Canada's Trudeau government rocked by second resignation

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"I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations", she said in her resignation letter.

"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 wrote.

A senior cabinet member in Justin Trudeau's government resigned last night amid allegations that the Canadian prime minister had improperly interfered in an alleged corruption case.

February 15 - Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould asked him in September whether he would direct her one way or another on the SNC-Lavalin question.

February 21 - Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti tells the justice committee he has never faced inappropriate pressure from the prime minister or anyone in the PMO, and would take action if any official tried to direct his actions improperly.

A poll by Ipsos for Global News, which the company released Tuesday, found women responding to the pollsters were more critical of Trudeau's handling of the affair than men. "I want to thank her for her service", Trudeau said at a campaign-style event.

In the Canadian political system, party leaders are elected at formal conventions and can not be deposed by a simple vote of legislators, which means any move to push out Trudeau would take a long time.

Wilson-Raybould, of course, quit cabinet shortly after the shuffle to Veterans Affairs when the proverbial other shoe she had been expecting dropped.

She testified that while no one broke the law, they crossed informal lines in Canada that are supposed to isolate prosecutors from politics by mentioning the potential political consequences for the Liberals of shutting SNC-Lavalin out of government business.

Female cabinet ministers stuck up for the Liberals and Trudeau on Tuesday.

"The attempt by the cabinet to highlight a personal relationship as an explanation as to why the cabinet minister resigned is completely false", Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt said in an interview.

"I know that Ms Philpott has felt this way for some time", Trudeau said during a speech, which was occasionally interrupted by hecklers.

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He denies any impropriety but says his continued presence in the Prime Minister's Office has become a distraction.

The Canadian prime minister's Chief Secretary, Gerald Butts, also resigned last Monday amid the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

"Then don't delay on climate, don't be a climate delayer", came a voice from the crowd as Trudeau moved on to the subject at hand.

"What should be worrisome for the Trudeau Liberals is that the two cabinet resignations have been on issues of principle and ethics", said Nanos Research pollster Nik Nanos.

Both had been symbols of the Liberals' ability to recruit strong female candidates: Wilson-Raybould is a lawyer and former regional chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations; Philpott is a family doctor with extensive experience overseas.

SNC-Lavalin was charged in 2015 with corruption for allegedly bribing officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to secure government contracts during former strongman Moamer Kadhafi's reign.

Jane Philpott's resignation Monday as Treasury Board president will have implications for Indigenous peoples and Indigenous-related federal policies and funding, according to some Indigenous leaders. "It reveals deep division in the Cabinet about how to deal with Jody Wilson-Raybould".

True, but the new facts and arguments senior Liberals threw at Wilson-Raybould for four months a year ago after she told them she had made up her mind all seemed to be political arguments and threats against her keeping her cabinet post - not new legal arguments.

The MP says she will continue her role as an MP for Markham-Stouffville.

The former attorney general also testified that at the same meeting Trudeau reminded her, "I am an MP in Québec - the member for Papineau".

"That sort of adds to the controversy - that the Liberals aren't quite able to shake this, it reflects poorly on them", Wilson said.