Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appear as a witness at the justice committee probing the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Scheer is holding a news conference at 10 a.m. ET, and is carrying it live.

A motion from the Conservatives says Trudeau should be called to answer questions given his “alleged direct involvement in a sustained effort to influence SNC-Lavalin’s criminal prosecution.” It calls on the prime minister to appear at a two-hour televised committee under oath.

Scheer called it a “textbook case of government corruption” and said there was an unprecedented attempt to alter the course of justice through political interference.

“Politicians don’t get to execute our justice system,” he said.

Later today, the committee will hear from a number of legal experts. 

Jody Wilson-Raybould, whose resignation from Trudeau’s cabinet on Feb. 12 after a Feb. 7 story in the Globe and Mail touched off the scandal, is expected to testify this week, but an exact time has not yet been confirmed.

Last week, Canada’s top civil servant Michael Wernick told the justice committee that he warned Wilson-Raybould that there would be economic “consequences” from prosecuting SNC-Lavalin, including big job losses. But he maintained that he, Trudeau and officials in the Prime Minister’s Office did not impose any inappropriate pressure on the minister.

Trudeau said Friday that Wernick is an “extraordinary public servant” who has served Canada with “integrity and brilliance.”

“I would recommend that people pay close heed to the words of the clerk of the Privy Council. His service to this country over decades in the public service leaves him well-positioned to understand what institutions are grounded in, and make sure that we’re doing the right things as a government.”

Witnesses scheduled to appear at the justice committee beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET:

  • Mary G. Condon, interim dean of Osgoode Hall Law School.
  • Maxime St-Hilaire, associate professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Sherbrooke.
  • Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, senior associate counsel at Woodward and Company LLP, and professor Peter Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia.
  • Kenneth Jull, lawyer and academic, Gardiner Roberts LLP.

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