Second Member Quits Justin Trudeau's Cabinet Over Allegations Against Canadian PM

Second Member Quits Justin Trudeau's Cabinet Over Allegations Against Canadian PM

Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from Trudeau's cabinet in mid-February and has alleged that Trudeau and his staff subjected her to relentless pressure to help Montreal engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution on bribery and fraud charges.

On Monday, a second minister, Jane Philpott, stepped down from her post as Canada's Treasury Board president. "Sadly, I have lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised", she said.

Canada's first indigenous attorney general, she was shuffled to veterans affairs in January, and a month later resigned from cabinet.

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.

The leader of the Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer, has called for Trudeau's resignation along with an RCMP investigation into possible obstruction of justice.

"Unfortunately, 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", she wrote.

February 15 - Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould asked him in September whether he would direct her one way or another on the SNC-Lavalin question. Nevertheless, he launched into an energetic speech, touting his government's policies and actions on climate change, while fending off protests for animal rights and against his government's moves to drive pipeline construction through Indigenous territory.

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Wilson-Raybould's revelations probably stopped Trudeau's sneaky efforts to cut SNC-Lavalin a deal that the professional prosecutors in the Justice department felt the company did not deserve.

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

Long also said it was "particularly troubling" Philpott's resignation letter noted that while there is a cost to acting on principles, "there is a bigger cost to abandoning them". It was her word against theirs and while her word was pretty devastating, there are almost eight months remaining until the October federal election. According to the latest polls, it's not working - Trudeau's numbers are collapsing, Canadians say they are following the story closely, and some 67 percent of them believe Wilson-Raybould instead of Trudeau. He also thanked her for serving in his Cabinet - something he notably did not do when Wilson-Raybould quit.

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.

Trudeau denied any wrongdoing and refused to resign. They were part of this self-appointed feminist prime minister's obsession with gender balance. "Trudeau the father had all these attributes", Bothwell said. The consequent speech was interrupted again by more heckling and a minor fistfight in the audience, to which the prime minister reacted by saying: "Oh boy, oh boy".

The first cabinet officer was former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau of secretly attempting to direct her handling of a high-level criminal prosecution.

Liberals hope Gerald Butts will give them ammunition to fight back against accusations of political interference in the justice system. The motion was easily defeated by the Liberal majority in the House of Commons.

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