In major blow to Trudeau, second minister quits over scandal

In major blow to Trudeau, second minister quits over scandal

OTTAWA- Reuters
In major blow to Trudeau, second minister quits over scandal

The departure of recently appointed Treasury Board President Jane Philpott, who was in overall charge of government spending, deprives Trudeau of another powerful female member of cabinet just months ahead of an election that polls show he could lose.

Philpott expressed unhappiness about the government's response to allegations that officials inappropriately pressured former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould last year to help major construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. avoid a corruption trial.

"Sadly, I have lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised," Philpott said in a statement. "I have concluded that I must resign as a member of cabinet."

Trudeau has accepted the resignation.

Other members of Trudeau's government, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau, said they would stay in the cabinet.

Most Liberal members of parliament have so far backed Trudeau but there are signs of strain.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a Liberal legislator who is not seeking re-election, tweeted that "when you add women, please do not expect the status quo. Expect us to make correct decisions, stand for what is right and exit when values are compromised."

Trudeau, canada, scandal