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Wilson-Raybould's testimony should bring down Liberals

Damning. That is the only word to describe former Attorney General and former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould's testimony to the House of Commons Justice Committee last week.

Damning.

That is the only word to describe former Attorney General and former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould's testimony to the House of Commons Justice Committee last week.

She recounted numerous meetings and phone calls spanning months, including from the Prime Minister, which were meant to influence the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. She testified the Prime Minister warned her that if SNC-Lavalin did not receive a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), the company would leave Quebec.

As part of those conversations, Wilson-Raybould said the Prime Minister alluded to the need to save jobs in Quebec that if lost would threaten the Liberal's chances at re-election. She also relayed constant pressure from numerous individuals, including Justin Trudeau, for her to intervene on behalf of SNC-Lavalin.

This has sparked outrage across the country from people on both sides of the political spectrum and is at best blatant political interference of a judiciary matter and at worst obstruction of justice - a criminally indictable offence. Even the party itself is seeing internal revolt over the Prime Minister's actions, MP Jane Philpott resigned from her cabinet post over this and her parting words were those many should live by.

"There can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them," she said about the Prime Minister's efforts to manipulate the justice system.

While the Conservatives are screaming for charges to be laid against the Prime Minister, it is extremely unlikely the RCMP will be knocking on Trudeau's door any time soon. It is questionable whether he broke the law, but doing what is legal is not the same is doing what is right.

Trudeau has breached public trust, he has violated the constitutional and fundamental rule of judiciary independence, and he has demonstrated a complete lack of character and integrity. Any one of those infractions is serious enough to warrant his resignation as Prime Minister and as the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

If he does not have the integrity and sense of responsibility to do that, then at the very least an early election should be called to ask Canadians if his actions are acceptable to those he is accountable.

Either way, the politically smart thing for Trudeau to do is resign and take the likes of Finance Minister Bill Morneau with him. In fact, any elected official or bureaucrat involved in the scandal – make no mistake that is what it is – should be out of a job.

This is a massive black mark on the Liberals and whether the party can wash it off will depend on if they allow the misconduct to go unpunished. If Trudeau is not man enough to bow out, then the Liberals should give him no choice and tell Canadians the party will not tolerate corruption.

The bright side of this story is of course Wilson-Raybould who has demonstrated that politicians with integrity and character do still exist. She should give us hope that more liker her exist and set the bar for what we expect from our elected officials, which is integrity and objectivity.

Perhaps Wilson-Raybould will be a new breed of political leader in this country, one who governs based on what's best for all Canadians and not just themselves or their faithful.