Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before a parliamentary hearing into what is being called a case of improper interference into a legal case against SNC-Lavalin . (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Political scandal Canada: dual office of Justice Minister and Attorney-General, a concern?


Alleged interference in a criminal case by the highest level of the Liberal government has been Canada.

The scandal centres on Jody Wilson-Raybould who holds the partisan position of Justice Minister in the Liberal cabinet, and the non-partisan position of Canada’s Attorney-General. She has a strong legal background which she felt required her position as Attorney-General to take precedence over partisan considerations as Justice Minister.

The scandal which has widely shaken the Liberal government involves her dual role and the case of the Montreal-based international giant SNC Lavalin accused of corruption and fraud, charges to date not proven in court.

Allegedly the Prime Minister and others attempted to pressure Wilson-Raybould to change her decision as Attorney-General to allow a legal case against the firm to proceed.

First an audio clip of Ms Wilson Raybould’s testimony at a Parliamentary justice hearing into the situation.


With his take on the combined roles of Justice Minister and Attorney-General, unique to Canadian politics, and the potentially contradictory roles, we hear from James Kelly (PhD) Professor of Political Science at Concordia University in Montreal.


In a cabinet shuffle, Wilson-Raybould was removed from her position as Justice Minister and given the role of Veteran’s Affairs Minister, widely seen as demotion, and also widely interpreted as punishment for not acquiescing to the Liberal leader’s requests to intervene in the case against SNC Lavalin.

James Kelly (PhD) professor of political science, (Concordia University-Montreal)

She subsequently resigned from the VA minister position.

Additional information-sources

CBC:M Gollom: Feb 13/19: What you need to know about SNC Lavalin affair

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One comment on “Political scandal Canada: dual office of Justice Minister and Attorney-General, a concern?
  1. Avatar Jose Padilla says:

    Under the circumstances already shown by the media regarding SNC Lavalin, it would have been fair enough to fine SNC ($’$$$,$$$) for its wrongdoing, and then move forward with new measures to prevent this from happening again. The political interference here is to take advantage of this situation to overthrow this government. The idea of keeping the partisan position of the Minister of Justice separate and the nonpartisan position of the Attorney General of Canada would be one of the main solutions to avoid this type of situation in the future.