Canada's Minister of Health Jane Philpott has resigned from Trudeau's cabinet


Another member of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Cabinet has resigned over a scandal that has shaken the government in an election year.

President of the Treasury Board Jane Philpott poses for a photo with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet shuffle, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, January 14, 2019.

In a tweet she said had lost confidence in the government's handling of an inquiry into allegations that officials linked to Trudeau had pressured a former minister to help Quebec-based construction company SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

But now Philpott has inflicted her own heavy damage on Trudeau with a scorching resignation letter that backs up Wilson-Raybould on the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said Philpott's resignation shows the Trudeau government "is in a precarious situation, and I think the entire country is beginning to wonder what kind of impact this will have on the national interest for everybody in the country".

After Wilson-Raybould's testimony last week, Butts asked to appear before the justice committee, where he said he would "produce relevant documents".

On Monday, Wilson-Raybould was among the members of the Canadian Parliament, from both the government and opposition sides of the House of Commons, who praised Philpott for her ministerial competence and integrity.

In her statement, Philpott said efforts to "pressure the former Attorney General to intervene" in the case raised "serious concerns" for her.

Philpott is said to be close to ex-justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who triggered the crisis for Trudeau's Liberal government.

MANN: And I should say that Wilson-Raybould has this really sterling reputation here, so this has been painful for Trudeau. Wilson-Raybould suggested she was demoted as retaliation for not succumbing to the pressure to merely fine the company rather than going to trial.

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"I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion", Wilson-Raybould told a parliamentary committee on February 27. She has since resigned from the cabinet.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has already called on Trudeau to step down amid the allegations.

Yes, Trudeau has not denied that he and his team spoke to Wilson-Raybould but they insist none of the conversations were inappropriate and were within the law.

February 25 - Trudeau partly waives both solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality for his former attorney general, paving the way for Wilson-Raybould to tell her side of the SNC-Lavalin saga to the justice committee and ethics commissioner.

How did Trudeau react to resignations and the scandal? The firm and two of its subsidiaries face fraud and corruption charges in connection with about $36 million in bribes they are alleged to have offered to Libyan officials between 2001-11 to obtain contracts in the North African country.

This includes cheering on the Conservatives as they recklessly seek to stoke regional divisions, with their claims that the Liberals' determination to shield SNC-Lavalin from prosecution is due to their favoring Quebec's interests at the expense of the oil sector in western Canada. His term as prime minister ends this year, with a general election renewing the parliament and determining the new head of government scheduled for no later than October.

Trudeau says he's surprised and disappointed that Wilson-Raybould has quit, and that if she felt undue pressure in her role as attorney general, she had a duty to report it to him.

"It grieves me to leave a portfolio where I was at work to deliver on an important mandate", Philpott said in her resignation letter.

March 2 - Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes says she will not be seeking re-election in October in her riding of Whitby, Ont. Caesar-Chavannes says her decision is not related to the SNC Lavalin controversy, although she adds she has "tremendous respect" for Wilson-Raybould. "Expect us to make correct decisions, stand for what is right and exit when values are compromised".