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Scheer repeats alleged libel, goads Trudeau to follow through on lawsuit threat

Scheer repeats alleged libel, goads Trudeau to follow through on lawsuit threat
Politics
OTTAWA -- Andrew Scheer did his level best Wednesday to provoke Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into following through on his threat to sue him over allegedly libellous criticism of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

The Conservative leader repeated, word for word, the March 29 statement that prompted Trudeau s lawyer, Julian Porter, to send him notice of a potential libel suit.

For good measure, Scheer did it outside the House of Commons -- making the point that he s not trying to hide behind parliamentary privilege that protects anything said in the chamber from lawsuits.

"I m not withdrawing my remarks. In fact, I m standing by them and I repeated them outside of the House of Commons," Scheer told Trudeau during question period a short time later.

"Will he have the backbone to stand by his threats and show up in court to fight this case?"

Trudeau did not respond directly to Scheer s repeated taunts but he didn t withdraw the threat either.

"We put (Scheer) on notice because he and his party have a history of making false and defamatory statements," the prime minister said.

"We won t stand by while he continues to mislead Canadians."

Trudeau then accused Scheer of flogging the SNC-Lavalin issue to deflect attention from his own failure to distance himself from white supremacists or to produce plans for the economy and the environment.
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