Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen July 7, 2023

No, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not under investigation

If Your Time is short

  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not under investigation for obstruction of justice.

A criminal corporate corruption case almost derailed Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 2019 reelection. Now, a Facebook post claims the head of state is under federal investigation for how he handled the matter. 

"Justin Trudeau is being investigated by the (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)," says the caption on the June 19 video. 

The post claims the supposed investigation is linked to possible obstruction of justice by Trudeau and several cabinet members for their role in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

However, Trudeau isn’t under any active investigation. SNC-Lavalin is a Canadian construction company that pleaded guilty in 2019 to paying Libyan officials around $95 million U.S. dollars in bribes to obtain contracts within the country while it was under dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

Canada’s federal ethics commissioner found that Trudeau violated the country’s ethics law when he tried to use his position to improperly pressure then-Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to settle the case with a civil penalty for SNC-Lavalin. 

The Facebook post derived its claim from a letter featuring outdated information sent by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to a Canadian advocacy group in response to an Access to Information request — the equivalent of a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request. 

Democracy Watch, a Canadian nonprofit advocacy organization, sent a request in June 2022 to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seeking information the agency had on any past and ongoing investigations into possible obstruction of justice by Trudeau and other government officials regarding the SNC-Lavalin case. 

The police agency responded to the group in May 2023 and withheld several documents, saying that "a review of the records revealed that this matter is currently under investigation."

Featured Fact-check

Democracy Watch then published a June 19 post on its website with the headline, "RCMP confirms it is investigating obstruction of SNC-Lavalin prosecution by Trudeau and Cabinet officials." 

However, the RCMP tweeted June 19 that it is "not investigating allegations of political interference in the trial of SNC Lavalin." 

Canadian media echoed the RCMP’s June tweet, writing that the RCMP had to clarify its letter to Democracy Watch after multiple social media and news reports ran with the information that Trudeau was being investigated without seeking further comment from the police agency.  

In a statement sent to PolitiFact, Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Robin Percival said, "The RCMP’s Sensitive and International Investigations unit had conducted an assessment pertaining to these allegations and determined there was insufficient evidence to substantiate a criminal offense, and the file was concluded by January 2023." 

Democracy Watch updated its post in response to the clarification. 

Our ruling

A Facebook post claimed that Trudeau "is being investigated by the RCMP" for possible obstruction of justice.

The claim was based on a response from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to a political advocacy group seeking information about the agency’s past or current investigations into Trudeau and other Canadian politicians related to a corruption and bribery scandal. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police initially provided information that was outdated. The agency later clarified it is not investigating Trudeau or any other politician for obstruction of justice.

We rate the claim False. 

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Andy Nguyen

No, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not under investigation

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up