Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould quit on Tuesday amid news reports that she was pressured to go easy on a major firm past year when she was justice minister, a development that deepened a political crisis for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just months ahead of an election.
While it is not entirely clear what sort of discussions took place between Wilson-Raybould and prime ministerial officials on the SNC-Lavalin matter, it appears she feels bound by solicitor-client privilege by virtue of the advice she provided as attorney general.
"I'm ashamed of what the prime minister has done to my daughter", Wilson said.
A spokesperson for MP Francis Scarpaleggia, chair of the national Liberal caucus, said that as of Tuesday morning, Wilson-Raybould hadn't left caucus.
Cromwell is a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Her refusal to deny the allegation has fuelled the controversy, triggered by a Globe and Mail report that the Prime Minister's Office leaned heavily on Wilson-Raybould to instruct the director of public prosecutions to drop criminal proceedings against SNC-Lavalin and pursue a negotiated remediation agreement instead.
Just a day earlier, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau told reporters that he continued "to have full confidence in Jody".
He also insisted, as he has since the story broke, that he did not direct Wilson-Raybould to come to any specific conclusions on whether to direct the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to reach an agreement with SNC-Lavalin.
Wilson-Raybould is one of very few cabinet ministers who has experienced colonialism, she said.
In her letter to Trudeau, she stated "many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media" and revealed she had hired a top lawyer to advise her on how much she could say.
Then he said she had reconfirmed a conversation the pair had last fall in which he told her that the final decision in any federal prosecution was hers alone.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also called on the Liberals to support the committee's push to look into the allegations.
The justice committee meets Wednesday at the request of opposition MPs to decide whether to launch a study and Housefather says as chair he will see that the meeting is public.
"If Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government shut the justice committee's work down, it would send a risky signal to Canadians about the state of our democracy", Singh said in a statement.
Jody Wilson-Raybould and Justin Trudeau in happier times.
Until Wilson-Raybould's demotion and resignation, the Liberals had done a good job of selling themselves as a "sunny ways party", he opined.
In 2017, Trudeau apologized after the office of the ethics commissioner said he had broken conflict-of-interest laws by accepting a vacation on a Bahamas island owned by the Aga Khan, an Ismaili religious leader.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is being investigated for illegally attempting to shield engineering firm SNC-Lavalin from criminal fraud and corruption charges involving millions of dollars in bribes to the Libyan government.