OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a backlash both within and outside his own party after Jody Wilson-Raybould’s sudden resignation from his cabinet.
While some Liberals have anonymously accused her of being self-centred and disloyal to the party, others have gone to bat for her for being courageous and strong as allegations swirl that Trudeau’s office pressured her to head off a criminal prosecution of Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.
Liberal staff and MPs are nervous and wanting their own answers about exactly what happened while several Indigenous leaders are accusing Trudeau of sexism and racism in his treatment of her.
The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Garrison Settee say the situation is a step backwards in the walk towards reconciliation while National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations says he is very concerned about the many unanswered questions around her departure from cabinet.
Treasury Board President Jane Philpott, one of Wilson-Raybould’s closest allies in cabinet, posted a tweet noting how much she learned from Wilson-Raybould about Indigenous rights and justice.
Trudeau denies anything wrong occurred and said Tuesday evening if Wilson-Raybould had felt pressure she should have told him about it but she never did.
The Canadian Press