Published: Fri, April 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Justin Trudeau defends feminist credentials after expelling former cabinet ministers

Justin Trudeau defends feminist credentials after expelling former cabinet ministers

Ms Philpott said she will remain an independent MP until her term is up.

"The trust that previously existed between these two individuals and our team has been broken", Mr Trudeau told an emergency meeting of caucus.

The scandal has led to multiple resignations and damaged the party for eight weeks.

They were also barred from running for the party in the federal election this October.

Liberals, who had once predicted the party could win an extra 20 seats in Quebec, now say that 15 is the most likely maximum gain.

Mr Trudeau said former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and former treasury board chief Jane Philpott would no longer be allowed to sit as Liberal legislators.

Ms Wilson-Raybould tweeted that Mr Trudeau had removed her and she will not be a Liberal candidate in the autumn election.

The company is accused of bribing officials in Libya with millions of dollars between 2001 and 2011 to secure government contracts there.

Standing next to her, Philpott said that she was "deeply moved" by the delegates' "passion, their enthusiasm, and the wisdom that was displayed".

Not all Liberals were happy with the decision.

"And that's why this is such a sad day and I hope that there will be an opportunity to be able to work with them in some capacity in the future, but the prime minister made the right decision".

She reiterated her belief that the government put inappropriate pressure on Ms Wilson-Raybould, and criticised the government for attacking Ms Wilson-Raybould's credibility.

Philpott finished by saying she would proudly serve the people of Markham-Stouffville for the remainder of the term.

Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said he expected Wilson-Raybould to be expelled.

'I have no regrets. "I spoke truth as I will continue to do".

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Conservative leader Andrew Scheer jumped on yesterday's expulsion as evidence of the Liberal government's corruption.

"If they can't honestly say they have confidence in this team... then they cannot be part of this team".

He added: "If you tell the truth, there is no room for you in the Liberal Party of Canada".

"Talking about unconscionable, it's unconscionable to tread over the independence of the prosecutors, it's unconscionable not to uphold the rule of law and I have always maintained that stance", the former attorney general said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived on the Hill Wednesday morning having to defend his feminist credentials, and by noon was facing a silent protest from dozens of politically-engaged young women. "We can't afford to make that mistake - Canadians are counting on us". "We will never apologize for doing so".

Wilson-Raybould provided a 17-minute audio recording to the House of Commons justice committee last week to bolster her contention that she was improperly pressured last fall to intervene to stop the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Second, that Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, who she had secretly recorded in a phone call, be fired. But that too seemed to backfire, galvanizing Liberal MPs in the belief that she could no longer be trusted. When that politician is a cabinet minister secretly recording a public servant, it's wrong.

Montreal MP Mendes, who was right that an MP should be punted once they lose confidence in the government, however, offered an entirely weird assessment of Wilson-Raybould's recording.

"I can't imagine who they are going to find to parachute in here".

The two were two high-profile women ministers in Trudeau's Cabinet, half of which are women.

But increasingly angry parliamentarians had demanded both women be removed from the caucus on the grounds they were undermining party unity.

"I would consider myself a strong woman and I've been elected by a riding that elected a woman for the very first time".

In a letter, Wilson-Raybould acknowledged her colleagues are enraged but said she was "trying to help protect the Prime Minister and the government from a frightful mess".

The first-term MP said he could not go into detail about the effort he made to mediate between the two sides because conversations between caucus members should be kept confidential. Enough has been said. Fellow MP Judy Sgro agreed the letter is "too little, too late".

Trudeau will have to begin that immediately.

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