A second member of the Canadian cabinet quit on Monday (March 5), deepening the worst crisis of Justin Trudeau's tenure - dealing a blow months before a tough federal election.
Jane Philpott, said she's lost confidence in Trudeau's government - after the former justice minister quit, too, alleging that officials inappropriately pressured her to help a construction company avoid trial - last year: (SOUNDBITE) (English) JODY WILSON-RAYBOULD, SAYING: "I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, in my role as the Attorney General of Canada, in an inappropriate effort to secure a deferred prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin." Jody Wilson-Raybould said last week that she's convinced her refusal to help SNC-Lavalin was behind her demotion in January.
She quit the cabinet last month.
Trudeau has disputed her allegations and rejected calls for a full public inquiry into the matter.
He faced a divided crowd at a political rally on Monday.
The Prime Minister faced a heckler as he addressed Philpott's resignation: (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU, SAYING: "In democracies you get people with a wide range of perspectives and voices." The opposition repeated calls for Trudeau's resignation claiming the government is in "total chaos" and experiencing an "ethical rot".
Most Liberal members of parliament have so far backed Trudeau - but there are signs of strain.
It's a major setback for the prime minister - who came to power in 2015 promising "sunny ways," a greater number of women ministers and more accountability in politics.