Embattled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who has been implicated in a corruption scandal as well as a #MeToo accusation from two decades ago — appeared at a climate change ralley on Monday, and the scene quickly got ugly.
Trudeau is facing increasing political pressure over accusations by Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s former female, indigenous attorney general, that he and other members of his administration attempted to pressure her to “abandon prosecution” of a “corrupt company,” SNC-Lavalin, that is allegedly tied to Trudeau’s political cronies. When she refused to cave, Wilson-Raybould says, Trudeau fired her. The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reports:
For some time, the story remained uncorroborated — a mere rumor that circulated around Canada’s government officials. But last week, Wilson-Raybould testified in front of Parliament, telling her story in “meticulous detail,” according to Canadian reporter Ezra Levant, parsing out “how Trudeau and his staff tried to get her to drop criminal charges against a corrupt company that he liked.”
In a series of videos published by Global News, Trudeau’s attempt to explain the controversy at a climate change-focused rally on Monday was derailed when protesters erupted.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared at a rally on Monday amid the still-unfolding SNC-Lavalin affair, and the tone grew tense at times,” the outlet reports. “The rally, focused on climate change and taking place at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall, saw protesters interrupt the prime minister repeatedly before they were quickly ushered out of the venue.”
The Global News says the first of multiple interruptions occurred while the prime minister was attempting to address the resignation of his now former Treasury Board president, Jane Philpott, over the corruption scandal. As Trudeau thanked Philpott for her service, a protester held up a banner reading: “#PIGTRIAL2.”
She was quickly ushered away by security, but she didn’t go without causing a commotion.
And the first Trudeau protester wasn’t alone; another female protester soon interrupted the prime minister, accusing him of trying to silence “a Native woman’s voice,” and once again things got chaotic. As security arrived, the protester screamed, “Don’t touch me, I have my baby!” and “Are you going to assault me?!”
The crowd did its best to show Trudeau support, and the embattled leader tried to play it all down, citing democracy’s inclusion of all kinds of voices, but he failed to get control of the room.
When Trudeau started discussing the importance of addressing the “climate crisis,” things went from bad to worse, with “a melee” breaking out among the crowd, the Global News reports, which included one man “appear[ing] to shove a woman in a large group as the prime minister said: ‘Oh boy, oh boy.'” The man who allegedly shoved the woman reportedly remained and then began to argue with another man.
After weeks of mounting pressure and some high-profile resignations from his administration, Trudeau allowed Wilson-Raybould to testify in front of Parliament and she promptly delivered a bombshell testimony.
“For a period of approximately four months between September and December 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with SNC-Lavalin,” she testified.
“These events involved 11 people (excluding myself and my political staff) – from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, and the Office of the Minister of Finance,” she said. “This included in-person conversations, telephone calls, emails, and text messages. There were approximately 10 phone calls and 10 meetings specifically about SNC-Lavalin that I and/or my staff was a part of.”
Her refusal to help the company avoid a trial, she told Parliament, is why she was demoted. Trudeau denies the allegations, accusing Wilson-Raybould of mischaracterizing the events.