WATCH — Our prime minister broke the rules. What happens next?

Campbell Baron
Story by Campbell Baron and CBC Kids News • Published 2019-08-23 18:39

CBC Kids News contributor Campbell Baron investigates

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in trouble.


Well, a report has come out saying he broke an ethics law — a law that exists to make sure politicians don’t benefit personally from the decisions they make.

Bad timing, given that the election to choose our next prime minister is coming up this October.

So, what exactly happened?

On Facebook, Jody Wilson-Raybould said the ethics commissioner’s report backed up her concerns but left her feeling sad. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The controversy

It all started in February when Jody Wilson-Raybould quit her job as one of Trudeau’s top ministers.

Wilson-Raybould said Trudeau and his team pressured her to interfere in a court case against a big company in Quebec called SNC-Lavalin.

SNC-Lavalin was in trouble for making illegal payments to politicians in a country called Libya.

Trudeau said he didn’t do anything wrong.

But Wilson-Raybould said she believed she lost her job because she refused to do what he wanted her to do.

Part of Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion’s job is to make sure politicians don’t benefit personally from the decisions they make at work. (Kathleen Harris/CBC)

Damning report

On Aug. 14, Canada’s ethics commissioner dropped a bit of a bombshell.

He said Trudeau actually did try to influence Wilson-Raybould when it came to SNC-Lavalin.

In fact, Dion said he tried to influence her in “many ways.”

That puts Trudeau in violation of a law called the Conflict of Interest Act.


How did Trudeau respond?

He said he accepts full responsibility for his actions.

But he didn’t think it was wrong to contact Wilson-Raybould, given how many Canadians rely on SNC-Lavalin for work.

“I can't apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs," Trudeau said.

So, what does this mean for Trudeau and the upcoming election?


Political watchers say this scandal isn’t enough for Trudeau to consider resigning.

That hasn’t stopped some political rivals from calling on him to quit.

"Mr. Trudeau cannot be the prime minister of Canada," said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Another rival wants to get the police involved.

"I certainly believe that there is enough evidence here to warrant an RCMP investigation,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

The RCMP said members of Canada’s national police force are looking at the facts.

But they haven’t decided what the next step will be.

Your turn

What do you think about Trudeau breaking the rules? Email us at

About the Contributor

Campbell Baron
Campbell Baron
CBC Kids News Contributor
Campbell Baron is a 15-year-old entrepreneur and video producer from Toronto. He loves creating video content and got his start developing social media videos for brands, helping them tell stories that target younger audiences. He's worked with companies such as Sleep Country Canada and Pinkberry and is excited to work with CBC Kids News to produce engaging stories for kids across Canada.

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