Trudeau Defends Reconciliation Record After Wilson-Raybould Quits Cabinet

Jodi Wilson-Raybould

Jody Wilson-Raybould, who resigned from the Liberal cabinet Tuesday, has cited the privilege as the reason she can not speak publicly about discussions with the prime minister's inner circle on the fate of criminal charges against construction and engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.

A Canadian minister's sudden resignation on Tuesday turned vague allegations of interference in the criminal prosecution of an engineering giant into a deepening political crisis for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals.

"I am aware that many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media over the last week".

Wilson-Raybould also disclosed that she has hired former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Albert Cromwell to advise her on what she is "legally permitted" to discuss.

At a transit event in Winnipeg today, Trudeau said the resignation is not consistent with the discussions he had with Wilson-Raybould.

"First Nations people appreciate what Jody Wilson-Raybould has done, taking a stand on principle", she said.

The allegation in the Globe story is that Trudeau's officials pressured Wilson-Raybould past year to make use of the power the law gave her and allow SNC-Lavalin to negotiate a plea bargain.

If that were true, then Ms. Wilson-Raybould's sudden and self-directed exit from cabinet qualifies as an emphatic rejection of the PM's supportive sentiment and, more importantly, a loudly bellowed warning things are likely to get a lot worse for Mr. Trudeau between now and when Canadians head to the polls this fall.

Trudeau claims he "welcomes" the probe, launched by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner on Monday after requests from two New Democrat MPs followed on the heels of an incendiary report published last week in the Globe and Mail that placed him at the center of what the Conservative opposition has termed an "unprecedented" effort to illegally influence a criminal proceeding.

2018 continued worrying warming trend according to multiple climate reports
Global temperatures now stand 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, above the average temperature of the late 19th century. In January, the same organization warned that levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide will rise by a near-record amount in 2019.

SNC-Lavalin's head office in Montreal.

In a similar fashion, the Director of Public Prosecutions Act gives the attorney general, a politician, the power to override the decisions of federal prosecutors.

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

Trudeau could simply waive whatever solicitor-client privilege exists in this matter and let Wilson-Raybould speak.

According to the government, the attorney general provides legal services to the government and its departments and agencies with an eye to protecting the overall interests of the administration.

As it's written the motion indicates the study would start before the end of the month, and would include testimony from: Justice Minister David Lametti; Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Gerald Butts; Senior Advisors Elder Marques and Mathieu Bouchard; and Wilson-Raybould's chief of staff Jessica Prince. Many were puzzled by the fact that the Prime Minister never clearly explained what she had done to deserve the demotion.

She will remain a Liberal MP representing the British Columbia riding of Vancouver Granville. She was the ideal fit for his new cabinet.

"It was a really positive step when Jody was appointed attorney general", said Terry Teegee, regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. "It doesn't help them that Wilson-Raybould's father (influential First Nations leader Bill Wilson) is calling them out on that failure".

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called on the Liberals to support a push at the House of Commons justice committee to look into the allegations that appear to have led to Wilson-Raybould's resignation.

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