Canadian prime minister Trudeau's chief secretary resigns

Then-justice minister Jody Wilson Raybould on Parliament Hill Monday

Then-justice minister Jody Wilson Raybould on Parliament Hill Monday

Her resignation came only days after a Globe and Mail report, quoting anonymous sources, said members of the Prime Minister's Office tried to get Wilson-Raybould to help Quebec construction giant SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution on bribery and fraud charges through a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

- The federal Liberals table and pass a budget bill that includes a change to the Criminal Code allowing "remediation agreements", plea-bargain-like deals between prosecutors and accused corporations in which they can avoid criminal proceedings by making reparations for previous bad behaviour. "I had full confidence in her role as attorney general to make the decision", he said.

SNC-Lavalin's headquarters in Montreal.

The prime minister faced repeated questions about the brewing controversy during a morning event in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, leading him to say his government was simply doing its job by discussing the issues and ramifications about the SNC-Lavalin case.

I heard Jody Wilson-Raybould deliver an enlightening keynote speech at the Natural Resources Forum in Prince George a few years ago when she was Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, and I had a chance to chat briefly with her afterwards.

Clark said that as a premier, when a minister won't execute the government's will, "you either persuade them to do so or find a new minister". "What appears even more shocking, however, is that it seems the Prime Minister fired his Attorney General for refusing to bow to his demands".

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel tweeted that she wasn't sure "what is worse: the inanity of the statement itself, or the arrogance of thinking we're all stupid enough to buy that pile of garbage". Max St-Pierre tweeted: "It's ok, I usually blame my husband for everything too".

Monday, Trudeau suggested her continued presence in the cabinet meant nothing untoward had happened. At a public appearance in Vancouver, Trudeau says he's spoken to Wilson-Raybould and confirmed with her that he said any decision on the SNC-Lavalin prosecution was entirely hers.

In a statement issued at the time of her resignation, she said she had sought legal counsel from former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell.

Wilson-Raybould has only said that she can not comment on the matter, since she is bound by solicitor-client privilege, since the allegations came to light.

Some Liberal MPs suggested anonymously in media reports that Wilson-Raybould was hard to deal with and didn't have friends in caucus.

Mihychuk said Wilson-Raybould also worked closely with fellow cabinet minister Jane Philpott, who has supported Wilson-Raybould on social media in the wake of her resignation. He called the comments, some of which were made to The Canadian Press, "absolutely unacceptable".

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