A political scandal surrounding Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. What's going on?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancels visit to Regina

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancels visit to Regina

Just yesterday, the Trudeau administration was rocked by the resignation of another Cabinet official, Jane Philpott, who said it was "untenable" for her to remain on and defend the government amid the scandal.

Trudeau is facing increasing political pressure over accusations by Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada's former female, indigenous attorney general, that he and other members of his administration attempted to pressure her to "abandon prosecution" of a "corrupt company", SNC-Lavalin, that is allegedly tied to Trudeau's political cronies. Asked about her departure, Finance Minister Bill Morneau began by observing that Wilson-Raybould and Philpott are close friends.

During Wernick's February 21 appearance he offered off-topic opening remarks on the state of online discourse, partisanship and the prospect of political assassinations.

The former top prime ministerial aide, in his opening remarks, detailed conversations with Wilson-Raybould and said the topic of SNC-Lavalin came up only rarely.

They will be appearing between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

His appearance comes a week after Jody Wilson-Raybould gave explosive testimony to the committee, saying she faced "veiled threats" to intervene in the handling of criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin during her time as attorney general. SNC-Lavalin is an economic force in Canada, with 9,000 employees in the country and about 50,000 worldwide. That solution would have avoided a potential criminal conviction that would bar the company from receiving any federal government business for a decade.

Butts said he regrets that Wilson-Raybould's trust and faith in her colleagues have eroded, but all the officials named in Wilson-Raybould's testimony have done nothing wrong.

Trudeau has said that he and his staff always acted appropriately and the decision on whether to forgo prosecution and enter a plea agreement with the company was Wilson-Raybould's and hers alone. "It was about ensuring that the attorney general was making her decision with the absolute best evidence possible", Butts said during his testimony Wednesday.

"I do not see how our brief discussion of that file constituted pressure of any kind", he said.

When she refused to cave, Wilson-Raybould says, Trudeau fired her.

Butts said on Wednesday the SNC-Lavalin issue had nothing to do with the Cabinet shuffle, which he said was prompted by the political retirement of Treasury Board minister Scott Brison. She initially agreed to a new Cabinet post but resigned weeks later.

He said the push to have her seek out an external opinion from the likes of retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin was also motivated by the novelty of the DPA, only legalized by the Liberal government last summer.

Wiseman said the last time he can recall something like this was in 1963 when three Cabinet ministers resigned over then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's opposition to the stationing of American nuclear weapons on Canadian soil.

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