Ottawa [Canada], Feb 5 (ANI): In a major setback to Canadian Prime Miniter Justin Trudeau, another minister quit his Cabinet on Monday amidst allegation against the government for illegally trying to settle a criminal case against a Quebec-based company.
Jane Philpott, who served as the indigenous affairs minister, in her resignation letter, accused Trudeau and his aides of pressurising the former Attorney General and Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavlin.
SNC Lavlin has been accused of corruption cases in various countries including India, Bangladesh Canada and Mexico. In 2015, the Canadian authorities charged SNC-Lavalin with paying 47.7 million Canadian dollars in bribes to officials in Libya to win contracts there, and of defrauding the Libyan government of 129.8 million Canadian dollars. However, the defected ministers have claimed that the government is trying to protect SNC Lavlin through lobbying and illegal means, reported CNN.
"It grieves me to resign from a portfolio where I was at work to deliver an important mandate. I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities, constitutional obligations. There can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them," tweeted Philpott.
Underling that the recent government actions have "shaken the federal government", Philpott, in her resignation letter 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, it is untenable and other Canadian."
It grieves me to resign from a portfolio where I was at work to deliver an important mandate. I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities, constitutional obligations. There can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them. pic.twitter.com/EwO5dtdgG6— Jane Philpott (@janephilpott) March 4, 2019
However, Trudeau has tried to defend himself by saying any step taken by him in regards to the case was to protect jobs.
This comes days after principal secretary Gerald Butts and former Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould resigned in the wake of the recent controversy.
However, Philpott has said she will continue to serve as a Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville. "Although I must regrettably resign from Cabinet, I will continue to serve Canadians in every other way that I can. I was elected as a Liberal MP for Markham-Stouffville and I intend to continue in that role," she said. (ANI)