Women are abandoning Trudeau's team over the SNC-Lavalin scandal

Justin Trudeau: second minister resigns from cabinet as scandal deepens

One of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's top ministers has quit saying she has lost confidence in the government's handling of a corruption case.

The resignation of Philpott will continue to pile on the pressure, she has stated her decision was a matter of principle and in her resignation letter said: "I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities, constitutional obligations".

She says "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".

The first Globe story about Ms. Wilson-Raybould's efforts to protect the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin from interference by the Prime Minister and his advisers followed weeks later, which led to Ms. Wilson-Raybould's resignation and to her bombshell testimony last week.

Philpott, a physician considered a star in Trudeau's cabinet, had previously served as minister of health and minister of indigenous services. "We are always going to stand up for good jobs, create good jobs and defend Canadians' interests", Trudeau told reporters in Prince Edward Island.

The leader of Canada's Conservative opposition, Andrew Scheer, has been a frequent critic of Trudeau.

SNC-Lavalin was charged in 2015 with corruption for allegedly bribing officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to secure government contracts during former strongman Moamer Kadhafi's reign. However, he noted that he understands why Philpott has left.

"It grieves me to leave a portfolio where I was at work to deliver on an important mandate", Philpott said in her resignation letter. "There can be a cost to acting on one's principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them", she wrote. SNC-Lavalin had lobbied for such a provision in Canadian law.

Trudeau's defense strategy appears to depend on carefully chipping away at Wilson-Raybould's credibility without flatly accusing her of lying, a strategy that will presumably widen to include Philpott as well. This comes after Gerald Butts quit as Trudeau's principal secretary last month over the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Philpott is said to be close to ex-justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who triggered the crisis for Trudeau's Liberal government.

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In response to the incident, the university expressed "unwavering" commitment to "freedom of expression and perspective". The executive order, Trump said , would "require colleges to support free speech if they want federal research" money.

Wilson-Raybould herself resigned abruptly in February. A second member of his cabinet resigned Monday over allegations that he tried to influence a criminal prosecution. (SNC.TO) She said the scandal meant she could no longer back the government.

"Jane Philpott has made her decision based on information she received from cabinet; Canadians deserve to know what happened as well", Singh said in the statement.

Similar to Wilson-Raybould, Philpott did not announce any intentions of leaving the Liberal Party or resigning her seat in Parliament. Instead, they wanted her to order negotiation of a remediation agreement with the company that would have levied stiff financial penalties but removed the prospect of a criminal conviction that could cripple the company financially and hurt innocent employees, pensioners and suppliers.

Wilson-Raybould took to Twitter to support Philpott's decision. As attorney general, Wilson-Raybould could overrule the prosecution service, directing it to negotiate an agreement with the company.

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February 13 - The House of Commons justice committee debates its own probe of the issue. "Trudeau the father had all these attributes", Bothwell said.

He said he thinks that most ministers and Liberal lawmakers want to kick her out of the party and that Philpott does not agree with them.

Yes, Trudeau has not denied that he and his team spoke to Wilson-Raybould but they insist none of the conversations were inappropriate and were within the law.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a parliamentarian who is not seeking re-election, tweeted that "when you add women, please do not expect the status quo".

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