Trudeau no longer insisting Liberals didn't pressure Wilson-Raybould

Justin Trudeau: second minister resigns from cabinet as scandal deepens
In blow to Canadian PM Trudeau, second minister quits over scandal

07 March, 2019

Many were already lining up to express their fealty Monday. We even encourage it.

Privately, several members of his caucus have said Trudeau has badly fumbled his handling of the controversy. And he said her decision to resign was not a surprise. And while I am disappointed, I understand her decision to step down. Wilson-Raybould posts a long letter outlining her record as justice minister and noting a great deal of work remains to be done toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

"Given this convention and the current circumstances, it is untenable for me to continue to serve as a cabinet minister", she wrote.

Philpott was among Trudeau's most trusted cabinet ministers.

And I should say that Andrew Scheer, head of Canada's opposition Conservative Party, no fan of Trudeau, has now called for the prime minister to resign. "Justin Trudeau simply can not continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he has done", Scheer told reporters. "Jane Philpott's resignation from cabinet clearly demonstrates a government in total chaos, led by a disgraced prime minister consumed with scandal and focused only on his political survival".

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated his call for a public inquiry into the affair.

Speaking to a Liberal party rally in Toronto on Monday night, Trudeau thanked Philpott for her service. Philpott resigned shortly afterwards.

If Ms. Philpott feels this strongly, how are others around the cabinet table supposed to feel?

"When Justin Trudeau went out to get a gender balanced cabinet, he recruited some very qualified, very impressive women and put them on the front benches".

Butts, who has been with Trudeau since the start of his Liberal leadership run and was a critical part of the campaign and the Trudeau government, resigned February 18, saying he had done nothing wrong but felt the need to leave because he had become a distraction. The company is a major economic force with about 9,000 employees in Canada and 50,000 worldwide.

The growing saga rests on accusations that SNC-Lavalin paid around $35.75 million in bribes to Libyan officials to win contracts there when the county was still under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. A remediation agreement is a kind of plea bargain that would force the company to pay stiff penalties but avoid a criminal conviction that could financially cripple it.

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The controversy surrounding corrupt dealings by SNC-Lavalin has received extensive coverage in the Quebec media since 2012.

"Concerns of this nature must be taken seriously and I can ensure you that I am", said Trudeau in his address.

The next round of testimony on the affair is to come Wednesday.

Perhaps the most cutting line in Philpott's letter of resignation was when she declared, "There can be a cost to acting on one's principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them".

Asked if he has confidence in the prime minister, Erskine-Smith said that he does but conceded there have "been moments" of frustration, such as when the government abandoned its pledge to reform Canada's electoral system. Jody Wilson-Raybould is moved from Justice to Veterans Affairs, a move widely seen as a demotion.

How did Trudeau react to resignations and the scandal? As minister of health, she worked with Wilson-Raybould in legalizing medical assistance in dying. Philpott was among the few Cabinet ministers to publicly side with her.

January 14, 2019 - Trudeau shuffles his cabinet after the resignation of Treasury Board president Scott Brison.

You can bet Trudeau will now order all of his remaining cabinet ministers to offer their public support and confidence in him.

Chartrand, who is also President of the Manitoba Metis Federation, said Philpott's resignation as Treasury Board president could hurt Metis. Neither has developed a strong political machine to support their new careers.

"I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion", Wilson-Raybould testified before a parliamentary committee at the end of February, the Wall Street Journal reports. I think he'll continue to make the argument that, "Look, I was standing up for jobs and this is fair and right, and besides that no decision was actually made to change the course of the legal actions that are pending on SNC-Lavalin".

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