Trudeau says he's surprised, puzzled by Wilson-Raybould's resignation

Jody Wilson-RaybouldAdrian Wyld  THE CANADIAN PRESS

"Obviously Justin Trudeau's trying to hide something", Scheer said.

Wilson-Raybould, who did not give any reasons for her resignation, said in a letter to Trudeau she was quitting "with a heavy heart", adding that "I am aware that many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media over the past week". "Justin Trudeau promised Canadians he would change the way politics worked in Ottawa, but instead his Liberal government continues to prioritize helping insiders and the rich get ahead. This work must and will carry on".

The latest news out of Ottawa today is that Canada's former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould has officially resigned amid the major SNC-Lavalin Scandal.

Trudeau has denied any wrongdoing and Wilson-Raybould has cited solicitor-client privilege when asked to explain what happened.

On Monday, Canada's independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner confirmed he had launched an examination into the allegations following a request from two opposition New Democrat MPs.

A spokesperson for MP Francis Scarpaleggia, chair of the national Liberal caucus, said that as of Tuesday morning, Wilson-Raybould hadn't left caucus.

"Jody's demotion and now her resignation and the shuffle of an inexperienced minister to Indigenous Services shows that (First Nations) aren't a priority any more", said Teegee.

"They perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women can not be powerful, forthright, and steadfast in positions of power, but rather confrontational, meddling and egotistic". Because if anyone, particularly the attorney general, felt that we were not doing our job fully, responsibly and according to all the rules, as a government, it was her responsibility to come forward to me this past fall and highlight that directly to me.

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Just a day earlier, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau told reporters that he continued "to have full confidence in Jody".

The time-honoured tenet of solicitor-client privilege - usually discussed in courtrooms and law-school textbooks - has become a central point of debate in a political controversy over whether the prime minister's aides put undue pressure on a former attorney general.

Wilson-Raybould, 47, appointed justice minister when Trudeau came to power in November 2015, is one of the most prominent aboriginal politicians in federal politics.

The union attributed these anonymous, "cowardly" attempts to discredit Wilson-Raybould to Trudeau's staff and said they "perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women can not be powerful, forthright and steadfast in positions of power".

"I am surprised and disappointed and to be honest don't entirely understand why Jody Wilson-Raybould made the decision she did", Trudeau said.

Garrison Settee, grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., a group representing 30 First Nations in northern Manitoba, echoed that sentiment.

In her letter, Wilson-Raybould thanked her staff, officials and Canadians who supported her while in cabinet and concluded: "Regardless of background, geography, or party affiliation, we must stand together for the values that Canada is built on, and which are the foundation for our future".

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