OTTAWA – Former Canadian cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were kicked out of the parliamentary caucus of the ruling Liberal Party by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.
Wilson-Raybould said in February that officials had inappropriately pressured her to get a deferred prosecution agreement so construction firm SNC-Lavalin could escape a corruption trial. The prime minister has denied this.
Trudeau said trust had been broken. It comes after documents submitted to Commons justice committee on Friday included a 17-minute audiotape where Wilson-Raybould had recorded a conversation last December with Privy Council Michael Wernick.
The prime minister and Liberal party leader told the national Liberal caucus meeting, which was called last minute, that the pair had to leave because they could got express confidence in the caucus.
Trudeau, who has seen his personal polling drop to the lowest levels of his first term, said he came to power with the aim of ending Liberal infighting that had damaged the party in the past, explaining civil wars can give the perception to citizens that politicians care more about party politics than serving the public.
“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 before the announcement.