Wilson-Raybould resignation from cabinet long overdue

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday

The former minister thanks all Canadians, but she does not specifically thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose office is accused of pressuring her to abandon the prosecution of a case against SNC-Lavalin.

A report last week alleged that PM Justin Trudeau's office pressured her for intervention in a case against engineering group SNC-Lavalin.

Wilson-Raybould, who did not give any reasons for her resignation, said in a letter to Trudeau she was quitting "with a heavy heart", adding that "I am aware that many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media over the past week".

"I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss on this matter and as such, have retained the Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, CC as counsel", Wilson-Raybould wrote in her resignation announcement.

Vancouver-Granville MP Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet on Tuesday.

The allegation in the Globe story is that Trudeau's officials pressured Wilson-Raybould a year ago to make use of the power the law gave her and allow SNC-Lavalin to negotiate a plea bargain.

Wilson-Raybould served seven years as the commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission and, as Canada's attorney general for more than three years, helped reform Canada's legal approach to litigation involving First Nations and reframe the Trudeau government's approach to First Nations.

"It's tragic for her and I think it's tragic for the country, I mean she upholds integrity and dignity and the rule of law and she gets kicked in the teeth and moved down to Veterans Affairs", said Bill Wilson.

On Monday, Canada's independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner confirmed he had launched an examination into the allegations following a request from two opposition New Democrat MPs.

According to the Globe, the federal director of public prosecutions refused to enter negotiations about a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin in October.

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So with the government's legitimacy swaying in the balance, the whole country is waiting for Wilson-Raybould to finally tell her side of the story.

Cabinet privilege prevented Wilson-Raybould, also the former minister of justice, from addressing the scandal.

The comments come soon after the former Attorney General announced her resignation from the Liberal cabinet earlier today.

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.

The Trudeau government passed a law past year which allows for remediation agreements in cases of corporate corruption, wherein a company pays reparations but does not wind up with a criminal conviction that would bar it from bidding on government contracts, potentially throwing thousands of employees out of work.

Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a statement that he was "saddened" by Wilson-Raybould's departure, noting that many First Nations people celebrated her appointment to the justice portfolio as a "testament to her expertise, experience and intellect".

Wilson-Raybould hasn't spoken about those allegations, which could amount to obstruction of justice charges for someone in the PMO.

Both leaders have public appearances scheduled later Tuesday - Trudeau in Winnipeg and Scheer in Fredericton.

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

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