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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at Saguenay Chambre of Commerce award gala, April 4, 2019 in Saguenay, Quebec.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his threat to sue Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is about making sure there are consequences for lying in politics – but he’s not saying if he intends to make good on it.

Asked whether he plans to follow through with his threatened lawsuit, Mr. Trudeau would only say that with an election on the horizon, he won’t put up with politicians twisting the truth and distorting reality.

Mr. Scheer revealed Sunday that Mr. Trudeau’s lawyer sent him a libel notice late last month, demanding he take back claims the Prime Minister interfered with the prosecution of Montreal-based engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and lied to Canadians.

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On Monday, the Conservative Leader urged Mr. Trudeau to bring it on, saying he’d welcome a lawsuit that would force the Prime Minister to testify about the affair under oath.

Mr. Trudeau says that while people disagree in politics, there are consequences for telling lies about one’s partisan adversaries. He says he would be satisfied if Mr. Scheer agrees to retract the comments and apologize.