Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to a crowd at Western University's Alumni Hall, January 13, 2017.
"People south of the border would be astonished to think that this is the type of scandal that they have in Canada", said Eddie Goldenberg, a former adviser to former Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
According to testimony by his former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada's first indigenous woman to hold that position, she was pressured by the government to drop criminal proceedings against the influential Quebec-based SNC-Lavalin engineering company for allegedly bribing Gaddafi-era officials in Libya and allow it to settle out of court through a so-called "deferred prosecution agreement" that was added to the criminal code a year ago through the efforts of its lobbyists.
In her resignation letter, Ms Philpott said it had become "untenable" for her to continue to serve in the Cabinet.
Mr Trudeau and his aides deny doing anything wrong, saying they were only pointing out that prosecution could endanger thousands of people's jobs because a conviction would make the company ineligible for government contracts. The high-profile loss of so many skilled jobs might have turned the province towards the Conservatives, or so some are speculating, which might be why Trudeau's team allegedly and unethically interfered in this case.
Wilson-Raybould told the House of Commons justice committee late last month that she came under relentless pressure from the Prime Minister's Office and other federal officials to ensure the company was invited to negotiate a remediation agreement. Wilson-Raybould has said the pressure was "inappropriate" but not illegal.
If convicted, the firm could be barred from competing for federal government contracts for 10 years, potentially affecting 9,000 jobs.
"It is a fundamental doctrine of the rule of law that our Attorney General should not be subjected to political pressure or interference regarding the exercise of her prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases", Philpott's resignation letter said. "It does suggest to me that the director of public prosecutions ... is also nuts".
There is no need here to restate the testimony offered by the former Attorney General recently in the House of Commons' Justice Committee or to try to map out the circuitous route that the PMO and the Liberal spin masters have offered over the last month in an attempt to sweep this matter under the rug.
"I don't see anything racist about that at all", Copps said.
But he added that Wilson-Raybould should have been more forthcoming with her concerns.
Overall, Justin Trudeau is scoring better than the Liberal party as a whole. "She did not come to me and I wish she had", he said.
"On this specific question of a DPA, that is the Attorney General's decision to make. and the Attorney General will make that decision", he said in the Arctic city of Iqaluit. "Twice. Remember your reactions?"
SNC-Lavalin faces accusations it paid bribes to obtain government business in Libya - a criminal case that has prompted a political storm for the Trudeau Liberals. The federal election is in October. If she is allowed to remain in caucus and run as a Liberal, she may be shunned by his loyal MPs, who resent her maverick remarks.
Antonia Maioni, McGill University's dean of arts, said citizens of every democracy will look at the Trump scandals and say everything else is small potatoes.