Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from Trudeau's cabinet

Posted February 13, 2019

In Fredericton, N.B., Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Wilson-Raybould's resignation proves there's more to the SNC-Lavalin story than Trudeau has been letting on.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported last week that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's aides leaned on Wilson-Raybould to help avoid a prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on bribery and fraud charges. Trudeau said on Monday that he had full confidence in her and that her presence in cabinet spoke for itself.

Jody Wilson-Raybould and Justin Trudeau in happier times.

Make no mistake about it - there are serious allegations to be answered about how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government dealt with the legal problems of Quebec mega-company SNC-Lavalin.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former justice minister Jodie Wilson-Raybould are seen at a swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on January 14, 2019, as Wilson-Raybold is sworn in as Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office says Wilson-Raybould told the prime minister Monday night of her intention to resign from cabinet.

Conservatives and New Democrats on the justice committee joined forces to get an emergency meeting on Wednesday to consider a motion calling on nine high-ranking government officials to testify, including Wilson-Raybould herself.

"We urge Mr. Trudeau's team to stop trying to discredit Ms. Wilson-Raybould and to commit to fully cooperate with the Ethic Commissioner's investigation".

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In a hint that the situation could grow more complicated for Trudeau, Wilson-Raybould has retained former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her on how much she can say about the SNC-Lavalin case.

The Trudeau government passed a law a year ago which allows for remediation agreements in cases of corporate corruption, wherein a company pays reparations but does not wind up with a criminal conviction that would bar it from bidding on government contracts, potentially throwing thousands of employees out of work.

Her resignation could trigger another cabinet shuffle and is likely to cast a long shadow over the upcoming election campaign.

"It is important to remember that while the attorney general sits at a certain distance from his cabinet colleagues, in Canada - unlike in other countries - he does not work in isolation from them, or the important experiences or considerations that those colleagues bring to the table". By contrast, Brison's resignation letter glowingly mentions Trudeau seven times. And he called Wilson-Raybould's resignation "a significant step backwards in our long-standing efforts to advance reconciliation".

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I want to thank all Canadians, and in particular the residents of Vancouver-Granville, who put their trust in me and supported me as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.