Canada’s Liberal government on ropes after third high-profile resignation


Canada’s Liberal government on ropes after third high-profile resignation

Roger Jordan

5 March 2019

Treasury Board President Jane Philpott abruptly quit cabinet yesterday afternoon, declaring that she had lost confidence in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government due to their handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

In resigning, Philpott—who has been lauded by the corporate media as one of Trudeau’s most effective ministers—follows close on the heels of former Justice Minster and Attorney-General Jody Wilson-Raybould and Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s top adviser.

Wilson-Raybould resigned February 12, five days after a newspaper report revealed that numerous government officials had pressured her to halt the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a Montreal-based global engineering and construction firm, for paying out millions in bribes to win contracts in Libya.

Philpott’s unexpected resignation is a staggering blow to the government, which has been under sustained attack from much of the corporate media for violating the prohibition on political interference in criminal prosecutions.

“Sadly,” wrote Philpott in her resignation letter, “I have lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised.” She went on to implicitly call on other cabinet members to follow suit, noting that according to the constitutional convention of cabinet solidarity, ministers must defend all cabinet decisions. “Given this convention and the current circumstances, it is untenable for me,” Philpott declared, “to continue to serve as a cabinet minister.”

Trudeau was already on the back foot prior to Philpott’s resignation, with sections of the press echoing the Conservative Official Opposition in…

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