Published: Thu, March 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Timeline: Turmoil in the Trudeau cabinet

Timeline: Turmoil in the Trudeau cabinet

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. But I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations. "Trudeau the father had all these attributes", Bothwell said.

Wilson-Raybould herself resigned abruptly in February.

Trudeau went out of his way to thank Philpott for her service and praise her various accomplishments.

The departure of Mrs Philpott, who was appointed on January 14, is another setback for the prime minister who came to power in November 2015.

Whoever would have thought that Liberals led by Justin Trudeau would say such things?

Carolyn Bennett, the minister in charge of relations with the aboriginal population, said in a statement that "I have absolute confidence in our government, and our Prime Minister".

In the Canadian political system, party leaders are elected at formal conventions and can not be deposed by a simple vote of legislators, which means any move to push out Trudeau would take a long time.

Philpott is good friends with Wilson-Raybould, who delivered bombshell testimony last week accusing officials of relentlessly pressuring her and even issuing veiled threats to try to get her to co-operate.

March 1 - Trudeau makes longtime MP Lawrence MacAulay his new veterans-affairs minister as part of a minor cabinet shuffle. And while I am disappointed, I understand her decision to step down.

The federal opposition leader here in Canada - Andrew Scheer - the leader of the Conservative Party, has called on him to resign and has also a called for the national police force - RCMP - to investigate him.

After Wilson-Raybould's testimony last week, Butts asked to appear before the justice committee, where he said he would "produce relevant documents".

Either the PM has a woman problem, or women are simply the bravest and most principled members of his caucus, or the way politics is practised specifically under Trudeau et al. and/or generally in the modern Canada leaves some of the women who ran for him profoundly disillusioned and sad.

February 13 - The House of Commons justice committee debates whether it should start its own review into the SNC-Lavalin affair. As attorney general, Wilson-Raybould could overrule the prosecution service, directing it to negotiate an agreement with the company.

"What should be worrisome for the Trudeau Liberals is that the two cabinet resignations have been on issues of principle and ethics", said Nanos Research pollster Nik Nanos.

Wilson-Raybould's revelations probably stopped Trudeau's sneaky efforts to cut SNC-Lavalin a deal that the professional prosecutors in the Justice department felt the company did not deserve.

Employment Minister Patty Hajdu spends a second day making the rounds on the West Coast, where she'll trumpet her government's ongoing efforts to "invest in skills training for Indigenous people" alongside representatives from the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.

Trudeau said he "completely disagrees" with his former attorney general's characterization of events, insisting that he and his team were rightly looking to safeguard up to 9,000 Canadian jobs at SNC-Lavalin, which would be banned from bidding on government contracts if convicted.

She says the latest cabinet resignation by Jane Philpott has strengthened her belief in Wilson-Raybould's story. She will remain on as a Liberal member of Parliament.

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.

The MP says she will continue her role as an MP for Markham-Stouffville.

September 17 - Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould discuss the SNC-Lavalin file.

The Liberals use their feminist agenda as a talking point but undermine powerful women by referring to them with gendered language and old tropes, Raitt said.

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