As the SNC-Lavalin scandal persists, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided that Jody Wilson-Raybould and MP Jane Philpott will no longer be Liberal caucus members.
“Whether it's taping conversations without consent or repeatedly expressing a lack of confidence in our government and in me personally as leader, it's become clear that Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Philpott can no longer remain part of our Liberal team,” Trudeau said.
Reflecting on what PM has done, my thoughts are w/ my constituents in #VanGran, my dedicated staff & volunteers, my family & friends & all Canadians who believed in a new way of doing politics. I will take the time to reflect & talk to my supporters about what happens next. (1/2)— Jody Wilson-Raybould (@Puglaas) April 2, 2019
What I can say is that I hold my head high & that I can look myself in the mirror knowing I did what I was required to do and what needed to be done based on principles & values that must always transcend party. I have no regrets. I spoke the truth as I will continue to do. (2/2)— Jody Wilson-Raybould (@Puglaas) April 2, 2019
Since the announcement Tuesday evening, which included the removal of Jane Philpott from caucus as well, supporters in Wilson-Raybould’s Vancouver Granville riding have said they would support her if she ran as an independent in the next election.
"All that is going on with her is a disappointment, and we support her fully," Tracy Beshara, executive director of Marpole Oakridge Family Place in south Vancouver told The Canadian Press. "She's honest. She's real and she can tell you both sides. She won't tell you what you want to hear. She'll tell you the way it is. Most politicians don't do that."
In a Globe and Mail column, Andrew MacDougall, a former director of communications to Stephen Harper, called Trudeau’s decision “a little bit Trump-like.”
“Mr. Trudeau and the Liberal caucus have been channelling Donald Trump and the Republican Party, with Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Philpott jointly playing the role of former FBI director James Comey, ejected from the President’s orbit for refusing to play ball on the Russia investigation,” MacDougall stated in the article.
Canadians and political commentators also took to Twitter share their thoughts on the prime minister’s decision:
Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Philipott stood for the rule of law when your boss tried to obstruct justice. They didn't sabotage their team. Their team sabotaged themselves... #cdnpoli #SNCLavalin #Lavscam— Brad Cabana (@BradCabana) April 3, 2019
Please stop treating women like we’re delicate flowers. Good grief. Woman OR man, if your actions amount to sabotaging your team, you’ll eventually lose the trust of said team. Making it into a gender issue is the most asinine-y of all the asinine aspects of this controversy.— Amanda Alvaro (@amandaalvaro) April 3, 2019
“I am angry, hurt and frustrated because I feel and believe I was upholding the values that we all committed to,” Wilson-Raybould wrote. “In giving the advice I did, and taking the steps I did, I was trying to help protect the prime minister and the government from a horrible mess."
Her letter came on the same day Gerald Butts, Trudeau's former principal secretary, released text messages with Wilson-Raybould prior to the Jan. 14 cabinet shuffle. They do not mention SNC-Lavalin but they do suggest that she tried to prevent her move from the Justice portfolio by arguing it would send the wrong message to Indigenous Peoples.
"Timing of 'pushing' me out (which will be the perception – whether true or not) is terrible," Wilson-Raybould wrote.
"It will be confounding and perplexing to people. This is not about me — believe me when I say this — but this is about an approach to Indigenous Peoples … This situation is only going to deepen and I am very worried about it. I am getting texts/emails from indig leaders and B.C. etc. Just felt I had to text,” the message to Butts from Jan. 8 stated.
Wilson-Raybould provided a 17-minute audio recording with Michael Wernick, clerk of the Privy Council, to the House of Commons justice committee last week to further prove that she was pressured to intervene in the prosecution of the engineering company.
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