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Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from federal cabinet

13 February 2019
Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from federal cabinet

Conservative Leader Albert Scheer has led the charge to haul Trudeau's aides and top members of his party in front of an emergency meeting of the justice committee for what he calls "unprecedented" attempts at influencing a criminal proceeding.

"She confirmed for me a conversation we had this fall, where I told her directly that any decisions on matters involving the director of public prosecutions were hers alone", Trudeau said Monday.

The latest news out of Ottawa today is that Canada's former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould has officially resigned amid the major SNC-Lavalin Scandal.

On the waiving of the solicitor-client privilege the Prime Minister reiterated the fact that he asked the current Attorney General to advise him on the possibility of waiving the privilege.

Wilson-Raybould said she intends to continue serving as the MP for the riding of Vancouver-Granville. Trudeau said on Monday that he had full confidence in her and that her presence in cabinet spoke for itself.

One of Trudeau's spokespeople says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will take over the veterans-affairs portfolio temporarily.

Wilson-Raybould posted a copy of the resignation letter she sent to the Prime Minister's Office on her website Tuesday morning.

Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould poses for a photo with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet shuffle, in Ottawa.

Wilson-Raybould was the Attorney General of Canada from November 4, 2015, until January 14, 2019 and is at the centre of the ethics investigation.

"With a heavy heart, I am writing to tender my resignation as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence", the letter begins.

Trudeau has denied Wilson-Raybould was pressured to instruct the director of public prosecutions to negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin rather than pursue a criminal trial on charges of corruption and bribery related to the company's efforts to secure government contracts in Libya.

The resignation is the second blow for Trudeau in two days over the affair.

Her resignation could trigger another cabinet shuffle and is likely to cast a long shadow over the upcoming election campaign.

Liberals, who hold the majority on the committee, appear to be open to conducting an investigation.

In a letter to NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus and his colleague B.C. NDP MP Nathan Cullen, Dion said he would investigate the prime minister personally for a possible contravention of Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act.

"They perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women can not be powerful, forthright, and steadfast in positions of power, but rather confrontational, meddling and egotistic".

She thanks her staff, officials and Canadians who supported her while in cabinet.