Jody Wilson-Raybould says she is “overwhelmed and grateful” about an outpouring of public support since her scorching testimony in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.And despite a nasty internal backlash after her explosive appearance before the federal justice committee, she has no intention of quitting the Liberal caucus in Ottawa.“It really has been quite remarkable,” Wilson-Raybould said Saturday, in her first public remarks since her bombshell testimony.“I have heard from thousands of people — neighbours, friends, constituents, as well as people from all across Canada.”The former attorney general said she plans to run for re-election in the fall under the Liberal banner in Vancouver Granville.“I feel overwhelmed and grateful. In my mind, all I was doing was my job.”Wilson-Raybould stunned Ottawa last week with three hours of shocking testimony in the SNC-Lavalin affair, saying she was hounded for months to let the Liberal-connected, Quebec-based engineering company off the hook on criminal corruption charges.Wilson-Raybould said nearly a dozen top power players in the government — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and several of Ottawa’s most powerful political staffers and bureaucrats — relentlessly pressured her to give the company a plea-bargain deal, which she refused to do.She said she faced a “sustained effort” and “veiled threats” to intervene in the case. Trudeau removed her as attorney general in January and she resigned from his cabinet outright on Feb. 12.“Like Canadians everywhere, I just try to do my job the best I can,” she said, adding she’s been recognized everywhere she goes while messages of support pour in.“People coming up to me in airports, social media, emails, deliveries to my offices — I’m grateful for all of the support and kind thoughts.”LISTEN: This week on In The House, Mike Smyth and Rob Shaw discuss NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s victory in the federal Burnaby-South byelection, the NDP government’s response to threatened school closures in Vancouver, the latest in the legislature spending scandal and the province’s response to a measles outbreak.
Trudeau has denied he did anything improper in the SNC-Lavalin case and said he “completely disagrees” with Wilson-Raybould’s version of events.Since her testimony, she has faced criticism from fellow Liberals for breaking ranks. Liberal MP Jati Sidhu said she was not a “team player” and “couldn’t handle the stress” of her job, calling her testimony “sour grapes.” He later apologized for the remarks.Despite the backlash, Wilson-Raybould said she has no intention of leaving the Liberals.“I was elected as the Liberal member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville and I will continue to serve as such,” she said.Trudeau said last week he had not decided whether Wilson-Raybould will be allowed to remain in the government caucus or to run again for the Liberals.“I haven’t yet had the opportunity to review her entire testimony,” Trudeau said. “I will do that before making any further decisions.”But Wilson-Raybould said she’s already secured the Liberal nomination for the October election.“I was confirmed as the Liberal Party of Canada candidate for Vancouver Granville last year,” she said.Despite being at the centre of a raging political storm, Wilson-Raybould said she is feeling upbeat and confident.“I am doing fine,” she said. “The past few weeks have been eventful ones for our country, our system of government, and for myself and family.”The House of Commons is now on a two-week break. Wilson-Raybould said she returned to Vancouver late Friday and is happy to be home.“For sure I am looking forward to spending time back here for the next couple of weeks,” she said. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my constituents.”The justice committee, meanwhile, is continuing its investigation of the scandal, while Canada’s independent ethics watchdog, Mario Dion, has launched an investigation of Trudeau’s actions.The RCMP said it is reviewing complaints that government officials may have broken federal obstruction-of-justice firstname.lastname@example.org/MikeSmythNewsRelated Watch: Reaction to Jody Wilson-Raybould testimony in OttawaListen: 10/3 podcast: Jody Wilson-Raybould’s epic mic drop
Read: Jody Wilson-Raybould’s Speaking Notes