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Trudeau conversation with Jody Wilson-Raybould about SNC-Lavalin

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he spoke with former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould last week about a way forward after her allegations of political interference in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

Speaking in Maple Ridge, B.C., Trudeau said the two spoke last Monday.

That day, Michael Wernick, clerk of the Privy Council, announced he would leave his post before the fall election, citing a loss of trust with the opposition parties after Wilson-Raybould accused him of being among a group of top officials that pushed her to help SNC-Lavalin land a kind of plea deal to avoid criminal prosecution.

And the government later announced that former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan would look into whether the job of justice minister and attorney general should be split.

Trudeau said he had a “cordial” conversation with Wilson-Raybould where they discussed “next steps,” but he did not elaborate on what that meant.

He also signalled that Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will remain in the Liberal caucus despite their outspoken criticism of his government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

“I look forward to continuing to engage with both Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott as they make their way forward,” Trudeau said Monday.

“They have both indicated they look forward to running again as Liberals in the next election and I look forward to continuing to have their strong and thoughtful voices as part of our team.”

The opposition parties will push for a fresh investigation of Wilson-Raybould’s allegations when the ethics committee meets on Tuesday. On Monday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on Trudeau to waive cabinet confidentiality for both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott so they can testify freely.

“If they really want us to believe that they want the truth to come out, if Justin Trudeau truly has nothing to hide, he will make it official — he will send a letter to Ms. Wilson-Raybould and now Ms. Philpott, allowing them to complete their testimony, to speak freely and openly,” Scheer told reporters in Ottawa on Monday.

It has been roughly one month since Wilson-Raybould detailed allegations that Trudeau and other top government officials repeatedly pressured her to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin over its business dealings in Libya. She testified she was shuffled to the veterans affairs portfolio because she didn’t agree.

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred.

Philpott breathed new life into the controversy last week in a published interview with Maclean’s magazine where she said there is “much more” to the story that has not been told.

Wilson-Raybould will add more details after promising the justice committee on Friday more evidence and details of her allegations as part of a forthcoming written submission.

Liberal MPs are challenging both former cabinet ministers to have their say publicly and be done with the issue. Speaking just ahead of Trudeau, Scheer called the challenge an effort by the Liberals to “distract Canadians from this scandal.” Not long after, Trudeau cited the waiver Wilson-Raybould received to testify at the justice committee about her time as attorney general, saying “it’s important to hear a broad range of perspectives.”

Wilson-Raybould and Philpott could speak under the shield of parliamentary privilege, which protects parliamentarians from legal ramifications for anything they say in the House of Commons, but Scheer said the privilege does not nullify an oath of cabinet confidentiality.

“When I take oaths, it is a matter of conscience for me, it’s not something I would break. There are clearly consequences to people’s reputations when they’ve taken oaths. So we’re saying don’t put them in that position,” said Scheer, a former Speaker of the House of Commons.

“If you’ve really got nothing to hide, why put Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Philpott in a position where you’re challenging them to break oaths that they’ve taken? Make it official, waive the privilege, waive the issues around cabinet confidences and allow them to testify.”

New Democrats Charlie Angus and Daniel Blaikie reached out Sunday to an international economic group that oversees a global anti-bribery convention.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said earlier this month it is “concerned” by the accusations and would determine if Canada was offside with the convention.

Angus said Monday that the party’s letter argued the Liberals are ignoring international obligations “in order to do damage control.”

“The Liberal government promised the OECD that there would be robust, independent investigation and the OECD said they were pleased to see the justice committee moving ahead,” he said.

“Well, the justice committee got shut down, that’s not robust.”

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Liberals block ethics commissioner from testifying about SNC-Lavalin report

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The Liberal majority on the House ethics committee voted down an opposition motion to have Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion testify about his report which found that Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act over the SNC-Lavalin affair. Vassy Kapelos gets reaction from MPs on the committee. Plus, the Power Panel breaks down the Ford government’s changes to Ontario’s sex-education curriculum.

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Joshua Boyle worried about what his wife might tell police

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Joshua Boyle

After calling 911 to report that his wife was missing and suicidal, Joshua Boyle told an Ottawa police sergeant that he was also worried what she might tell authorities when she was found.

