Friday, 21 February, 2020

Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet after SNC-Lavalin allegations

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday Canadian Press Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday
Ginger Lawrence | 12 February, 2019, 19:55

Earlier: Trudeau said he welcomes inquiry into SNC-Lavalin.

Monday, he said in Vancouver that he'd told Wilson-Raybould that any decision on the subject was hers alone.

The political scandal erupted after The Globe and Mail released an incriminating report that suggested that members from the PMO tried to pressure former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould into interfering in a criminal prosecution against the Montreal construction and engineering giant.

The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner also announced on Monday that he has launched an investigation in the case.

Since Thursday, Wilson-Raybould has refused to comment on the allegations, citing solicitor-client privilege. The attorney general must consent to the negotiation of the agreement. "At no time did I or my office direct the current or previous attorney-general to make any particular decision in this matter", he said.

He says he continues to have "full confidence" in Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was demoted to the veterans-affairs portfolio in a January cabinet shuffle.

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Trudeau dismissed a question about her absence, pointing out that other B.C. Liberal MPs also weren't there.

Trudeau has repeatedly denied the allegations, but Wilson-Raybould has been unable to confirm or deny them due to what she says is solicitor-client privilege.

"In our system of government, of course, her presence in cabinet should actually speak for itself", he said following a housing announcement - one that Wilson-Raybould didn't attend, unlike a handful of fellow Liberals from the city.

In the first ruling, Dion's predecessor Mary Dawson ruled that Trudeau breached federal ethics rules when he and his family vacationed with the Aga Khan on his private island in the Bahamas in 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called an emergency cabinet meeting for Tuesday morning, though ministers are in their ridings or fanned out across the country, so many will be teleconferencing in and not all together around the cabinet table in Ottawa.

That license was later cancelled.