Tuesday March 5, 2019
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday March 5, 2019
Jane Philpott resigns from cabinet, citing loss of ‘confidence’ over government’s handling of SNC-Lavalin
Jane Philpott, one of Justin Trudeau’s most trusted ministers, announced today she has resigned from cabinet as the Liberal government’s crisis over the SNC-Lavalin affair deepens.
“I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations,” she said in a written statement.
“There can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them.”
Trudeau later praised Philpott for her diligent work on crucial government files.
Philpott, the MP for Markham-Stouffville, said she has been considering the events that have shaken the federal government in recent weeks and, after “serious reflection,” concluded she must quit.
She said the constitutional convention of cabinet solidarity means ministers are expected to defend all cabinet decisions and other ministers publicly, and must speak in support of the government and its policies.
“Given this convention and the current circumstances, it is untenable for me to continue to serve as a cabinet minister,” she wrote.
“Unfortunately, the evidence of efforts by politicians and/or officials to pressure the former attorney general to intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin, and the evidence as to the content of those efforts, have raised serious concerns for me. Those concerns have been augmented by the views expressed by my constituents and other Canadians.”
Philpott is a close ally of Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former justice minister and attorney general at the centre of the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Wilson-Raybould testified before a Commons committee last week that 11 officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and other offices inappropriately pressured her to override a decision to prosecute SNC-Lavalin on bribery charges related to contracts in Libya. (Source: CBC News)