Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet

Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet

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

Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould poses for a photo with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet shuffle, in Ottawa.

Wilson-Raybould posted a copy of the resignation letter she sent to the Prime Minister's Office on her website Tuesday morning.

In a statement released Tuesday, Wilson-Raybould, an MP in Vancouver, said she hired a lawyer to advise her.

The allegation in the Globe story is that Trudeau's officials pressured Wilson-Raybould previous year to make use of the power the law gave her and allow SNC-Lavalin to negotiate a plea bargain.

The specific claims under investigation are that Justin Trudeau's office pressured Wilson-Raybould to assist SNC-Lavalin in getting a plea deal.

"It's tragic for her and I think it's tragic for the country, I mean she upholds integrity and dignity and the rule of law and she gets kicked in the teeth and moved down to Veterans Affairs", said Bill Wilson.

Given the last 24 hours or so, it's a safe bet that collective attention of Official Ottawa - not to mention the national political news cycle -will be focused on the West Block committee room where MPs will gather to discuss whether to launch a formal parliamentary investigation into allegations of attempted political interference in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

Time for a special Tuesday edition of At Issue.

Government insiders have said Wilson-Raybould was involved in internal discussions last fall about whether to instruct the director of public prosecutions to pursue remediation, as is allowed by law, but they've insisted those discussions were not tantamount to pressure.

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Trudeau has said that he "welcomes" the probe, which is the fifth involving his cabinet since taking office in 2015.

Instead, she issued a statement arguing that, as a former attorney general, she was bound by the principle of solicitor-client privilege and thus could not speak at all on the issue.

Cromwell is a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

But it would have saved us all a lot of trouble if, having found herself at odds with the head of government over this important matter of public policy, she had taken the logical step and resigned from cabinet immediately.

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.

He said he's "concerned about the many unanswered questions" surrounding Wilson-Raybould's resignation and added that this is "echoed by many First Nations across the country".

The Liberals were already unlikely to win the Burnaby-South byelection coming February 25 after their candidate Karen Wang quit the race after making controversial remarks about the race of her opponent, Jagmeet Singh, he noted.

"I'm absolutely pissed", said Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

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.

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