5 March 2019
Jane Philpott (in the picture above) was Canada’s president of the Treasury Board, which is responsible for the government’s financial and personnel administration. The family physician had a ministerial position in the Liberal government. She helped in the settlement of Syrian refugees, crafted policies that legalized marijuana and doctor-assisted suicide.
On Monday, she issued a statement saying it was now untenable for her to serve in cabinet, which was bent on dropping criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. on bribery-and-fraud charges. MSN news reported.
A majority 55% of Canadians said that SNC-Lavalin should be taken to courts, while 35% were agreeable to a deferred prosecution agreement. Toronto Sun reported.
Justin Trudeau seems to be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. He wants to support SNC to preserve jobs which will earn him votes. But if 55% of the voters are against letting SNC off the hook, then it is going to cost him some votes. So, he in a no-win situation.
Mr. Trudeau’s closest friend, since university days and top confidant, Gerald Butts, resigned from his post as the prime minister’s principal secretary, saying that he had done nothing wrong but felt the need to leave because he had become a distraction. Mr. Butts is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before a parliamentary committee examining aspects of the SNC-Lavalin affair. The Conservative and NDP MPs on the committee will grill Butts on the SNC affair. All eyes are turned on what he will say on Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reported.