OTTAWA – Canadian Treasury Board President Jane Philpott announced her resignation from the federal cabinet over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair that has rocked Canadian politics.
Minister Philpott said in a statementthat she “must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations. There can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them.”
The Liberal Party member of parliament for Markham-Stouffville, who has served several positions in cabinet since 2015, was considered a trusted ally of the Trudeau administration but has also been reported as close to Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Wilson-Raybould is at the centre of an affair involving Quebec’s SNC-Lavalin and an alleged attempt from 11 individuals in the Prime Minister’s Office and others “inappropriately” pressured her to override a decision to prosecute the company on bribery charges.
“Justin Trudeau’s government is in chaos,” Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer said in reaction, calling again for him to step down and open himself up to an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Philpott’s resignation stands as a dismissal of Justin Trudeau and shows her support of Judy Wilson-Raybould’s testimony last week, which took place at the same day as the Michael Cohen hearing in the United States.
Trudeau’s former principle secretary — who resigned soon after the scandal broke in February — is testifying to the House of Commons justice committee on Wednesday morning during what is one of the largest political crisis in a decade.
Philpott stays in
Jane Philpott in her statement said that she has “lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised”, but made clear she would not be leaving the Liberal caucus.
“The solemn principles at stake are the independence and integrity of our justice system,” Philpott explained, adding “it is a fundamental doctrine of the rule of law that our Attorney General should not be subjected to political pressure or interference regarding the exercise of her prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases.”
“Sadly, I have lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised.”
Link: Read the Entire Letter
Analysts pointed out there was no language in Philpott’s letter of resignation that included the prime minister’s name or thanked him for the time she was part of the federal cabinet — but made clear she was still in favour of the Liberal platform.
“I am firmly committed to our crucial platform priorities, especially: justice for Indigenous peoples; and implementing a plan to tackle the existential threat of climate change.”
(c)Breaking911 – Eli Ridder