OTTAWA – thunder on the federal political scene: minister of Veterans affairs, Jody Wilson-Raybould, resigned from the cabinet of Justin Trudeau.
“It is a heavy heart that I write to you today to submit my resignation as minister of Veterans affairs and associate minister of national Defence”, one can read in a letter published on his website the mp.
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Without explicitly mentioning the folder SNC-Lavalin in his missive addressed to Justin Trudeau, she said that she was “aware that many Canadians wish that I was discussing issues that have been in the media over the last week.”
And Jody Wilson-Raybould noted that it has retained the services of none other than Thomas Cromwell, a retired judge of the supreme Court of Canada, in order to determine what issues it may legally discuss this case.”
The resignation of the former minister of Justice and attorney general comes less than a week after the Globe and Mail had written that the office of Justin Trudeau would have exerted pressure on it in the folder SNC-Lavalin.
According to the daily, the bodyguards of the prime minister would have tried to convince them to intervene to prevent the firm in quebec, a trial for fraud and corruption in connection with his activities in Libya.
Prime minister Trudeau has denied these “allegations”, which it described as “false”.
While he was in British Columbia, Monday, he suggested that if the minister had felt that she was subject to undue pressure in his role as attorney general, she would have resigned from the council of ministers.
“In our system of government, the fact that she is still a member of the cabinet should speak for itself”, he argued on the sidelines of an announcement, where Jody Wilson-Raybould, who is member of parliament for Vancouver, shone by its absence.
The resignation of the minister occurs some hours after the commissioner of conflict of interest and ethics, Mario Dion, announced the opening of an investigation on this story.
The prime minister argued on Monday that he saw “very positively” the onset of this investigation on allegations of political interference in the folder of SNC-Lavalin.
The opposition also wants, at the same time, to call advisers to Justin Trudeau in front of the standing committee on justice and human rights.
A motion to convene to the table of the committee will be discussed Wednesday in the context of a meeting of emergency was held in Ottawa.
The opposition sees a link between the alleged refusal of Ms. Wilson-Raybould to step in and her dismissal – she was transferred to the Veterans last January.
The demotion announced during a cabinet reshuffle had caused the surprise.
And on the day it was announced, the minister has published on its website a statement to defend its balance sheet – an approach highly unusual.
“The role of the attorney general of Canada comes with unique responsibilities in terms of respect for the rule of law. (…) It is a pillar of our democracy that our system of justice must be free of any perception of political interference (…)”, it pointed out.
“It was always clear to me that the attorney general of Canada must (…) always be ready to tell the truth to people in positions of power”, had also indicated Ms. Wilson-Raybould in this entry.
The firm SNC-Lavalin has been accused of fraud and corruption by the royal Canadian mounted police (RCMP). According to the federal police, it would have paid $ 47.7 million between 2001 and 2011 to holders of public office in Libya in order to influence them.
The charges have been filed in 2015, and the society of quebec was then used to lobby Ottawa for the federal government adopts a regime of agreements of lawsuit suspended, which was done.
This mechanism allows you to suspend criminal proceedings against companies. In exchange, they admit the facts, and then agree to pay a financial penalty salty and cooperate with the authorities.