The resignation of Jane Philpott is a big political blow to the Liberal government.
And a sad day for me, since she was the cabinet minister I most admired.
I'll never forget this story about the death of her young child Emily in the Niger Republic.
And for that and other reasons, she'll will always remain in my Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
But having said that, I don't believe that her resignation will breathe much life into what is still a fake scandal, for the following reasons.
Firstly, it's clear that the main reason she quit is because she is a very close friend of Jody Wilson-Raybould, and decided to put that friendship before cabinet solidarity.
Which since she is still more of a doctor than a politician, is perfectly understandable.
Secondly, I think she was afraid that Gerry Butts' testimony tomorrow might blow a few holes in her friend's story, and her resignation was a way to try to soften the impact.
Which is definitely more political and less excusable.
And lastly but not leastly, I believe her resignation was also a way to escape her new job as President of the Treasury Board, which after being Minister of Health and Minister of Indigenous Services, must have seemed like a dreary grey cage to a person like Philpott.
But whatever the real reason, her resignation still does not make the SNC-Lavalin controversy more than a fake scandal.
Or as Barbara Yaffe writes, anything more than the wimpiest of controversies.
The SNC-Lavalin controversy, if truly a scandal as so many pundits would have us believe, is one of the wimpiest I can recall in more than 40 years as a journalist covering federal and provincial governments.
Justin Trudeau only did what any other prime minister would have done to try to save thousands of jobs. So did the others.
The others who pressed or pushed or harangued Ms. Wilson-Raybould – including the Finance Minister’s chief of staff, the Privy Council Clerk, seniors staffers in the PMO – were doing his bidding. That’s how our system works.
The director of public prosecutions Kathleen Roussel's decision was based on an interpretation of the law. But an interpretation is not written in stone.
Lawyers in courtrooms argue different interpretations of law every day of the week. Perhaps Ms. Roussel’s decision is based on one particular interpretation. Maybe, probably, there are others.
No laws were broken.
Ms. Wilson-Raybould, in having accepted the justice job in the first place, was never destined to be a law unto herself. She was part of a team and should have been open to PMO input – as long as any entreaties did not force her to do something unlawful. And they did not.
So nothing changed, and this is the bottom line:
When all is said and done, history will record that Ms. Wilson-Raybould stood firm, telling those who nagged her to buzz off. And her decision stands. Mr. Trudeau et al. have not overruled her. In the end, SNC-Lavalin is still facing criminal prosecution. Some scandal.
Which is what I have argued all along.
I regret that a decent person like Jane Philpott could allow herself to be used by the filthy Cons.
Who would strip away the rights of women, native people, and dismember the medicare system she loves so much and has served so well.Justin Trudeau’s government is in chaos. He wouldn’t allow the former Attorney General to speak freely, so we don’t know her full story. Trudeau’s story changes daily and won’t come clean with Canadians. He needs to fully cooperate with any RCMP investigations and resign. pic.twitter.com/Qw0yfx9fj9— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 4, 2019
But it's still a fake scandal, it's still a media creation.
It still will not affect the results of the next election.
And its days are still numbered...