Another Canadian minister quits resenting gov't handling of political scandal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks to the press after a meeting with the Muslim community at the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec in Quebec City Canada

But with national elections scheduled for the fall, the scandal shows no sign of abating.

Then, this week, Jane Philpott followed her out.

She specifically references the evidence showing that politicians and other high-ranking officials pressured Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin. Her clear, principled, damning resignation from cabinet stopped more Trudeau meddling with Canada's legal system.

"O$3 ur work with the federal government is ongoing", Obed said, and I look forward to forming an effective relationship with her successor at Treasury Board".

"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", she said.

"I've been considering the events that have shaken the government in recent weeks and after serious reflection, I have concluded that I must resign as a member of Cabinet", said Philpott, who was also a former health minister and minister of indigenous affairs.

Why are they remaining in the Liberal tent?

Sputnik: Mr Trudeau said that he sought to protect jobs and acted with respect to the country's laws and institutions, were you convinced by his response?

The departure of Philpott, who was appointed on January 14, is another setback for a prime minister who came to power in November 2015 promising "sunny ways", more accountability in politics and a greater number of women ministers.

Speaking to a Liberal party rally in Toronto on Monday night, Trudeau thanked Philpott for her service.

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 two Liberal backbenchers who broke ranks to support an NDP motion for a public inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin affair are suggesting a full hearing into the matter is needed now more than ever.

Playing the role of the faceless and allegedly unsavoury corporation is SNC-Lavalin, an engineering and construction company based in Montreal but with worldwide operations in 50 countries and annual revenue of £5.7billion.

The firm and two of its subsidiaries face fraud and corruption charges in connection with about $C48m in bribes it is alleged to have offered to Libyan officials between 2001-11.

SNC-Lavalin said it would be unfair to penalise the company as a whole and its thousands of employees for the wrongdoing of former executives.

But we will now never know whether Lametti was brought in to do what Wilson-Raybould refused to do.

Given that key government witnesses are slated to appear before the Commons Justice committee on Wednesday, Philpott has essentially bugged out before the Trudeau government even had a chance to spin its version of the SNC story.

February 27 - Wilson-Raybould tells the Commons justice committee she came under "consistent and sustained" pressure - including veiled threats - from the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council Office and the finance minister's office to halt the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

But it isn't all over for Trudeau, last week he won the public support of a top political ally, indicating there was no immediate pressure inside his Liberal Party to oust him over a deepening political scandal, Reuters reports.

February 21 - Wernick launches a vigorous defence of the government's handling of the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, bluntly declaring allegations of political interference to be false and even defamatory.

Instead, SNC-Lavalin bosses have asked for a "deferred prosecution agreement" which would mean they paid a fine as punishment but would avoid a criminal trial.

Now we have come to Trudeau's biggest dilemma of them all, the largest and most significant question of his ethics and principles: do you throw Philpott and Wilson-Raybould out of the Liberal party?

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