Nova Scotia

3 Nova Scotia Liberals MPs defend Trudeau amid SNC-Lavalin affair

Bernadette Jordan, Mark Eyking and Roger Cuzner say they have full confidence in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ability to govern.

'I don't think it's damaging because we're really focused on what we were sent to Ottawa to do'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal he disagreed with former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould's view she was inappropriately pressured over SNC-Lavalin. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

As the controversy surrounding the SNC-Lavalin affair continues, three Nova Scotia Liberal MP's have come out in support of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Bernadette Jordan, Mark Eyking and Rodger Cuzner say they have full confidence in the prime minister and his ability to govern. Nova Scotia has 10 sitting Liberal MPs. 

Trudeau has been under fire for weeks over allegations he and other members of his office put pressure on former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to override a decision to prosecute SNC-Lavalin on bribery charges related to contracts in Libya.

Wilson-Raybould was shuffled to Veterans Affairs in January and resigned from cabinet last month. Last week, she testified before a Commons justice committee about "inappropriate" pressure she said was levied against her last fall regarding SNC-Lavalin.

On Monday, Treasury Board President Jane Philpott resigned from cabinet, saying she had lost confidence in how the government had handled the matter.

Jody Wilson-Raybould appears at the House of Commons justice committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 27. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Mark Eyking, who represents the Cape Breton riding of Sydney-Victoria, said there was some friction in cabinet, but Trudeau didn't do anything wrong.

"Whether you're in caucus or you're in cabinet there's interference, there's interference because you're fighting for your region and your country. And for jobs and for the economy, these things happen in the room, it's just all out in the open now," he said. 

Jordan said she doesn't think the current controversy is hurting the Liberals. 

"I don't think it's damaging because we're really focused on what we were sent to Ottawa to do," said Jordan, the minister of rural economic development and representative of South Shore-St. Margarets.   

Part of what the government was elected to do was help protect people's livelihoods, she said, including the 9,000 jobs at SNC-Lavalin that could be at risk. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan at a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Jan. 14. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

"I think it's really important that as a government we do look at supporting jobs, it's key to our economic prosperity, we have to make sure we continue to do that," she said.   

The Liberal caucus also stands "wholeheartedly in support of the prime minister," said Rodger Cuzner, the MP for Cape Breton-Canso. 

"I believe in what he's doing and I believe we've accomplished some great things and we've been a progressive government," he said.

Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner said he fully supports the prime minister. (CBC)

The next part of the investigation into the SNC-Lavalin scandal continues today, as Trudeau's former principal secretary Gerald Butts speaks with the Commons justice committee.


With files from Nova Scotia News at 6 and Mainstreet Cape Breton