Another minister resigns over scandal that threatens Trudeau

SNC-Lavalin denied the charges in 2015 with a statement on its website saying: "The company firmly considers that the charges are without merit and will vigorously defend itself".

The Liberals win a federal election, taking power from the Conservatives. So I think that's the public relations problem the prime minister now has, trying to explain how the two can not coexist equally, when Ms Wilson-Raybould, who proved to be a very credible witness when she appeared before the Canadian Justice Committee, made the points that she did. She is the first Indigenous person to hold the post, which combines duties as a politician (heading the Department of Justice) and a legal official (overseeing prosecutions).

At least up until yesterday, the Liberal government was giving every indication it is determined to find a way to shield SNC-Lavalin. They're the ones riding the crest of public support.

A month ago it was seen raising rates twice in 2019.

September 4 - The prosecution service tells SNC-Lavalin it will not invite the firm to negotiate a remediation agreement.

But we will now never know whether Lametti was brought in to do what Wilson-Raybould refused to do. He has said he totally disagrees with Wilson-Raybould's characterization of events.

Other members of the government, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said they would stay in the Cabinet.

A criminal conviction would have barred the company from bidding on government contracts for a decade, potentially leading to major job losses in Quebec, where it has its headquarters. That challenge is ongoing.

On March 6, Butts, Wernick and Nathalie Drouin, deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada, will testify in front of the justice committee. SNC-Lavalin shares fall almost 14 per cent, closing at $44.86 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They were part of this self-appointed feminist prime minister's obsession with gender balance.

The sight of a former minister accusing the prime minister of improper conduct electrified opinion.

"O$3 ur work with the federal government is ongoing", Obed said, and I look forward to forming an effective relationship with her successor at Treasury Board".

Wilson-Raybould referred to those moves as improper "partisan political considerations".

Cameras follow Jody Wilson Raybould as she waits to appear in front of the Justice committee in Ottawa
ASSOCIATED PRESSCameras follow Jody Wilson Raybould as she waits to appear in front of the Justice committee in Ottawa on Wednesday

That's one of what I see as three possible explanations for the bombshell announcement Monday from Jane Philpott, the ethical pushback from Jody Wilson-Raybould over SNC-Lavalin and the recent decision of the formidable Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes not to run in the next election.

Justin Trudeau is no longer insisting his government did nothing wrong in the SNC Lavalin case. But Wilson-Raybould viewed their interactions markedly different.

After Wilson-Raybould's testimony last week, Butts asked to appear before the justice committee, where he said he would "produce relevant documents". New Democratic Party MP Niki Ashton, for example, voiced her support for both Philpott and Wilson-Raybould on Twitter, saying she had "respect for the strong principled women standing up to Trudeau and his crew".

Philpott will continue to serve as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville.

February 13 - The House of Commons justice committee debates its own probe of the issue. She did not think the officials who contacted her had broken any laws, but called their efforts "inappropriate".

He claimed a government led by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would be much worse. He says he told her he would not. "It has become rare that ministers resign on principle in Canada".

We are witnessing a personal vote of non-confidence in the Prime Minister by some of his most senior cabinet ministers, based on his handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, but also over disillusion with Mr. Trudeau's leadership. "I want to thank her for her service", Trudeau said at a campaign-style event.

In the Canadian political system, party leaders are elected at formal conventions and can not be deposed by a simple vote of legislators, which means any move to push out Trudeau would take a long time.

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.

Philpott's unexpected resignation is a staggering blow to the government, which has been under sustained attack from much of the corporate media for violating the prohibition on political interference in criminal prosecutions. The Privy Council clerk also challenges Wilson-Raybould's assertion that solicitor-client privilege prevents her from responding to allegations. The order specifically notes, however, that she can not speak publicly about communication she had with Kathleen Roussel, the director of public prosecutions.

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated his call for a public inquiry into the affair. Plans are made for her to testify before the justice committee.



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