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Trudeau accepts, but disagrees with parts of Ethics Commissioner's report

Last Updated Aug 14, 2019 at 3:29 pm EDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes questions from journalists following a meeting with Toronto Mayor John Tory at Toronto City Hall, on Tuesday August 13, 2019. Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion says Trudeau contravened a section of the Conflict of Interest Act.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is accepting the findings of the ethics commissioner’s report on the SNC-Lavalin affair and takes responsibility “for everything that happened.”

But he says he disagrees with a number of Mario Dion’s conclusions, including any suggestion that he shouldn’t have had any contact with his attorney general on the criminal prosecution facing the Montreal engineering firm.

In his report, Dion found Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to halt the criminal proceeding.

Trudeau has denied for months that either he or anyone in his office acted improperly, but says he was simply acting in the best interests of Canadians – although he acknowledges that he and others made mistakes, and that “what happened should not have happened.”

Wilson-Raybould says she was improperly pressured to step in and allow the Quebec engineering firm to negotiate an agreement to avoid criminal penalties for bribery in relation to its overseas operations.

In his report, which comes just weeks before the start of a federal election campaign, Dion sides entirely with Wilson-Raybould.

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