Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated today that he is unapologetic for his involvement in the corruption scandal that his administration and threatened his reelection prospects. When asked during a press conference in Ottawa if he was apologizing for his role in the scandal, he said “In regards to standing up for jobs and defending the integrity of law, I continue to say that there was no inappropriate pressure,”
An ongoing corruption scandal has plagued Trudeau’s administration for the past month. Trudeau and his administration have been accused of pressuring ex Canadian Attorney General Jody-Wilson Raybould of settling a high profile corruption case in favor of a Quebec company who was charged with bribing Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. After she refused to intervene in the case, she was demoted to Veterans Affairs minister. Following her demotion, she resigned in protest. Just a few days ago, Treasury Minister Jane Philpott also resigned due to Trudeau’s poor handling of the scandal.
Trudeau has often been praised for his transparency by his supporters. In 2015, the Liberal Party as well as Trudeau campaigned on transparency, claiming that ex Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration had “turned Ottawa into a partisan swamp”. He also accused Harper of leading the “most secretive, divisive and hyper-partisan government in Canada’s history.” Following this month’s spate of resignations over the scandal, as well as Trudeau’s refusal to apologize, many are questioning his commitment to transparency.
Following the election of Donald Trump in 2016, many on the left turned to Trudeau as a counterweight to Trump. Many even claimed that Trudeau was the new “moral leader” of the free world. After a series of meetings and international conferences, many were convinced that Trudeau was the right person to “stand up” to President Trump. Despite many attempting to crown Trudeau the new “leader of the free world”, after the recent corruption scandal, he is trailing his Conservative Opponent, Andrew Scheer, by 9 points. According to the same poll, two thirds of Canadians also believe the ex Attorney General accusing Trudeau of corruption over him.