Jane Philpott: Trudeau crisis grows as minister resigns


March 4 - Jane Philpott, one of Trudeau's most trusted ministers, quits cabinet, saying she has concerns about the pressure Wilson-Raybould described and that she has lost confidence in the way the government has dealt with the ongoing affair.

"I know that Ms. Philpott's felt this way for some time, and while I am disappointed, I understand her decision to step down and want to thank her for her service", he said, referring to the head of the Treasury Board Secretariat.

"I have been considering the events that have shaken the federal government in recent weeks and after serious reflection, I have concluded that I must resign as a member of cabinet".

The loss of two female cabinet members means that Trudeau's famously gender-equal cabinet is at risk of losing its 50-50 male-female split.

The leader of the opposition Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer, said at a news conference that Philpott's resignation demonstrates "a government in total chaos" and called again for Trudeau to resign and for a police investigation of the affair. "How democratic institutions, specifically the federal ministry and the staff and officials that support it, conduct themselves is critical and core to all of our principles", Trudeau said.

Hours after his second cabinet minister quit in as many months, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the latest bomb to rock his government at a climate change rally in downtown Toronto.

"She had a deep understanding of a very complex issue, and she was able to push it toward a clear path for funding and solutions".

"There can be a cost to acting on one's principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them", she said in a statement.

Quebec just also happens to be a province identified by Trudeau's Liberal Party as being crucial to gain votes in order to hold on to power, in what polls suggest will be a hard-fought election scheduled for October.

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FILE PHOTO: Newly appointed president of the Treasury Board Jane Philpott poses for a photo with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet shuffle, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, January 14, 2019.

"Jane Philpott's resignation from cabinet does a tremendous amount to buttress the honesty and integrity of our former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould", said May.

Yes, Trudeau has not denied that he and his team spoke to Wilson-Raybould but they insist none of the conversations were inappropriate and were within the law. Speaking in Longueuil, Que., on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the prime minister has her confidence, adding she appreciates the prime minister sees her family - she has three children - as an advantage rather than an problem. But Wilson-Raybould said the pressure was not illegal and said she was not instructed to interfere.

"How much of what they did was under the Prime Minister's instruction and how much was them deciding they out to get this fixed for the Prime Minister", said May.

Philpott is a close friend of Wilson-Raybould, who herself resigned on February 12 after she was unexpectedly demoted in January.

SNC-Lavalin was charged in 2015 with corruption for allegedly bribing officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to secure government contracts during former strongman Moamer Kadhafi's reign.

Trudeau said that "enjoying our natural world is a huge part of the Canadian identity". The Liberals use their House of Commons majority to defeat an opposition motion calling for a public inquiry into allegations the Prime Minister's Office pressured Wilson-Raybould.

Liberals hope Gerald Butts will give them ammunition to fight back against accusations of political interference in the justice system.