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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED: Here today - gone tomorrow - Jody Wilson Raybould resigns from Federal Liberal Cabinet less that 24 hours after Justin Trudeau announces he has ‘confidence’ in her

Yesterday (February 11th), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has 'confidence' in Wilson-Raybould as Ethics Commissioner probes PMO over SNC-Lavalin --- today Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is no longer part of the federal Liberal Cabinet.

CLICK HERE to read this mornings full letter of resignation to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, from Jody Wilson-Raybould

A CBC story yesterday, where Trudeau was speaking with reporters … after a funding announcement about housing in BC., Trudeau said he "welcomed" the ethics commissioner's examination of the allegations.  “This is an issue that has been much talked about over the last few days and I think it's important Canadians continue to have confidence in our system," Trudeau said.

The prime minister insisted again Monday he did not direct Wilson-Raybould to come to any particular conclusion on whether to direct the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) to sign an agreement with SNC-Lavalin.

We have reasonable confidence in our judicial system; no one is questioning the system. We do not have similar confidence in our government. We are questioning the government, and the answers so far are woefully inadequate.

Let’s get this straight – this is not about some threat to our nation that requires top level security clearances, and information shared on a need to know basis.  This is about criminal charges against a private corporation where senior officials have already pled guilty to bribery and to unlawful interference in a federal election.

Why would officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Privy Council Office, entertain lobbyists from SNC-Lavalin while the firm was under prosecution in federal court?

SNC-Lavalin was there to seek a plea bargain which could not happen without the agreement of the Attorney General. The guilty pleas indicate no plea bargain was made.

According to Trudeau: "I respect her (Jody Wilson Raybould) view that, due to privilege, she can't comment or add on matters recently before the media. I also highlight that we're bound by cabinet confidentiality.”

The Cabinet and Ministers of the Crown are responsible to Canadians. They have no mandate to keep secrets except in matters of national security. Cabinet confidentiality is designed to keep information out of the hands of the opposition parties but has no place, and should have no effect, in government accountability to the public.

The bottom line is that our government lacks the spine to tell SNC-Lavalin that it created the mess it is in -- and that our government will not entertain requests to plea bargain with alleged criminals.

It is in the national interest to see the courts sort it out and that the result stand as a stark warning to others planning to use bribery and political influence to win contracts.

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba

FOOTNOTE … from CBC News:   
8:39am February 12th

Jody Wilson-Raybould — the former justice minister at the centre of claims that the Prime Minister's Office pressured her to help Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution — has resigned from cabinet.

She tweeted a link to her resignation letter this morning … "With a heavy heart I am writing to tender my resignation as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence," she wrote.


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