Jane Philpott, President of the Treasury Board, has resigned — citing the ongoing SNC-Lavalin scandal.
“I have been considering the events that have shaken the federal government in recent weeks and after serious reflection, I have concluded that I must resign as a member of Cabinet,” she said in her resignation.
Philpott, who has been in cabinet since she was first elected, felt it necessary to distance herself from her party’s leadership in wake of allegations of political inference in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
In her resignation, Philpott slammed the behaviour of her government in handling the SNC-Lavalin case.
“Sadly, I have lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised,” she said.
“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.”
Philpott, a physician, was elected for the riding of Markham-Stouffville in 2015. She was immediately brought into cabinet as Minister of Health. In 2017 she was shuffled to Minister of Indigenous Services.
In January she was again moved to President of the Treasury Board in the same cabinet shuffle that saw Jody Wilson-Raybould demoted from Minister of Justice to Veterans Affairs.
Last week Wilson-Raybould gave bombshell testimony accusing various high raking Liberals of pressuring her with “express statements regarding the necessity for interference in the SNC-Lavalin matter, the potential for consequences, and veiled threats if a DPA (deferred prosecution agreement) was not made available to SNC.”
Philpott, a friend of Wilson-Raybould, tweeted her support for the former Attorney General at the time of her demotion.
Wilson-Raybould had also resigned from cabinet recently.
While she remains as an MP in the Liberal caucus, Philpott’s resignation is another blow to the Trudeau government in the midst of ongoing allegations of misconduct at the highest levels of the Canadian government.