Justin Trudeau Loses Another Cabinet Minister as Corruption Scandal Grows

Justin Trudeau Loses Another Cabinet Minister as Corruption Scandal Grows

Justin Trudeau Loses Another Cabinet Minister as Corruption Scandal Grows

One of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's top ministers has quit saying she has lost confidence in the government's handling of a corruption case.

"I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations", she said in her resignation letter.

She says "the evidence of efforts by politicians and/or officials to pressure the former Attorney General to intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin, and the evidence as to the content of those efforts have raised serious concerns for me".

"There are a number of people who are incredibly anxious we are going to lose the progress we have made; and we are going to see a government led by an individual who has coddled Yellow Vesters; and who has really cultivated support from groups and organizations that he should be shunning and pushing away", Erskine-Smith said.

Trudeau has not denied that he and aides spoke to Wilson-Raybould about the SNC-Lavalin case, the Guardian reports, but claims their discussions were within the bounds of the rules.

February 15 - Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould asked him in September whether he would direct her one way or another on the SNC-Lavalin question.

Wilson-Raybould took to Twitter to support Philpott's decision.

Seems that thanks to the bungling of our prime minister, Canada has lost the services of an outstanding attorney general.

Ken Coates, a political historian at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, said Philpott's resignation was the most significant act of Cabinet revolt in about 50 years.

October 9 - The prosecution service confirms in writing it will not invite SNC-Lavalin to negotiate a remediation agreement, a decision the company challenges in Federal Court.

Phillip joined Conservative leader Andrew Scheer in calling for Trudeau's resignation, and also echoed NDP leader Jagmeet Sing's demand for a public inquiry into the SNC controversy.

"I know that Ms Philpott has felt this way for some time", Trudeau said during a speech, which was occasionally interrupted by hecklers.

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Bothwell said Trudeau is not like his father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who swept to office in 1968 on a wave of support dubbed "Trudeaumania" and governed for most of the next two decades.

February 13 - The House of Commons justice committee debates whether it should start its own review into the SNC-Lavalin affair.

But it turns out it is not just journalists and partisans who believe Trudeau used his cabinet-making power to interfere with the attorney general's prosecutorial independence.

It could have been argued (and Trudeau-ites were arguing it) that on its own, Wilson-Raybould's testimony and resignation were survivable.

That is expected to include a statement from Trudeau - possibly as early as Wednesday but more likely not until Friday or early next week - offering his most comprehensive account yet of how the government handled the SNC-Lavalin matter and why.

However, she says that ministers are expect to defend all Cabinet decisions, which is not something she's able to do after recent events.

March 2 - Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes says she will not be seeking re-election in October in her riding of Whitby, Ont. Caesar-Chavannes says her decision is not related to the SNC Lavalin controversy, although she adds she has "tremendous respect" for Wilson-Raybould.

The former family physician has held key portfolios in Mr Trudeau's cabinet - health, indigenous services and, until this week, treasury board president - since being elected in 2015.

A friend, who also happens to be a retired judge, emailed me to say he and his cross-country chat group of jurists was upset that "all the journalists seem to accept Jody Wilson-Raybould's testimony as being the truth, prior to all the other witnesses being heard".

Whether Philpott and Wilson-Raybould will remain in caucus is not certain, although Trudeau's remarks Monday night seemed to suggest they will.

Now we have come to Trudeau's biggest dilemma of them all, the largest and most significant question of his ethics and principles: do you throw Philpott and Wilson-Raybould out of the Liberal party?

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