Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet

Jody Wilson-RaybouldAdrian Wyld  THE CANADIAN PRESS

Jody Wilson-RaybouldAdrian Wyld THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former justice minister Jodie Wilson-Raybould are seen at a swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on January 14, 2019, as Wilson-Raybold is sworn in as Minister of Veterans Affairs. 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.

"Canada's Ethics Commissioner agrees there are sufficient grounds to begin an independent investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his office for the alleged special treatment they gave SNC-Lavalin", said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Her decision follows a week of scrutiny following bombshell allegations of political interference reported by The Globe and Mail.

She said she was in the process of obtaining advice on what she she was legally permitted to discuss.

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Last month, Trudeau moved Wilson-Raybould out of the justice portfolio in a cabinet shuffle brought on by former minister Scott Brison's departure from politics, elevating David Lametti as her replacement.

Her resignation could trigger another cabinet shuffle and is likely to cast a long shadow over the upcoming election campaign. Wilson-Raybould never mentioned it, he said.

"In our system of government, of course, her presence in cabinet should actually speak for itself". On Monday, he said in Vancouver that he'd told Wilson-Raybould that any decision on the subject was hers alone.

"I've been in discussion, ever since this meeting was called, with Liberal committee members".

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Make no mistake about it - there are serious allegations to be answered about how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government dealt with the legal problems of Quebec mega-company SNC-Lavalin. "Canadians deserve better", said NDP Ethics Critic Charlie Angus.

A justice committee is to meet Wednesday and in the meantime, the Office of the Ethics Commissioner has indicated it will conduct an investigation into matters that fall "within their jurisdiction", said Goodale.

Responding to a letter from NDP MPs, Dion said he would investigate the prime minister personally for a possible contravention of Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act, which prohibits any official responsible for high-level decision-making in government from seeking to influence the decision of another person so as to "improperly further another person's private interests".

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.

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