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David Lametti remains Minister of Justice and Attorney General

The minister from Montreal stays on in the job, and takes a new oath.

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General David Lametti Blair Gable

David Lametti has been sworn in again as Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. The oath emphasized the AG’s unique role in upholding the Constitution and the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and of the prosecutorial function.

Lametti is the Montreal MP for LaSalle-Emard-Verdun, and initially stepped into his role taking over from Jody Wilson-Raybould, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet last January.

In the ensuing months, Wilson-Raybould, said that before getting shuffled out of the job to Veterans Affairs, she had been the target of a sustained campaign by senior government officials pressuring her to intervene in the criminal case against SNC-Lavalin.  This was deemed a violation of the principle known as the Shawcross doctrine, whereby the AG must act independently in prosecutorial decisions. Wilson-Raybould eventually resigned from cabinet and was later expelled from the Liberal caucus in April.

In the wake of the SNC-Lavalin affair, there were calls for separating the roles of the justice minister and the attorney-general. In March, Trudeau asked Anne McLellan, a former Liberal Justice Minister, to look into splitting the dual role. Ultimately, she did not advise it. However, she did recommend that a new oath be crafted that recognizes the separate and distinct role of the attorney-general.