Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Wilson-Raybould resigns from Trudeau cabinet in wake of SNC-Lavalin claims

Wilson-Raybould resigns from Trudeau cabinet in wake of SNC-Lavalin claims

In a letter published on her website, the former justice minister says she has hired former Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell to tell her what she can say about her dealings with the prime minister on the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Wilson-Raybould will also step down from her role as associate minister of national defence.

Her resignation comes amid ongoing questions into whether Trudeau or anyone in his office tried to pressure Wilson-Raybould abandon the prosecution of a case against SNC-Lavalin when she was justice minister and attorney general.

Wilson-Raybould was the Attorney General of Canada from November 4, 2015, until January 14, 2019 and is at the centre of the ethics investigation.

Trudeau denies the allegations, claiming "Neither the current nor the previous attorney general was ever directed by me or anyone in my office to take a decision in this matter".

The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner also announced on Monday that he has launched an investigation in the case. The company faces charges of bribing Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011 in exchange for contracts.

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"I have reason to believe that a possible contravention of section 9 may have occurred", Dion wrote in a letter to NDP MPs Nathan Cullen and Charlie Angus, who filed the complaint.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called an emergency cabinet meeting for Tuesday morning, though ministers are in their ridings or fanned out across the country, so many will be teleconferencing in and not all together around the cabinet table in Ottawa.

Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the justice portfolio last month, and is now the minister of veterans affairs, a move widely seen as a demotion. But if anyone was trying to exert pressure on Wilson-Raybould to influence the legal proceedings, they crossed the line.

Last week, Trudeau told reporters that the allegations in the Globe and Mail's story are false.

"I respect her view that due to privilege she can not comment or add on matters recently before the media", Trudeau said at the time.

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