Philpott says Trudeau violated the law by expelling her, Wilson-Raybould from caucus

Independent MPs Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould speak with the media before Question Period in the Foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Wednesday April 3, 2019. Former cabinet minister Philpott says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the law when he expelled her and Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus.Independent MPs Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould speak with the media before Question Period in the Foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Wednesday April 3, 2019. Former cabinet minister Philpott says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the law when he expelled her and Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Former cabinet minister Jane Philpott says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the law when he expelled her and Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus.

In the House of Commons, Philpott says the Parliament of Canada Act says MPs can’t be kicked out of their party groups without a vote and Trudeau ejected them on his own.

She’s asking Speaker Geoff Regan to declare that their privileges were violated.

A set of amendments in 2015 was meant to make it more difficult to remove MPs from their caucuses, to shift power away from party leaders and toward rank-and-file legislators.

Philpott says if Trudeau had followed the rules, it would have taken 90 Liberal MPs to vote to kick her and Wilson-Raybould out, and no such vote was held before Trudeau expelled them on the grounds that the caucus didn’t trust them any more.

The two former ministers have been thorns in Trudeau’s side in the SNC-Lavalin affair, with both resigning from cabinet over the way the controversy has been handled.

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One activist on her decision to shun Trudeau: ‘A refusal to sit idle’

Riley Yesno: Why absence and silence was so powerful at Daughters of the Vote


Trudeau looks to the audience for a question following his speech to Daughters of the Vote in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday April 3, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

“Your seat is your power. By giving up your seat you’re giving up your power”.

That’s what Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, told me and the other two dozen or so delegates from Daughters of the Vote, who protested in the House of Commons by walking out on Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and turning our backs on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on April 3.

Run by the non-profit organization Equal Voice Canada, the Daughters of the Vote program is an initiative that brings together 338 women, gender-fluid and non-binary folk—one from every federal riding in Canada—to engage with women in politics, sit and speak in the House of Commons, and provide a platform for young leaders to have their voices amplified.

Although many of my fellow delegates and I didn’t say a word during our protests earlier this week, I think our messages were certainly heard.

The peaceful action attracted unanticipated media attention as reporters and journalists swarmed many of my colleagues following our exit from the House. The main question they wanted answered: Why?

Read more: The fall of the feminist Prime Minister

While I cannot speak on behalf of any of my peer’s individual motives, I know that some said they were prompted, at least in part, by the ejection of former ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus.Others said they protested in response to the policies, programs, and beliefs held by  Scheer and  Trudeau that have violent implications for their communities; such as Scheer’s anti-2SLGBTQ+ stances on marriage equality, or the Trudeau government’s sale of weaponry to countries like Saudi Arabia and large-scale environmental offences for example. Several people simply saw others taking action, and knew that this was a time to enact meaningful allyship and show solidarity. MORE

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Daughters of the Vote discuss participating in politics, MPs being kicked out of caucus

POLITICS Jody Wilson-Raybould: ‘The Liberal party is not something I understand anymore’

The former AG talks to Maclean’s about recording her call with Michael Wernick, her relationship with Gerry Butts and the dangers of blind loyalty


Independent MP and former Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould speaks to reporters before Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, a day after being removed from the Liberal caucus on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

There are two ways this might go now for Jody Wilson-Raybould: creation of an icon or writing of a footnote. To her admirers, the former justice minister’s attributes seem lastingly potent. She was the woman who rose higher in federal politics than any previous Indigenous politician, only to be driven out on a point of principle. To her critics, including many of her former Liberal colleagues, she just wasn’t a team player and didn’t understand the compromises high office demands.

Wilson-Raybould, 48, was first elected a Liberal MP in Vancouver in 2015, having been recruited by Justin Trudeau on the strength of her record as a B.C. First Nations leader. He made her his first justice minister, then demoted her to Veterans Affairs early this year. Wilson-Raybould suspects she fell out of favour after resisting months of pressure from Trudeau and senior officials to use her power as attorney general to give SNC-Lavalin a way of avoiding a bribery trial through a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA).

