Second Canadian minister quits over scandal, Trudeau taking it 'seriously'

Hugh Fox
March 7, 2019

Jane Philpott's resignation follows the departure of former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who testified last week that government officials inappropriately pressured her to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin avoid a corruption trial.

In a serious blow to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a second member of his Cabinet resigned on Monday (March 4), saying she had "lost confidence" in how the government had dealt with an escalating political scandal. "Trudeau the father had all these attributes", Bothwell said. But Wilson-Raybould said the pressure was not illegal and said she was not instructed to interfere.

"It is a fundamental doctrine of the rule of law that our attorney-general should not be subjected to political pressure or interference regarding the exercise of her prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases", Philpott wrote in a letter to Trudeau.

February 21 - Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti tells the justice committee he has never faced inappropriate pressure from the prime minister or anyone in the PMO, and would take action if any official tried to direct his actions improperly. Envy breeds hate, goes the Yiddish proverb, and Trudeau was attracting outsized reactions from media figures and opposition politicians even before the resignation of Philpott.

DPAs are applicable in cases where criminal actions brought against companies such as SNC-Lavalin were deemed likely to cause damage to employees, suppliers, and local communities.

Philpott was among Trudeau's most trusted cabinet ministers.

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"The attempt by the cabinet to highlight a personal relationship as an explanation as to why the cabinet minister resigned is completely false", Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt said in an interview.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer repeated his call for Trudeau to step down on Monday. So Trudeau for all of those factors and his officials decided that an extra effort, perhaps, an unprecedented effort at least in the eyes of the former Attorney General Ms Wilson-Raybould was undertaken to save those jobs; to be very specific, if they are criminally convicted in Canada under our current legislation they would be banned from working on federal projects, government of Canada projects in Canada for the next 10 years.

The departure of Philpott, who was appointed on January 14, is another setback for a prime minister who came to power in November 2015 promising "sunny ways", more accountability in politics and a greater number of women ministers.

Especially damaging was Wilson-Raybould's claims that the government was concerned about the impact its failure to intervene in support of SNC-Lavalin would have on Liberal fortunes in the federal election due this fall. If she succeeded in removing Robbie Burns, she would have been fired.

Here's betting that (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau and his ilk will allow ISIS brides back into Canada. after all, once a Canadian always a Canadian. they'll arrive, probably with a welcome from Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen and a big hug from Chrystia Freeland.

No one in caucus could possibly wound Mr. Trudeau more deeply than Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould have wounded him.

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Butts resigned from Trudeau's office last month, insisting neither he nor anyone else in the Prime Minister's Office had done anything wrong but saying he didn't want to be a distraction from the government's work.

Trudeau told a Liberal Party rally in Toronto that he was disappointed but understood why she had left. She had previously served as minister of health and minister of indigenous services.

After Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from the Liberal cabinet on February 12, Treasury Board president and fellow Liberal MP Jane Philpott tweeted out praise for her: "You taught me so much - particularly about Indigenous history, rights and justice".

She said the administration's senior officials issued "veiled threats" against her in an effort to convince her not to file criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin, the Canadian company that employs about 9,000 people in Canada or 52,000 across the world, according to CBC.

She will remain on as a Liberal member of Parliament.

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