Ethics Scandal Threatens Canada’s Golden Boy

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Justin Trudeau lost another minister, and now the survival of the Canadian leader — who once enjoyed near rock-star status — may hinge on whether she’s the last.

The resignation … of Jane Philpott, a star minister at the Treasury Board, was the second high-profile woman to quit the cabinet over a raging ethics controversy. The departures are devastating for Trudeau and his brand, built in part on gender inclusivity.

The scandal was sparked by his one-time attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, who says he and key aides pressured her to end the prosecution of the construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group on corruption charges. She didn’t, was later shuffled into a different post and then quit. Trudeau says he was just trying to save jobs at the company. 

As he joined other key ministers in a climate rally in Toronto, Trudeau thanked Philpott but said his Liberals must stay the course and that voters “need our total commitment to tackling the big things and getting them right.”

Trudeau led the Liberals from third place to victory four years ago. But with his party’s poll numbers dropping and a sluggish economy ahead of elections in October, his future depends on whether his lawmakers still see him as their best bet for a repeat. MORE