Drouin confirmed the heavy involvement of senior officials at the Department of Finance in this matter.
  13. Gerald Butts did not provide any clarity on his own comment that “there is no solution here that doesn’t involve some interference.” Neither did Telford, who stated that “we don’t want to debate legalities anymore.”
  14. Deputy Minister Nathalie Drouin contradicted Gerald Butts’ assertion that a written decision is required to not intervene in a criminal prosecution.
  15. The Liberals used their majority on the Justice Committee to block attempts to invite the former Attorney General, and additional material witnesses, despite Jody Wilson-Raybould’s offer to appear again. The Liberals also voted against a motion to force Gerald Butts to produce all of his text messages and communications between himself and other key players in this affair.