ROSSER, Man. — Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he will not be introducing a motion of non-confidence against Justin Trudeau despite saying the prime minister has lost the moral authority to govern because of the SNC-Lavalin affair.
"It's up to his party now to determine whether or not they want to keep him on as leader," Scheer said during a news conference in Rosser, Man., on Friday.
Scheer said his party will be introducing motions "aimed at getting to the bottom of this" but a motion of non-confidence is not on the table.
Scheer added that if Trudeau respected his office, he would step aside.
"The role of prime minister is bigger than any one individual, it's bigger than Justin Trudeau himself and if he truly had respect for the office he holds, he would do the right thing and step aside."
Trudeau is in the midst of a controversy over allegations his office leaned on former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid prosecution.
On Thursday, Trudeau said he was not aware at the time that there was an erosion of trust between his officials and Wilson-Raybould. He said he continues to believe there was no inappropriate pressure put on her to offer the Montreal-based engineering firm a remediation agreement instead of proceeding to trial for bribery and fraud.
The former justice minister has alleged she was improperly pressured to stop the criminal prosecution and was punished for refusing by being moved to the veterans affairs portfolio. Wilson-Raybould and her cabinet ally, Treasury Board president Jane Philpott, resigned from cabinet in the wake of the controversy.
SNC-Lavalin lost a court bid early Friday to overturn the public prosecutor's refusal to negotiate an agreement that would see the company avoid a criminal trial.
When asked whether he would have offered SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution, Scheer said that he would never interfere in a court case.
"What Justin Trudeau stands accused of is overstepping that line for political purposes. That is a very dark and dangerous path that we do not want to go down as a country," he said.
The Opposition leader was in Manitoba to announce that he would remove the GST from home heating and energy costs if the Conservatives were to win the October election. Scheer said the policy would put $1.6 billion back into the Canadian economy.