Image result for Macleans cover Jody Wilson-Raybould

Trudeau denies that was the reason. But Wilson-Raybould quit his cabinet as the controversy raged, and he kicked her out of the Liberal caucus on April 2, along with her ally, former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott. The following afternoon, she sat with Maclean’s for this extensive interview, which has been edited for length and clarity. (To read our interview with Jane Philpott, go here) MORE

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Recording a telephone call? 189 federal servants spied on Cindy Blackstock under Wernick and Justice department

 

Trudeau boots Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from Liberal caucus


Jody Wilson-Raybould speaks to reporters in Ottawa on Feb. 27, 2019. File photo by Andrew Meade

Former attorney general and justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott have been kicked out of the Liberal Party of Canada caucus.

“I am here to announce that Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott are not longer members of the liberal caucus,” Trudeau said to a sombre-looking gathering of his caucus. “The trust that previously existed between these two individuals and our team has been broken.”

Moments before he began speaking, Wilson-Raybould shared the news herself, getting ahead of the prime minister before he began the televised address.

“I have just been informed by the prime minister of Canada that I am removed from the Liberal caucus and as the confirmed Vancouver Granville candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in the 2019 federal election,” Wilson-Raybould tweeted with Liberal MPs gathered on Parliament Hill to decide her fate.

Wilson-Raybould, who wrote to her fellow Liberals earlier Tuesday in hopes of convincing them to let her stay, stepped down from Trudeau’s cabinet in February after he shuffled her out of the coveted justice portfolio, following a bombshell media report in the Globe and Mail that revealed she had been pressured to intervene in the criminal prosecution of Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin over corruption and fraud charges. MORE

Trudeau a Threat to Liberal Chances, Must Go: Martyn Brown

Odds for RCMP probe rising, says former top aide to BC Liberal premier.

Trudeau LavScam cartoon
Cartoon by Greg Perry.

On Friday, Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen offered some advice to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he is likely to ignore. Let Jody Wilson-Raybould have her (additional) say. Stop muzzling her with cabinet confidence and solicitor-client privilege. Waive it.

“The longer he continues this cover-up,” Bergen said of Trudeau, “the longer he moves heaven and earth to keep himself protected, the worse this gets for him.”

Does it get worse? Or will Canadians tire of the saga and move on, as the Liberals this week bet by moving to shut down the inquiry?

Martyn Brown, who as premier Gordon Campbell’s chief of staff handled scandals buffeting the B.C. government during the 2000s, thinks that this week Trudeau has moved closer to the brink of disaster. The heightened prospect of an RCMP investigation makes Trudeau an anchor sinking the party he once rescued with his leadership.

Now, says Brown, it’s time for Liberal insiders to convince Trudeau to step down.

But the biggest bombshell, in Brown’s view, was dropped by former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott, Trudeau’s other cabinet minister to resign in dismay over LavScam.

What Philpott had to say in her interview with Maclean’s magazine on March 21 proves she’d “gone rogue,” says Brown.

“I’m not accusing anybody of anything illegal or contrary to the Criminal Code,” emphasizes Brown. But Philpott raised enough questions to possibly prod the RCMP to launch an investigation, and that would mean a severe hit to Trudeau’s political fortunes. MORE

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Liberal scramble to help SNC-Lavalin warrants investigation

If the RCMP end up taking over the investigation of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, as it increasingly looks like they should, the prime minister will have no one to blame but himself.

Marathon Commons vote ends, but Philpott interview raises new questions about SNC-Lavalin affair

Former cabinet minister Jane Philpott says in magazine interview there’s ‘much more to the story’


Liberal MPs Salma Zahid, left to right, Nick Whalen and Geng Tan rise for the final vote at the end of a 30-hour marathon voting session that began on Wednesday and lasted until 1 a.m. on Friday in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The Conservatives’ marathon vote protest in the Commons ended in the wee hours this morning, but their cause got an added boost after Maclean’s magazine ran an interview with Jane Philpott saying there’s “much more to the story” when it comes to the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

The Conservative Opposition triggered the voting marathon in Ottawa after the Liberal-dominated justice committee shut down further investigation into the SNC-Lavalin affair. For more than 30 hours, the House of Commons was engaged in round-the-clock voting that kept MPs close to their seats.

