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Home / World / After a heavy blow to Canada's Trudeau, the second minister resigns due to scandal

After a heavy blow to Canada's Trudeau, the second minister resigns due to scandal



OTTAWA (Reuters) – Following a heavy blow to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a second member of his cabinet resigned Monday. She had lost confidence in how the government dealt with an escalating political scandal.

FILE PHOTO: The newly appointed Treasury Secretary poses for a photo with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet mix in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) on January 14, 2019. REUTERS / Patrick Doyle / File Photo [19659003] Recently appointed Treasury Secretary Jane Philpott, who was responsible for the overall government spending, deprives Trudeau of yet another powerful female cabinet just months before a poll that polls indicate could lose.

Philpott expressed dissatisfaction over the government's response to allegations that officials had unduly pressurized former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould last year to help large construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. avoid corruption.

"Unfortunately, I have lost confidence in how the government handled this issue and how it responded to the issues raised," Philpott said in a statement. "I have come to the conclusion that I have to resign as a member of the Cabinet."

Philpott is a close friend of Wilson-Raybould, who resigned himself on February 12, after being unexpectedly demoted in January. Wilson-Raybould said last week she was convinced that her refusal to help SNC-Lavalin was behind the demotion.

Andrew Scheer, chairman of the official opposition conservative party, repeated the call to Trudeau to step out of ethical rottenness, he said, undermining the rule of law.

"Jane Philpotts resignation from the Cabinet clearly demonstrates a government in total chaos, led by a vicious prime minister plagued by scandals and focused solely on his political survival," he told reporters in Toronto.

Trudeau has resigned and will deal with the matter later on Monday, a spokesman said.

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

"What should be worrisome for the Trudeau Liberals is that the two cabinet resignations have led to policy and ethics issues," said Nanos research pollster Nik Nanos.

"The second resignation raises the question – what happened and could there be more resignations," he said by e-mail.

Other government officials, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau, said they would remain in the Cabinet.

Philpott said evidence of pressure from politicians and officials to pressure Wilson-Raybould would have raised serious concerns. Wilson-Raybould tweeted to Philpott, "You are a leader of vision and strength, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside you."

58-year-old Philpott was widely regarded as one of Trudeau's best cabinet ministers. She had previously served as Minister of Health and Minister of Indigenous Services.

Most Liberal MPs have supported Trudeau so far, but there are signs of exertion.

Slideshow (6 images)

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a Liberal MP who does not seek re-election, tweeted, "If you add women, please do not expect the status quo. Expect the right decisions from us, stand up for the right thing, and end the company when values ​​are in jeopardy.

Gerald Butts, who quit as Trudeau's secretary last month over the SNC-Lavalin affair, will testify to the Judiciary Committee of the House of Commons on Wednesdays from 10 am (1500 GMT) to noon (1700 GMT).

In her statement to the committee last week, Wilson-Raybould dismissed Butts as an official who was particularly anxious to change her mind. Under questioning, she said she did not think the officials violated any laws.

coverage by Julie Gordon and David Ljunggren; Cut by Phil Berlowitz and James Dalgleish

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Home / World / After a heavy blow to Canada's Trudeau, the second minister resigns due to scandal

After a heavy blow to Canada's Trudeau, the second minister resigns due to scandal



OTTAWA (Reuters) – Following a heavy blow to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a second member of his cabinet resigned Monday. She had lost confidence in how the government dealt with an escalating political scandal.

FILE PHOTO: The newly appointed Treasury Secretary poses for a photo with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet mix in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) on January 14, 2019. REUTERS / Patrick Doyle / File Photo [19659003] Recently appointed Treasury Secretary Jane Philpott, who was responsible for the overall government spending, deprives Trudeau of yet another powerful female cabinet just months before a poll that polls indicate could lose.

Philpott expressed dissatisfaction over the government's response to allegations that officials had unduly pressurized former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould last year to help large construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. avoid corruption.

"Unfortunately, I have lost confidence in how the government handled this issue and how it responded to the issues raised," Philpott said in a statement. "I have come to the conclusion that I have to resign as a member of the Cabinet."

Philpott is a close friend of Wilson-Raybould, who resigned himself on February 12, after being unexpectedly demoted in January. Wilson-Raybould said last week she was convinced that her refusal to help SNC-Lavalin was behind the demotion.

Andrew Scheer, chairman of the official opposition conservative party, repeated the call to Trudeau to step out of ethical rottenness, he said, undermining the rule of law.

"Jane Philpotts resignation from the Cabinet clearly demonstrates a government in total chaos, led by a vicious prime minister plagued by scandals and focused solely on his political survival," he told reporters in Toronto.

Trudeau has resigned and will deal with the matter later on Monday, a spokesman said.

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

"What should be worrisome for the Trudeau Liberals is that the two cabinet resignations have led to policy and ethics issues," said Nanos research pollster Nik Nanos.

"The second resignation raises the question – what happened and could there be more resignations," he said by e-mail.

Other government officials, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau, said they would remain in the Cabinet.

Philpott said evidence of pressure from politicians and officials to pressure Wilson-Raybould would have raised serious concerns. Wilson-Raybould tweeted to Philpott, "You are a leader of vision and strength, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside you."

58-year-old Philpott was widely regarded as one of Trudeau's best cabinet ministers. She had previously served as Minister of Health and Minister of Indigenous Services.

Most Liberal MPs have supported Trudeau so far, but there are signs of exertion.

Slideshow (6 images)

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a Liberal MP who does not seek re-election, tweeted, "If you add women, please do not expect the status quo. Expect the right decisions from us, stand up for the right thing, and end the company when values ​​are in jeopardy.

Gerald Butts, who quit as Trudeau's secretary last month over the SNC-Lavalin affair, will testify to the Judiciary Committee of the House of Commons on Wednesdays from 10 am (1500 GMT) to noon (1700 GMT).

In her statement to the committee last week, Wilson-Raybould dismissed Butts as an official who was particularly anxious to change her mind. Under questioning, she said she did not think the officials violated any laws.

coverage by Julie Gordon and David Ljunggren; Cut by Phil Berlowitz and James Dalgleish

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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