Jane Philpott resigns from Trudeau cabinet

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-05 06:54:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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OTTAWA, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Jane Philpott announced her resignation on Monday as the Treasury Board president in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet, saying the ongoing SNC-Lavalin scandal is the factor of her resignation.

In a statement, Philpott, one of Justin Trudeau's most trusted ministers, said that the recent events, including the SNC-Lavalin scandal, "have shaken the federal government in recent weeks and after serious reflection, I have concluded that I must resign as a member of cabinet."

"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 and other Canadians," she said in the statement.

Trudeau has been facing calls to resign after former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould testified at the House Justice Committee last week that she faced high-level "veiled threats" and "sustained" political interference in the criminal prosecution of the Quebec construction and engineering company.

The resignation came five days after Wilson-Raybould told the Justice Committee of House of Commons that she faced "consistent and sustained" political pressure from Trudeau and senior officials, including veiled threats on the need to shelve the criminal prosecution of the Montreal construction and engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Philpott said, "I have lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised."

"It grieves me to leave a portfolio where I was at work to deliver on an important mandate. But I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations. There can be a cost to acting on one's principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them," she added.

However, Philpott said she will remain in the Liberal caucus and is committed to the platform of the Liberal party, especially for justice for indigenous people.

The Canadian Prime Minister's Office offered only brief remarks on Philpott's resignation, saying Trudeau will address the resignation Monday night.

"Earlier today, the Prime Minister spoke with Jane Philpott, who informed him of her decision to resign from cabinet. The Prime Minister accepted her resignation, and thanked Ms. Philpott for her years of service to Canadians and her dedication. Minister Qualtrough immediately assumes responsibilities as acting President of the Treasury Board," the office added.