In major blow to Canada's Trudeau, second minister quits over scandal

In major blow to Canada's Trudeau, second minister quits over scandal

In major blow to Canada's Trudeau, second minister quits over scandal

"That is not a fair commentary because it has nothing to do with friendship and everything to do with her (Philpott's) set of values and how she felt about standing there and toeing the cabinet line when she didn't believe a word that the prime minister was saying".

"Unfortunately, the evidence of efforts by politicians and/or officials to pressure the former attorney-general to intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin, and the evidence as to the content of those efforts have raised serious concerns for me", she wrote.

Philpott is the second cabinet minister to resign since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has found himself embroiled in judicial interference scandal, focussing on Quebec mega-contractor SNC-Lavalin. He committed to gender parity in cabinet: "It's 2015", he announced, responding to a question about having an equal number of male and female appointees. But Wilson-Raybould said the pressure was not illegal and said she was not instructed to interfere.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) President Natan Obed said in a statement to APTN Monday that he's "saddened to learn she has resigned from cabinet", explaining ITK had a "productive working relationship" with Philpott, particularly on the issues of suicide prevention, tuberculosis elimination, child welfare and the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee. The consequent speech was interrupted again by more heckling and a minor fistfight in the audience, to which the prime minister reacted by saying: "Oh boy, oh boy". This week, Canada's most influential news magazine, Maclean's, published an article about the affair titled "Justin Trudeau, Imposter". The retort prompted Trudeau to backtrack, she said. Philpott's resignation kills that scheme dead in its tracks. She was very close to Wilson-Raybould, publicly praising her after the Vancouver Granville MP quit cabinet last month.

Philpott was among Trudeau's most trusted cabinet ministers.

February 19 - Wilson-Raybould stuns observers by attending a meeting of the very cabinet from which she had resigned a week earlier.

Andrew Scheer, head of the official opposition Conservative Party, repeated calls for Trudeau to quit amid "ethical rot" he said was undermining the rule of law.

With a federal election looming seven months away, Trudeau must now not only salvage his reputation as someone who promised an open approach to politics, but may be in peril of losing control of his position as leader of the Liberal Party, which would end his time as prime minister.

Since the furor erupted a month ago, Trudeau has offered only general denials of any wrongdoing. Her clear, principled, damning resignation from cabinet stopped more Trudeau meddling with Canada's legal system. According to the newspaper's story, Trudeau secretly pressured Canada's then attorney general, a woman named Jody Wilson-Raybould, trying to convince her to go easy on Lavalin. "Justin Trudeau simply can not continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he has done and that is why I am calling on Mr. Trudeau to do the right thing and to resign", he said. Philpott, who previously served as both Health and Indigenous Services minister, is shuffled to Treasury Board.

The woman continued to shout until the Liberal supporters around clapped and cheered to drown out her voice.

Both had been symbols of the Liberals' ability to recruit strong female candidates: Wilson-Raybould is a lawyer and former regional chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations; Philpott is a family doctor with extensive experience overseas.

March 2 - Ontario Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a champion of both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott, announces she won't be seeking re-election this year.

Also on the speakers list: Former deputy finance minister David Dodge, Mulroney's former foreign affairs minister Barbara McDougall, former Canadian ambassador to the United States Derek Burney, former Privy Council Clerk Wayne Wouters, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May - who, as the advisory notes, served as a policy advisor to Mulroney's environment minister - and Mulroney's former executive assistant Bill Pristanski, who is now listed as a registered lobbyist for SNC-Lavalin.

He said he thinks that most ministers and Liberal lawmakers want to kick her out of the party and that Philpott does not agree with them.

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