“He told me he was concerned, as any husband would be, with what Caitlan (Coleman) would say to us when we found her,” Sgt. Shane Henderson told court Tuesday.

Henderson was one of the first officers to respond to Boyle’s 911 emergency call late on the night of Dec. 30, 2017. A recording of that call was played in court Tuesday.

The 911 call was made at 11:47 p.m. from a Centretown address.

Boyle told the dispatcher that his wife was threatening to kill herself. He said she was alone in her room then ran outside, and was “screaming at the top of her lungs that she was going to kill herself.”

He said she had borderline personality disorder, PTSD, “extreme mental instability” and other issues.

“I am very worried for her right now,” he said in the telephone recording, played in court.

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Boyle told police his wife was wearing a hijab scarf on her head, but did not have a coat and may not have shoes.

Before she left the apartment, Boyle said they had an argument that “turned into rabid self-loathing, a panic attack, something, I’m not sure.”

“I had asked her to stay in her room,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be long,” the dispatcher told Boyle. “We’ll get some officers to see you there, OK?”

“OK,” Boyle replied. “Just try to be gentle with her: She is really going through a rough time.”

Sgt. Henderson was the first officer on scene, and went to Boyle’s apartment at 12:05 a.m.

Boyle repeated what he had told the dispatcher, and said his wife had initially raced up the stairs towards another apartment in the three-storey apartment block. Henderson testified: “He told me that he did not want to drag Caitlan back into the apartment or did not want to hit her.”

Henderson and another officer went to the second apartment and interviewed the young man who lived there. The tenant said he had heard someone banging on his back door 20 minutes earlier, but did not answer it.

Court heard that the officers searched the back staircase and yard but could not locate Coleman so they returned to Boyle’s apartment for more information.

According to Henderson, Boyle said Coleman was particularly stressed because her mother was in town, and she was worried about the state of their apartment. They had also argued, Boyle told Henderson, about drawing on walls and “Caitlan, as a wife, not performing her roles and responsibilities as a mother.”

Boyle told Henderson that he wanted Coleman to stay in her room and calm down. “He told me he kept the door open and at no time prevented her from leaving,” Henderson testified.

“He said he offered to have sex with Caitlan if she wanted to.”

When Henderson asked if Coleman had a cellphone, Boyle reached on top of the fridge and retrieved a flip phone.

Henderson asked what it was doing there. “Boyle said he took the phone away to make sure she did not break the phone as she had broken phones in the past,” Henderson testified.

Boyle is on trial on 19 charges, including assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

His wife Caitlan Coleman, with whom he was held hostage in Afghanistan, is the principal complainant in the case. She’s expected to testify Wednesday.

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Tanker crash kills one, injures nine near Cereal Alberta

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Tanker crash

“One of the semi trucks was hauling fuel and that fuel ignited,” said RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott. “So, that caused other vehicles in the collision to catch fire. A second semi was hauling butane and that’s caused a concern.”

A release from RCMP also confirmed the collision area is “consumed with flames.”

As a result of the second truck hauling butane, a preliminary evacuation order had been issued for the hamlet of Chinook.

By 9:00 pm, Alberta Emergency Alert officially rescinded the evacuation order for the community.

STARS Air Ambulance has flown one person to hospital in Calgary in serious, potentially life-threatening condition while HALO transported another individual in serious condition.

Brideaux also confirmed to Global News that six people have been treated at the scene and are likely to be released.

RCMP are also reaching out to anyone who was a part of or was witness to the domino crash, asking them to meet with officers in nearby Oyen.

“We’re asking those people to attend the Legion in Oyen,” said Scott. “Right now the Legion has been opened, food is available at the Legion, our Victims Services Unit members are at the Legion, and we have an RCMP member or members at the Legion. So, anybody who was a part of this collision, witness or needing some assistance in relation to the collision, is asked to go to the Legion.”

There is no word yet on the original cause of the fatal crash, as Scott added it will be several hours before a collision analyst is able to attend the scene.

“We will have a collision analyst attending,” she said. “But, I can tell you that collision analyst is not able and has not been able to look at the scene to do any examination or investigation.”

Traffic has since been rerouted from Highway 9 to Highway 884 eastbound and Highway 41 westbound.

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