Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Money | By Arnold Ball

MP Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet amid scandal

MP Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet amid scandal

Wilson's daughter, Jody Wilson-Raybould, was moved from her position as justice minister to lead veterans affairs in a surprise cabinet shuffle on January 14.

Trudeau tried to reassure Indigenous Canadians that, despite Wilson-Raybould's resignation, the Indigenous reconciliation effort remains a priority for his government - and that without an Indigenous member of cabinet, he'll get his feedback on the file from Canadians across the country.

Trudeau said the issue of solicitor-client privilege is complicated and he has asked David Lametti, who replaced Wilson-Raybould as justice minister and attorney general, for advice on the matter. "This work must and will carry on".

Reporting in the Globe and Mail suggests that her refusal to bend to pressure from the Prime Minister's Office and apply a new law to benefit SNC-Lavalin-the Montreal-based engineering company that is otherwise facing criminal prosecution stemming from a bribery case in Libya-was behind Trudeau's decision to demote her.

Since then, Trudeau has denied he did any such thing.

"Of course, she said nothing of that to me last fall".

The federal ethics commissioner has now officially launched an investigation into the political interference controversy involving the Prime Minister's Office and Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin. Wilson-Raybould never mentioned it, he said.

I've asked our current minister of justice and attorney general to make recommendations to me on the question of solicitor-client privilege.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is out of Justin Trudeau's cabinet. "Well, today, her resignation speaks for itself", Scheer said.

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"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".

"I'm ashamed of what the prime minister has done to my daughter", Wilson said.

She also says that she has retained former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her on this front.

Just a day earlier, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau told reporters that he continued "to have full confidence in Jody".

The union attributed these anonymous, "cowardly" attempts to discredit Wilson-Raybould to Trudeau's staff and said they "perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women can not be powerful, forthright and steadfast in positions of power". "It doesn't help them that Wilson-Raybould's father (influential First Nations leader Bill Wilson) is calling them out on that failure".

"I am surprised and disappointed and to be honest don't entirely understand why Jody Wilson-Raybould made the decision she did", Trudeau said.

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". She goes on to thank Canadians who have supported her during her time in the federal cabinet and states she will remain as MP for Vancouver-Granville.

"It disgusts me", Wilson added.

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