The voting got underway around 6 p.m. ET Wednesday and continued until almost 1 a.m. ET Friday, with members voting line by line on the Liberal government’s spending plans.

In the story, published Thursday morning, the Liberal MP said she had concerns about the government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin case before the controversy became public in January. She alleged Canadians have been prevented from hearing more about what went on in government circles due to efforts by the Prime Minister’s Office to “shut down the story.”

“My sense is that Canadians would like to know the whole story,” Philpott said.

“I believe we actually owe it to Canadians as politicians to ensure that they have the truth. They need to have confidence in the very basic constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system.”

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Jane Philpott: ‘There’s much more to the story that needs to be told’

In an exclusive interview with Paul Wells, the former Treasury Board president says: ‘we actually owe it to Canadians as politicians to ensure that they have the truth.’


Philpott waits to deliver a keynote speech at an International Women’s Day event at Ottawa City Hall on Friday, March 8, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Jane Philpott was deeply ambivalent about talking earlier this week when she welcomed a Maclean’s reporter to her MP’s office in the Confederation Building across the street from Parliament Hill. It’s not an office the former Treasury Board president knows well: she had fancier and more centrally located ministerial offices in a succession of senior roles in Justin Trudeau’s cabinet since 2015, before she resigned from cabinet on March 4. Now she is only the Liberal MP for the Ontario riding of Markham—Stouffville.

This is Philpott’s first interview since she resigned over Trudeau’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin controversy. She believes, as she put it, that “there’s much more to the story that needs to be told” but that it can’t come out because “there’s been an attempt to shut down the story”—an attempt she attributed to the Prime Minister and his close advisors.

But she is also keenly aware, because she has been hearing from Liberal colleagues, that “there are people who are afraid that they’re not going to get elected because of what I did.” As she described that anger, the former minister said: “My only way of living with myself on that, is that this is not my fault. I did not start this.” Now she is trying to figure out how to see it through. MORE

 

When all else fails, blame women for the SNC-Lavalin scandal…

When all else fails, blame women for the SNC-Lavalin scandal…

In a recent op-edOttawa Citizen columnist Andrew Cohen blames the fallout from the SNC-Lavalin (SNC-L) affair on two women: Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott. According to Cohen, their impulsiveness, disloyalty, and short-sightedness “have put the achievements of the Trudeau government at real risk.”

By tarnishing the Liberal brand, these women have ruined everything.

While searching in earnest for scapegoats, Cohen forgot to mention the real villains in this soap opera.

SNC-L has never really warmed up to the “sunny ways” approach. The company has been debarred for 10 years by the World Bank, forbidden to bid on global projects as a result of high-level corruption in Bangladesh in 2009-2010.

Moreover, SNC-L faces charges of fraud and corruption in connection with nearly $48 million in payments made to Libyan government officials between 2001-2011. This does not include the $1.95 million spent on booze, nude dancers, porn stars and sex workers to spoil Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Saadi, when he was invited to Canada in 2008 by SNC-L.  MORE

SNC-Lavalin: Did Justin Trudeau break the law?

Analysis: On its face, Trudeau is accused of the same malfeasance attributed to Trump — meddling in the wheels of justice for political gain

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump. CP/AP

It’s increasingly clear that Canada isn’t particularly happy with Justin Trudeau for allegedly trying to interfere with the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. As Jane Philpott said upon her resignation from cabinet on Monday, “the solemn principles at stake are the independence and integrity of our justice system.”

Solemn principles are one thing, but did Trudeau break the law?

Below, the National Post bothered a bunch of legal experts to find out.

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