Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet

14 February, 2019, 00:29 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Jody Wilson-RaybouldAdrian Wyld  THE CANADIAN PRESS

Last week, The Globe and Mail published allegations that the Prime Minister's Office pressured the former attorney general into negotiating a remediation agreement to help the Montreal-based engineering and construction firm avoid a criminal conviction.

Trudeau's office released a statement following the resignation saying Minister Sajjan would be assuming Wilson-Raybould's responsibilities as acting Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Wilson-Raybould has hired a former Supreme Court justice to advise her on what she can say publicly about the matter.

She said she was in the process of obtaining advice on what she she was legally permitted to discuss.

Wilson-Raybould quit on Tuesdau amid news reports that she was pressured to go easy on a major firm past year.

On the question of the SNC-Lavalin case, Trudeau said "the government of Canada did its job", followed the rules, and that if any member of the government felt differently they had an obligation to raise that with him, and no one did, Wilson-Raybould included.

The decision by the MP for Vancouver-Granville comes following a report surrounding suggestions the Prime Minister's Office tried to pressure her over a criminal case.

SNC-Lavalin, in turn, said in a statement that it should be allowed to shun a trial because it allegedly changed its attitude following the federal charges, adding that it has "worked tirelessly to achieve excellence in governance and integrity".

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.

"... I am concerned about the many unanswered questions about Jody Wilson-Raybould's departure and this is echoed by many First Nations across the country". "It's not like Jody to be muzzled in any manner", said Bill Wilson.

As the former attorney general, Wilson-Raybould has refused to comment on the allegation, citing solicitor-client privilege.

Meanwhile, Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O'Regan teams up with Star Blanket Cree Nation chief Michael Starr to "celebrate a historic addition" at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina. "Had I been her I would have resigned, as soon as that demotion took".

In her letter, Wilson-Raybould thanked her staff, officials and Canadians who supported her while in cabinet and concluded: "Regardless of background, geography, or party affiliation, we must stand together for the values that Canada is built on, and which are the foundation for our future".

Wilson-Raybould's resignation could not possibly be unfolding in a manner more damaging to the election-year aspirations of Justin Trudeau, whose ways, in recent days, seem to have taken a deliberate turn from sunny to murky. She was the flawless fit for his new cabinet.

Wilson-Raybould hasn't spoken about those allegations, which could amount to obstruction of justice charges for someone in the PMO. And he called Wilson-Raybould's resignation "a significant step backwards in our long-standing efforts to advance reconciliation".

Both leaders have public appearances scheduled later Tuesday - Trudeau in Winnipeg and Scheer in Fredericton.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says Wilson-Raybould's treatment by the federal Liberals will cost them First Nation support.

Liberals, who hold the majority on the committee, appear to be open to conducting an investigation.


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