Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

MP Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet amid scandal

MP Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet amid scandal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he was surprised and disappointed by Jody Wilson-Raybould's resignation Tuesday. This is the latest in a long string of scandals that make it clear whose side Justin Trudeau is on: corporations and the super-rich.

Trudeau has denied any wrongdoing and Wilson-Raybould has cited solicitor-client privilege when asked to explain what happened.

At the time she was federal justice minister and attorney general. The allegations were that the engineering company offered bribes for work in Libya.

On the waiving of the solicitor-client privilege the Prime Minister reiterated the fact that he asked the current Attorney General to advise him on the possibility of waiving the privilege.

The prime minister's office announced the change Tuesday afternoon, just hours after Wilson-Raybould's resignation was announced. I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter and as such, have retained the Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, CC as counsel.

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Wilson-Raybould will, however, be staying on as an MP in Vancouver-Granville.

What has been the reaction?

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The commissioner's role is to help appointed and elected officials prevent and avoid conflicts between their public duties and private interests.

The Liberal government should also support the work of the Justice Committee who will be looking into other questions such as, why was the law that would help SNC-Lavalin changed in the first place and who pressured the former Attorney General to let SNC-Lavalin off the hook", said NDP BC Liaison Nathan Cullen, "Canadians deserve answers.

Nevertheless, her departure added fuel to opposition accusations of political interference in the justice system.

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They are pushing to have some of Mr Trudeau's top aides and a number of Liberal MPs appear before Parliament's justice committee.

Her resignation marks a significant turning point in the emerging SNC-Lavalin affair.

The company had hoped that it could come to a remediation agreement with prosecutors that would be an alternative to trial.

"But there is a line that can not be crossed - telling the attorney general what a decision ought to be".

Wilson-Raybould was moved to the veterans affairs post in a January cabinet shuffle, in what many observers saw as a demotion. The specific claims under investigation are that Justin Trudeau's office pressured Wilson-Raybould to assist SNC-Lavalin in getting a plea deal.

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"With a heavy heart, I am writing to tender my resignation as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence", the letter begins.

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