Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet

Jeannie Matthews
February 14, 2019

Wilson-Raybould informed the prime minister on Monday night of her intention to resign, the statement said.

Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has quit Justin Trudeau's front bench, and the ethics commissioner has launched an investigation. Wilson-Raybould moved to Veterans Affairs.

Trudeau was scheduled to take questions from the media later Tuesday after an event in Winnipeg.

Mr Trudeau has denied the report.

The Globe and Mail reported that people in Trudeau's office tried to pressure Wilson-Raybould past year to help construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid a corruption trial when she was justice minister.

Federal opposition parties have jumped at the allegations of political interference in this federal election year in Canada.

A conviction would mean SNC-Lavalin could not bid on federal government contracts for 10 years.

In her letter Tuesday, she said she has hired former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her on "the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter".

Kelly said Trudeau's actions have him considering leaving the party of which he is "a card-carrying" member.

"She did not. Nobody did".

The very charges that SNC-Lavalin face make it impossible for the director of the Public Prosecution Service to consider the too big to fail argument.

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Her commitment to these principles remains unchanged, she said in a statement, "This work must and will carry on". She goes on to thank Canadians who have supported her during her time in the federal cabinet and states she will remain as MP for Vancouver-Granville.

The resignation is the second blow for Trudeau in two days over the affair.

Cabinet privilege prevented Wilson-Raybould, also the former minister of justice, from addressing the scandal.

Wilson-Raybould was the Attorney General of Canada from November 4, 2015, until January 14, 2019 and is at the centre of the ethics investigation. The Prime Minister's Office confirmed Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will fulfill lead the office in the interim.

"On the Prime Minister's part he's in many ways phony, in terms of his claims to be a feminist, to say that the relationship between his government and Indigenous peoples is of paramount importance", Phillip told NEWS 1130.

But Doug Kelly, president of the Stó:lō Tribal Council in B.C., said her integrity is beyond question.

The Liberal government maintains that while discussions on the matter took place with Wilson-Raybould, she wasn't pressured or told to issue a directive to the prosecutor. "It doesn't help them that Wilson-Raybould's father (influential First Nations leader Bill Wilson) is calling them out on that failure".

Darryl Dyck/CPAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde pauses while speaking during the AFN annual general assembly in Vancouver on July 26, 2018.

"MKO sees the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould as a significant step backwards in our longstanding efforts to advance reconciliation between the MKO Treaty Nations and Canada". "We continue to hold her in high esteem as she honourably navigates the current political landscape in Ottawa", he said. He evoked a throwback to when he lost to Trudeau in a boxing match, and suggested the tables have now turned.

On Wednesday the justice committee will meet and consider a request by the Conservatives and NDP to call Wilson-Raybould and some of Trudeau's most senior advisors.

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