1. Pan, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to microphone
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister:
"(Reporter: Do you have any plans to resign or at least apologize formally?)
I recognize that this was a situation that shouldn't have happened. But my desire to protect Canadians and at the same time to protect the integrity and the independence of our judicial institutions remained throughout. We recognize that the way this happened shouldn't have happened and I take responsibility for the mistakes that I made. At the same time we learned many lessons through that and we're aided and will be aided by the McClellan report which has been released today."
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3. SOUNDBITE (English, French) Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister:
"As I said I take full responsibility, the buck stops with the Prime Minister and I assume responsibility for everything that happened in my office. This is important because I truly feel that what happened over the past year shouldn't have happened. We at the same time have a system in which we have to make improvements. There are many lessons to be learned on this and that's why we will be moving forward with the recommendations on how to both advocate for the public interest and defend the integrity and the independence of our judicial and prosecutorial processes. Those things together are important linchpins of our system and they shouldn't be put into conflict as they were as spelled out by the Ethics Commission. So I recognize the lessons to be learned. I take them very seriously, I take obviously the ethics Commissioner's report very seriously and we will move forward to make sure that this never happens again under any government in this country."
CTV - NO ACCESS CANADA
Regina, Saskatchewan - 14 August 2019
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Scheer, Conservative Party leader:
"Now Trudeau may never face a court of law for his role in the scandal but he will have to face the Canadian people over the next few weeks. And on the eve of this election the choice for Canadians has never been more clear between a prime minister who abuses his power, bends the law for his friends, attempts to silence his critics and destroys the reputation and a conservative government led by a prime minister who will uphold the rule of law respect our democratic institutions and help all Canadians get ahead. "
Canada's ethics commissioner said Wednesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau improperly pressured the country's former attorney general to halt the criminal prosecution of a company, a development that could imperil his re-election chances.
The report comes just before the official start of campaigning for the Oct. 21 general election and it threatens to re-inflame a scandal that rocked the government earlier this year, causing a drop in poll ratings that had since abated.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said Trudeau's attempts to influence the former attorney general and justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, were contrary to the constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence.
"The prime minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson-Raybould," Dion wrote.
Trudeau said at a news conference that he takes responsibility "for everything," but said he "can't apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs."
Wilson-Raybould believes she was demoted from her role as attorney general and justice minister to veterans' affairs minister in January because she didn't give in to pressure to enter into a remediation agreement with a Canadian company accused of bribing officials in Libya.
That potential solution would avoid a potential criminal conviction that would bar Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin from receiving any federal government business for a decade. The company is a major employer with 9,000 employees in Canada and about 50,000 worldwide.
The report said Trudeau "directed his staff to find a solution that would safeguard SNC-Lavalin's business interest in Canada."
"What happened over the past year shouldn't have happened," Trudeau said. "I take responsibility for the mistakes that I made. At the same time, we learned many lessons."
But Trudeau said he didn't agree that any contact with the attorney general on the issue was inappropriate. He said his job is to consider the impact decisions have on Canadians.
The scandal led to multiple resignations, including that of Gerry Butts, Trudeau's top aide and best friend. And it damaged the party for weeks. Butts has since rejoined Trudeau's re-election campaign team.
Opposition Conservative leader Andrew Scheer renewed calls for police to investigate and called SNC-Lavalin a "Liberal" linked corporation that defrauded some of the poorest people on earth.
Scheer said Trudeau hasn't lived up to promises to be open and honest when he was elected.
"Trudeau may not face a court of law for his role in this scandal, but he will have to face the Canadian people over the next few weeks," Scheer said.