Jody Wilson-Raybould to testify Wednesday on Parliament Hill

Jody Wilson-Raybould will appear before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Wednesday.

Confirmation of the former justice minister and attorney general’s testimony at the committee hearing comes a day after her request for clarity on what she can and cannot say, and to speak for 30 minutes to tell her side of the controversy involving allegations of political interference by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Wilson-Raybould’s testimony will mark the first time the former justice minister and attorney general would speak at length, and unimpeded by solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality, about her communications with Justin Trudeau and senior PMO staff about the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

Earlier this month allegations surfaced that Wilson-Raybould was pressured by the PMO to intervene in the criminal prosecution of Montreal-based engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin.

On Monday, she wrote to Liberal MP and Justice committee Chair Anthony Housefather saying that before she appears she would like clarity around what she can and cannot say.

The Vancouver–Granville MP specifically requested clarity around “specific constraints” related to solicitor-client privilege, cabinet confidentiality and the sub judice convention, which holds that those involved in matters being considered by a judge or court may not speak publicly about those issues.

She also requested “an extended opening statement of approximately 30 minutes during which I propose to give the Committee my best recollection of all the relevant communications about which I may properly testify.”

On Monday night Trudeau issued a cabinet order in response to Wilson-Raybould’s request, granting her and “any persons who directly participated in discussions with her relating to the exercise of her authority under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act respecting the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin” to share with the justice committee information that otherwise might be subjected to solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality.

The only restriction outlined in the order-in-council is communication between the former attorney general and the director of public prosecutions related to SNC-Lavalin, since there are still active court cases.

On Tuesday Housefather wrote to Wilson-Raybould granting her request to speak for 30 minutes before taking questions from the committee.