Understanding the Scandal That's Tarnished Justin Trudeau's Glowing Image

Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet shuffle in Ottawa Ontario Canada

Justin Trudeau: second minister resigns from cabinet as scandal deepens

Trudeau's troubles with SNC-Lavalin started last month when the Globe and Mail reported that Trudeau and other government officials inappropriately tried to interfere with a decision by former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould not to offer a plea deal to the company in order to help it avoid a trial and possible criminal conviction on corruption charges.

"I know Ms. Philpott has felt this way for some time and, while I am disappointed, I understand her decision to step down".

The resignation came five days after Wilson-Raybould told the Justice Committee of House of Commons that she faced "consistent and sustained" political pressure from Trudeau and senior officials, including veiled threats on the need to shelve the criminal prosecution of the Montreal construction and engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Trudeau was already on the back foot prior to Philpott's resignation, with sections of the press echoing the Conservative Official Opposition in demanding that he resign following Wilson-Raybould's damning testimony to the House of Commons Justice Committee last week.

Both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott, who was a doctor before entering politics in 2015, were recruited by Trudeau to enter politics in the 2015 election.

"Concerns of this nature must be taken seriously and I can ensure you that I am", said Trudeau, who did not specifically address Philpott's stated reasons for leaving.

February 21 - Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti tells the justice committee he has never faced inappropriate pressure from the prime minister or anyone in the PMO, and would take action if any official tried to direct his actions improperly. "I want to thank her for her service", Trudeau said at a campaign-style event. He did not state the specific reason for Philpott's resignation.

Jody Wilson Raybould spoke her truth to the parliamentary justice committee, and in the process made some pretty damning allegations about the prime minister, and other high ranking officials.

Canadian prosecutors filed corruption and fraud charges against SNC-Lavalin, which employs 50,000 workers worldwide, in 2015 related to activity in Libya from 2001 to 2011.

Philpott, 58, was widely regarded as one of the best of Trudeau's cabinet ministers.

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Wilson-Raybould resigned from the Cabinet on February 2.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer calls on Trudeau to resign over his role in undermining the administration of justice and trying to overturn an independent decision by the attorney general.

Trudeau's defense strategy appears to depend on carefully chipping away at Wilson-Raybould's credibility without flatly accusing her of lying, a strategy that will presumably widen to include Philpott as well.

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.

New Brunswick Liberal MP Wayne Long reiterated his call for a "full and transparent investigation" into the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Well, it's 2019 now, and questions surrounding ethics and principles may just be what removes Trudeau from the prime minister's office. Her clear, principled, damning resignation from cabinet stopped more Trudeau meddling with Canada's legal system.

The woman continued to shout until the Liberal supporters around clapped and cheered to drown out her voice. She was appointed to the powerful budget position in January. For the second time, the cabinet minister has chosen to remain in the Liberal caucus.

Liberal backbencher Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who announced last week she won't seek re-election, tweeted her support Monday for Philpott, as she has done repeatedly for Wilson-Raybould since the SNC-Lavalin controversy erupted a month ago.

Philpott will continue to serve as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville.

SNC-Lavalin is a major employer in the province of Quebec and Trudeau told reporters on Thursday that "Canadians expect their government to look for ways to protect jobs, to grow the economy and that's exactly what we have done. we've also done it in a way that has respected our laws".

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