National News Gerald Butts denies any pressure was put on Jody-Wilson Raybould; Federal committee suggests creation of drug agency SHARE ON: James Bowler, contributor, Wednesday, Mar. 6th, 2019 Butts testifies on SNC-Lavalin, says no pressure was put on Justice Minister Gerald Butts is denying the PMO put unnecessary pressure on Jody Wilson-Raybould. Butts says neither the Prime Minister nor his advisers gave the former Justice Minister direction to help SNC-Lavalin reach a deal out of court. He says they suggested she get independent advice from a panel of jurists on the matter. Universal drug plan could be overseen by federal agency Ottawa may consider the creation of a national drug agency in Canada. The recommendation comes from a committee reviewing possibilities to offer a universal drug plan for all Canadians no matter what coverage they have. The final decision on the future of a drug plan is expected to come in a few months when the final recommendation report is handed over to the feds. BoC pulls back on interest rate hike, suggests economy is slumping The Bank of Canada likely isn’t budging the interest rate anytime soon. Governor Stephen Poloz gave a dubious outlook saying the slump in Canada’s economy is likely to last longer than expected and cut fairly deep. The current interest rate is sitting at 1.75 per cent.