Trudeau sticks to guns over scandal

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Xinhua/Janis

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s insistence that there is little wrong with how he is handling the worst crisis of his tenure is frustrating lawmakers and senior party figures who believe the approach could cost him re-election this October.

Angry legislators are starting to push back against Mr Trudeau and his team, opening up public divisions of the kind the ruling Liberals have not seen for almost 20 years.

Mr Trudeau has been under pressure over allegations that officials inappropriately leaned on then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould last year to try to ensure SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid a corruption trial by paying a fine instead.

Ms Wilson-Raybould resigned on February 12 after being demoted within the Cabinet, and a second minister, Jane Philpott, subsequently quit over the way the matter had been handled.

The mood among senior advisers inside the prime minister’s office has often been grim, according to two Liberals familiar with the matter.

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