Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expelled former ministers, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus over their position on the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Currently the Montreal engineering giant is facing a criminal trial for bribing foreign officials to secure contracts in Libya. If prosecuted the company would face a prolonged suspension from obtaining federal contracts.
Trudeau cited a total breakdown of trust with the two former female cabinet members as the reason behind his decision. The move came shortly after members of the Liberal party met to decide the fate of the two outstanding MPs.
“The trust that previously existed between these two individuals and our team has been broken, whether it’s taping conversations without consent, or repeatedly expressing a lack of confidence in our government or me personally as leader,” said Justin Trudeau.
The decision by the PM comes shortly after former justice minister Wilson-Raybould submitted evidence to the justice committee, including a recording implicating Michael Wernick and the Prime Minister’s Office in attempts to politically pressure her into intervening on behalf of SNC-Lavalin.
Since her expulsion, Wilson-Raybould has taken to her social media to stand by her choice and has previously maintained that her decision to record the phone call with Wernick was necessary for the wellbeing of the party and Canada’s justice system.
“Reflecting on what PM has done, my thoughts are w/ my constituents in [Vancouver-Granville], my dedicated staff & volunteers, my family & friends & all Canadians who believed in a new way of doing politics,” wrote Wilson-Raybould on her Twitter account.
Shortly before the decision by Liberal executives to remove the two from caucus, Wilson-Raybould said that she hoped to remain in the caucus despite the situation.
“I do not believe that I should be removed from caucus for doing my job and for doing what I believe is right,” she said.
In her own statement, MP Jane Philpott claimed that she was not provided with the opportunity to speak to the caucus before her dismissal.
“Sadly the decision was made without me being provided any opportunity to speak to national caucus. This is profoundly disheartening for me, my staff and my family – and I know people in Markham-Stouffville will also be disappointed,” said Philpott.
Due to their dismissal, both MPs will have to find another party banner to run under in October, or proceed independently in the next election.