Canadian Treasury Board Secretary Jane Philpott Resigns Over Scandal

Canadian Treasury Board Secretary Jane Philpott Resigns Over Scandal

"There can be a cost to acting on one's principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them", she said in a statement.

In the case of Wilson-Raybould, her resignation came just days after a February 7 Globe and Mail report that said she was pressured as attorney general to overturn the decision to prosecute SNC-Lavalin.

Philpott is a real loss to government, having earned good reviews as health minister before moving to the newly created post at Indigenous services.

At issue is the prosecution of a Montreal-based engineering firm called SNC Lavalin, which has more than 50,000 employees worldwide.

At the same time a plea deal in the fraud and corruption case would have allowed SNC-Lavalin to avoid a decade-long ban on bidding on government contracts in Canada, which make up a significant portion of the company's revenue. At a public appearance in Vancouver, Trudeau says he's spoken to Wilson-Raybould and confirmed with her that he said any decision on the SNC-Lavalin prosecution was entirely hers. It was her word against theirs and while her word was pretty devastating, there are almost eight months remaining until the October federal election.

Philpott, who was named Treasury Board president in a Cabinet shuffle in January, announced her resignation in a letter Monday, citing "lost confidence" in how the government has handled events surrounding the SNC-Lavalin controversy, which Philpott noted "have shaken the federal government".

Trudeau went out of his way to thank Philpott for her service and praise her various accomplishments.

Head of the official opposition Conservative Party Andrew Scheer repeated calls for Trudeau to quit amid an "ethical rot" he said was undermining the rule of law. For Philpott, there was no possible explanation Trudeau insiders could offer that would paint the prime minister and his government in a better light.

Moments earlier, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna had pumped up the crowd, stressing the importance of tackling global warming and its devastating impacts on cities and our daily lives, while noting that Trudeau was someone who always had her back on the file.

Trudeau has defended his government's actions.

He also said police had not contacted anyone in his office.

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

"We believe in the independence of the judiciary and we believe in fighting for good jobs", said Trudeau.

Sputnik: What implications could Mr Trudeau face?

A poll by Ipsos for Global News, which the company released Tuesday, found women responding to the pollsters were more critical of Trudeau's handling of the affair than men. Gerald Butts, Trudeau's closest adviser and a longtime friend, resigned on February 18 and is scheduled to testify before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. He did not state the specific reason for Philpott's resignation.

The resignation is another setback for a prime minister who came to power in November 2015 promising "sunny ways", more accountability in politics and a greater number of women ministers. She was also one of the most respected and admired people in his cabinet.

Well, it's 2019 now, and questions surrounding ethics and principles may just be what removes Trudeau from the prime minister's office. She told the committee that she believes the pressure she faced was inappropriate but not illegal.

MANN: Yeah. This has really been moving quick. However, she stressed her choice wasn't related to the ongoing SNC-Lavalin affair.

Trudeau has previously said that Wilson-Raybould should have come to him if she had any problems about the pressure she was facing, although during her testimony before the House of Commons justice committee, she said that she actually had warned him during a meeting in September when she advised him not to politically interfere with her role as attorney general.

In other words, she had to be true to herself.

A lawyer, Erskine-Smith said while Wilson-Raybould's testimony was "compelling", there needs to be full airing of facts in a non-partisan setting.

Erskine-Smith told CBC Radio's "Metro Morning" Tuesday that while he is "frustrated" to see issues he cares about pushed to the sideline - such as the fight against climate change - Liberals must do more to be open and transparent.

Reports of North Korea restoring missile launch site
She added: "Lying Trump said he believes killer Kim Jong-un, that he didn't know what happened to #ottowarmbier". North Korea reportedly has other sites producing weapons-grade uranium hidden around the country.

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