Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from Trudeau's cabinet

Oscar PerryFeb 14, 2019

Jody Wilson-Raybould is out of Justin Trudeau's cabinet.

"Her treatment, it disgusts me, nobody should be treated this way, and especially somebody who is a representative, whether she wants to be or not, of aboriginal people being treated and kicked in the face the way we always have been by his father, now by him and by the conservatives and all of the other governments", said Bill Wilson. "I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter, and as such have retained Honerable Thomas Albert Cromwell, CC as counsel", Wilson-Raybould wrote in the letter.

Wilson-Raybould, however, has chosen not to speak publicly on the allegations, saying she is protected by client privilege and cabinet confidentiality.

Wilson-Raybould's letter does not say exactly why she's quitting.

Earlier in the day, now-former veterans affairs minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced her resignation from cabinet.

Citing unnamed sources, the Globe and Mail has reported that officials in the prime minister's office transferred that pressure a year ago to then-attorney general Wilson-Raybould.

Wilson-Raybould, who the Globe and Mail said had ignored the pressure, was demoted from the justice ministry last month.

On Monday, Canada's independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner confirmed he had launched an examination into the allegations following a request from two opposition New Democrat MPs.

A major hiccup in relations with First Nations and the potential for weeks or months of headlines associated with the SNC-Lavalin scandal could hardly come at a worse time for the federal Liberals heading into a election year.

Tuesday night support started to stream in on social media for Wilson Raybould, including from some of her Liberal colleagues.

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Cabinet privilege prevented Wilson-Raybould, also the former minister of justice, from addressing the scandal.

"Our government did its job properly and according to all the rules", he said, while upbraiding his former attorney general, if she felt otherwise, for not bringing her concerns to him directly. Many were puzzled by the fact that the Prime Minister never clearly explained what she had done to deserve the demotion.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called on the Liberals to support a push at the House of Commons justice committee to look into the allegations that appear to have led to Wilson-Raybould's resignation.

The Trudeau government passed a law previous year which allows for remediation agreements in cases of corporate corruption, wherein a company pays reparations but does not wind up with a criminal conviction that would bar it from bidding on government contracts, potentially throwing thousands of employees out of work.

"The current Liberal brand has been taking a beating on this portfolio", she said.

The union attributed these anonymous, "cowardly" attempts to discredit Wilson-Raybould to Trudeau's staff and said they "perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women can not be powerful, forthright and steadfast in positions of power".

She will remain a Liberal MP representing the British Columbia riding of Vancouver Granville.

"It was a really positive step when Jody was appointed attorney general", said Terry Teegee, regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations.

He added he remains "concerned about the many unanswered questions" surrounding her resignation.

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