Trudeau tries to quell trouble in Canada, admits erosion of trust

Promoted as a new generation progressive Prime Minister who championed openness and transparency , Justin Trudeau has been under fire as two of his Ministers have resigned after allegations of Government pressure over whether a Canadian company was to be prosecuted.

Trudeau has tried to quell the growing disquiet, saying he has done nothing wrong, but concedes that there has been an erosion of trust.

Last Tuesday (RNZ):  What’s going on with Justin Trudeau and Canada?

A second minister in Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet has resigned, citing accusations that Trudeau and his aides tried to influence a bribery case involving a Canadian company.

Wednesday (RNZ): Trudeau SNC-Lavalin crisis grows as minister resigns

One of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s top ministers has quit saying she has lost confidence in the government’s handling of a corruption inquiry.

Treasury Board President Jane Philpott said: “I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities, constitutional obligations.”

The cabinet minister announced her decision to step down on Monday, posting her resignation letter detailing her “serious concerns” with “evidence of efforts by politicians and/or officials to pressure the former Attorney-General to intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin”.

“There can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them”.

Mr Trudeau said he was disappointed by the resignation, but understood it. He has denied political meddling to shield engineering firm SNC-Lavalin from a bribery trial.

Friday (1 News):  Justin Trudeau maintains he didn’t apply inappropriate pressure on Canada’s former Justice Minister

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that an “erosion of trust” and “lack of communication” with his former justice minister led her to resign and accuse him of applying inappropriate pressure in a corruption prosecution — a dispute that has shaken his government.

But the prime minister made no apologies as he discussed the issue at a nationally televised news conference.

Former Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould told a parliamentary committee last week that Trudeau and senior officials tried to pressure her into instructing prosecutors to avoid criminal prosecution of Montreal-based engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and instead require it to pay fines for alleged bribery in Libya.

Trudeau said Wilson-Raybould did not come to him to express her concerns about inappropriate pressure and said he wishes she had. He said situations were “experienced differently and I regret that.”

“I am obviously reflecting on lessons learned. There are things we have to reflect on and understand and do better next time.”

Wilson-Raybould was demoted from her role as attorney general and named veterans affairs minister in January as part of a Cabinet shuffle. She resigned weeks later.

Wilson-Raybould has said she believes she was demoted for failure to give in to the pressure.

It’s unusual for this much coverage in New Zealand of politics in Canada.

 

2 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  March 9, 2019

    More “star dust” being blown off one of the anointed ones.
    Thing is with star dust is that while it can cover up ineptitude, slackness and lack of ability always in the end it blows away.
    Hopefully our local proponent looks and learns.
    K