Resignations as SNC-Lavalin scandal rocks Trudeau government

Liberal MP Jody Wilson Raybould leaves the Parliament buildings following Question Period in Ottawa Feb. 19 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Adrian Wyld

Liberal MP Jody Wilson Raybould leaves the Parliament buildings following Question Period in Ottawa Feb. 19 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS Adrian Wyld

Citing stories that emerged over the weekend that quoted unnamed government sources about Wilson-Raybould being "difficult to get along with", the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs called it an "attempt to save face and initiate damage control about the purported wrongdoings of your office by attacking and discrediting a prominent Indigenous woman". "I will appear", she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

"I categorically deny the accusation that I or anyone else in (Trudeau's) office pressured Ms. Wilson-Raybould", Butts said in a statement when he resigned on Monday.

Yet, whatever Trudeau heard, it can't have been too bad or he would not have sanctioned the witness invitation to the justice committee.

Facing questions over how this entire affair impacts two of the key tenets of his government - reconciliation with Indigenous people and leading a feminist government - Trudeau said last week that the government's commitment to reconciliation was "larger than any one person".

The Liberal-dominated committee rejected an opposition motion calling on the prime minister to waive solicitor-client privilege and allow Wilson-Raybould to finally speak freely on the allegations.

Trudeau's comments come after the Liberals on Tuesday voted against an opposition motion in the House of Commons calling for a public inquiry.

One Liberal described the tone as polite and said "there were no naked raw emotions on the table", even when Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould spoke.

Wilson-Raybould strikes me as someone who would like to get things done and not much can be achieved when you're sitting so far from the action in the House of Commons, you're nearly in the translation box.

But this is a scandal that looks increasingly unworthy of the "-gate" suffix and a parliamentary committee is the appropriate venue.

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Harris said Dowless assured him he would not collect the ballots from the voters, which would violate state law. Mr Dowless has refused to testify. "I love my dad and I love my mom".

Unless those two accounts are glaringly at odds, that may well be the end of the matter and we are all going to wonder whether it was worth paralyzing the government of Canada for much of the past month.

The Liberal House Justice Committee members have twice shot down opposition requests to call anyone from the PMO, or Butts, to appear, though that's now an avenue of inquiry that Conservative senators are keen to see revived in the Upper Chamber. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to journalists before the start of a Liberal Party caucus meeting in the West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada February 20, 2019. Trudeau is also seeking advice from the government's lawyer, Lametti, about the potential to waive solicitor-client privilege in this case.

Scheer shot back: "It is so telling that the prime minister can not even answer this kind of simple question".

"There will be nobody from the Prime Minister's Office at this", he said.

As Liberal MPs exited their caucus meeting Wednesday, Lametti was asked again about whether his advice will come before she's set to testify, and he would not comment.

"On the basis of what I have heard I am satisfied", Goodale said when asked if he is confident that nothing untoward happened after hearing from Wilson-Raybould.

After Wilson-Raybould quit, some media organizations ran stories and cartoons denigrating her and Trudeau said he had apologized to the former minister on Wednesday for not condemning the commentaries earlier.

Longtime Liberal MP Wayne Easter classified it as an "honest and straightforward discussion" and said that the caucus is united.

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