Canada minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns amid SNC-Lavalin affair

The PM allegedly pressured former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to curtail the criminal prosecution of a multi-million-dollar corruption and fraud case against SNC-Lavalin, redirecting the matter out of the courts and into a "remediation agreement", which would have spared the company the negative financial and reputational consequences of a criminal trial - the most devastating of which would include a 10-year ban from accepting government contracts, a stipulation which would economically cripple the Montreal engineering firm. "I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter, and as such have retained Honerable Thomas Albert Cromwell, CC as counsel", Wilson-Raybould wrote in the letter.

In recent days, Liberal operatives have attempted to smear Wilson-Raybould's performance even though she was widely seen as a credible and competent Minister throughout her tenure.

In a letter to Trudeau published on her website, Wilson-Raybould said she was resigning "with a heavy heart" but did not explain why.

It's purely speculative to suggest that any statements from Wilson-Raybould would inflame or deflate the controversy surrounding the SNC-Lavalin issue, but it has the government on the defensive again and that's never a good thing in an election year.

"Many Canadians, including Indigenous Canadians, rightfully have questions, and that's why we are working hard on answering them, as I am doing today, highlighting that for folks who are puzzled by Ms. Wilson-Raybould's decision to step down, they can add me to the list, because I am surprised and disappointed". Mario Dion, Canada's independent ethics commissioner, said on Monday he was probing allegations of possible wrongdoing by senior officials.

Time for a special Tuesday edition of At Issue.

Tuesday night support started to stream in on social media for Wilson Raybould, including from some of her Liberal colleagues.

Since then, the relationship between Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould has been headed for the rocks.


"What happened to me was a real tell-tale sign of how Trudeau's government is operating".

The Trudeau government passed a law a year ago which allows for remediation agreements in cases of corporate corruption, wherein a company pays reparations but does not wind up with a criminal conviction that would bar it from bidding on government contracts, potentially throwing thousands of employees out of work.

It shouldn't be lost on anyone that the former attorney general has hired a retired Supreme Court justice to advise her. "It doesn't help them that Wilson-Raybould's father (influential First Nations leader Bill Wilson) is calling them out on that failure".

She will remain a Liberal MP representing the British Columbia riding of Vancouver Granville.

The Liberals were already unlikely to win the Burnaby-South byelection coming February 25 after their candidate Karen Wang quit the race after making controversial remarks about the race of her opponent, Jagmeet Singh, he noted.

Wilson-Raybould hasn't spoken about those allegations, which could amount to obstruction of justice charges for someone in the PMO.

Housefather said that there has been no pressure from above to the Liberals on the committee.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Garrison Settee offered a more pointed rebuke, equating the government's treatment of Wilson-Raybould to "character assassination".


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