Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing its biggest political crisis so far. One of his closest men, Gerald Butts, has resigned after allegations that he has forced a minister to allow a company to escape a corruption scandal.
Butts, who is Trudeau’s private secretary, is accused of pushing former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to allow the construction company SNC-Lavalin Group to escape fines instead of trial.
The construction company was involved in a corruption scandal in Libya, where senior officials have been bribed.
SNC-Lavalin states that the managers who were involved have stopped and that their ethical guidelines have been reviewed and that it should be enough to avoid trial.
Trudeau loses confidence
Some polls have shown that confidence in Trudeau’s liberal party has fallen because of the scandal. The timing is sensitive given that it is elections this October in Canada.
Prime Minister Trudeau refuses to make any mistake. He admits that he and his team talked to the Minister of Justice, Wilson-Raybould, about the matter in a respectful manner and within the limits of the law.
Trudeau has also said that it is his responsibility as prime minister to safeguard Canadian jobs – a blink that any judgment would have led to a possible bankruptcy for the construction company.
Requirements for Trudeau’s departure
Conservative opposition leader Andrew Scheer now calls for Justin Trudeau’s resignation.
“I was nauseous and scared when I heard about the inappropriate and illegal pressure on her [Minister of Justice] from Trudeau’s senior officials,” he told the Canadian public service company, CBC.