Trudeau SNC-Lavalin crisis grows as minister resigns

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A leading Cabinet minister in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government resigned Monday (Tuesday NZT), becoming the second minister to step down over a scandal that has shaken the government in an election year.

Jane Philpott, who quit as president of the Treasury Board, was one of Trudeau's most trusted ministers.

"The solemn principles at stake are the independence and integrity of our justice system", Philpott said.

Long also said it was "particularly troubling" Philpott's resignation letter noted that while there is a cost to acting on principles, "there is a bigger cost to abandoning them".

Moreover Wilson-Raybould has announced her intention to be a Liberal candidate in the next election.

We are witnessing a personal vote of non-confidence in the Prime Minister by some of his most senior cabinet ministers, based on his handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, but also over disillusion with Mr. Trudeau's leadership.

Carolyn Bennett, the minister in charge of relations with the aboriginal population, said in a statement that "I have absolute confidence in our government, and our Prime Minister".

Rather, he adopted a more conciliatory tone that appeared to allow for the possibility that a line may have been crossed.

Philpott, a physician, is a former minister of health and minister of indigenous services and was widely viewed as of one of Trudeau's most competent Cabinet ministers.

Avalanche completely engulfs vehicle on Colorado highway
Colorado's Avalanche Information Center recorded 807 avalanches in February, 444 of which were triggered naturally. The two avalanches did close part of I-70, but officials say the highway did not suffer significant damage.

What are the charges against SNC-Lavalin?

"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 testified before a parliamentary committee at the end of February, the Wall Street Journal reports.

After being demoted to Veterans Affairs, Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet February 12 "with a heavy heart". According to the latest polls, it's not working - Trudeau's numbers are collapsing, Canadians say they are following the story closely, and some 67 percent of them believe Wilson-Raybould instead of Trudeau.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet has been hit by another resignation of a cabinet member as his team is embroiled in allegations of pressuring the country's top law official not to pursue a criminal investigation against a powerful engineering company accused of bribery. For now, it's nearly like Wilson-Raybould is daring him to kick her out of caucus. As attorney general, Wilson-Raybould could overrule the prosecution service, directing it to negotiate an agreement with the company.

Wilson-Raybould testified last week she was pressured to instruct the director of public prosecutions to negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin. Treasury Board is a less-visible ministry concerned with the nuts and bolts of government operations but the president effectively holds the government's purse strings, overseeing all federal spending. Scheer is demanding a criminal probe of Trudeau's actions by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and has urged the prime minister to resign.

Trudeau has insisted that he made clear to his former attorney general that the "decision around SNC-Lavalin was Wilson-Raybould's and hers alone to make".

If he were to kick the pair out of caucus, he risks having at least a few Liberal backbenchers join them in political exile.

But if you want to add new people, you can't continue to maintain the status quo. "Expect us to make correct decisions, stand for what is right and exit when values are compromised". The Liberals now sit on 34 percent in national polls, according to the CBC, just behind the Conservative Party on 36 percent.