Liberal Treasury Board president resigns amid SNC-Lavalin scandal

Liberal Treasury Board president resigns amid SNC-Lavalin scandal

Liberal Treasury Board president resigns amid SNC-Lavalin scandal

In a letter posted online Monday, Jane Philpott resigned as president of the Treasury Board and said she has lost confidence with how the government has handled the Quebec construction firm's push to settle corruption charges out of court. In January 2019, Trudeau reassigned Wilson-Raybould from the Justice Department to Veterans Affairs, a post that she abruptly quit a few weeks later.

Treasury Board is a less visible ministry concerned with the nuts and bolts of government operations but it's also ripe for scandals if it fails in its responsibility for overseeing federal spending.

Gerald Butts, who quit as Trudeau's principal secretary last month, will testify to the House of Commons justice committee from 10am ET (1500 GMT) to noon (1700 GMT) on Wednesday, the clerk of the committee said by email on Monday.

Mr Trudeau has acknowledged raising the issue with Ms Wilson-Raybould, but has said that was appropriate. The government says that all money raised from the carbon tax in each province will be rebated directly to its residents.

"I was elected as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville and I will continue to serve as such", she told me, adding she's already secured the nomination to run again for the Liberals in the fall. It is a fundamental doctrine of the rule of law that our Attorney General should not be subjected to political pressure or interference regarding the exercise of her prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases.

Resigning from cabinet on a matter of principle is so old-fashioned it evokes images of monocles, pocket watches and top hats. She's been actively supporting Wilson-Raybould online as well.

Mr Trudeau said he was disappointed by the resignation, but understood it.

It is an enormous privilege to be the Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville and to have served as Minister of Health, then Minister of Indigenous Services, then President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government. As attorney general, Wilson-Raybould would have been legally entitled to instruct the director of public prosecutions on how to deal with SNC-Lavalin.

Ms Wilson-Raybould said she resisted that pressure and believed she was shuffled out of the justice portfolio as a effect. But Wilson-Raybould said the pressure was not illegal and said she was not instructed to interfere.

In early February, allegations first arose that Wilson-Raybould wouldn't intervene to allow the company to negotiate a remediation agreement, which comes with oversight and financial reparations but avoids the penalty of not being allowed to bid on government contracts that would come with a criminal conviction in court.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a lawmaker in Trudeau's party that announced last week that she won't seek re-election, tweeted her support for Philpott and thanked her.

Philpott said the evidence of alleged pressure offered by her friend and former fellow minister has "raised serious concerns" for her.

In Canada, the constitutional convention of Cabinet solidarity means, among other things, that ministers are expected to defend all Cabinet decisions. "It has become rare that ministers resign on principle in Canada".

"Justin Trudeau's government is in chaos", he said in a tweet. Expect us to make correct decisions, stand for what is right and exit when values are compromised.

Democrats need to oust anti-Semite Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee
How to Enable Hidden Dark Mode in Facebook Messenger