The Latest: Canada’s ex-AG removed from Liberal party caucus

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TORONTO — The Latest on Canada’s ex-attorney general (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

Canada’s former attorney general says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told her she’s been removed from the Liberal party caucus amid a scandal that has rocked Trudeau’s government in an election year.

Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted Tuesday that Trudeau removed her and will not be a Liberal candidate in the fall election.

Truderau and Liberal lawmakers were meeting Tuesday evening to discuss Wilson-Raybould after she publicized a secretly recorded conversation she had with Michael Wernick, Canada’s top civil servant.

Wilson-Raybould believes she was demoted from her role as attorney general and justice minister to minister of veterans’ affairs because she didn’t give in to pressure to enter into a remediation agreement with a Canadian company so that it would avoid a potentially crippling criminal prosecution.

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

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 horrible mess.”

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4 p.m.

Canada’s former attorney general pleaded with her colleagues Tuesday to let her remain in the Liberal party caucus amid a scandal that has rocked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in an election year.

Liberal lawmakers are expected to vote as soon as Tuesday evening to oust Jody Wilson-Raybould after she publicized a secretly recorded conversation she had with Michael Wernick, Canada’s top civil servant.

Trudeau is meeting with Liberal lawmakers and will make remarks to the media after.

Wilson-Raybould believes she was demoted from her role as attorney general and justice minister to minister of veterans’ affairs because she didn’t give in to pressure to enter into a remediation agreement with a Canadian company so that it would avoid a potentially crippling criminal prosecution.

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

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 horrible mess.”

“Now I know many of you are angry, hurt, and frustrated. And frankly so am I, and I can only speak for myself. I am angry, hurt, and frustrated because I feel and believe I was upholding the values that we all committed to,” Wilson-Raybould wrote to colleagues.

“Ultimately the choice that is before you is about what kind of party you want to be a part of, what values it will uphold, the vision that animates it, and indeed the type of people it will attract and make it up.”

Trudeau has been on the defensive since the Globe and Mail newspaper reported Feb. 7 via sources that Trudeau’s staff put pressure on Wilson-Raybould. She denied she was the source of the story, writing “I am not the one who tried to interfere in sensitive proceedings, I am not the one who made it public, and I am not the one who publicly denied what happened.”

The secret recording Wilson-Raybould made public shows Wernick telling Wilson-Raybould that Trudeau “is determined, quite firm” in finding a way to avoid a prosecution that could put 9,000 jobs at risk.

It also reveals Wilson-Raybould saying she regards the pressure as “inappropriate.”

Wilson-Raybould has refused to express support for Trudeau, a demand many Liberal lawmakers say is necessary if she is to remain in Parliament as part of the party caucus.

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

“Her letter, I believe, sets the stage for her run at the Liberal leadership if the Liberals lose in October and Justin Trudeau steps down,” Wiseman said.

“She is a victim of the parliamentary system which in Canada imposes sturdier party discipline than in any of the other Westminster parliamentary systems. The letter reveals her naiveté, as a rookie Member of Parliament, about how the system works.”

The Liberal caucus could also vote to remove Jane Philpott, a former Cabinet minister who stepped from her role after she said she lost confidence in how the government has handled the affair.

The Associated Press

10 COMMENTS

  1. It is sort of sad that a minister can lose her job for being honest and following the rule of law. Mr. Trudeau needs to take a lesson from her. So she taped a conversation that she felt she had to. It is great that she did because now we know more of what really happened.

    • Agreed. Granted, it is unlikely to be the first action anyone in her position would take, but she had every reason to be suspicious of what the head of the privy council wanted to chat with her about, given the chronology of events. She had been hounded by a number of officials (and had proof of this) prior to this point about ‘solving the problem’ of SNC Lavalin, despite her having stated her position on the matter. She would not interfere with the Dept of Public Prosecution, and that was that. They were running out of people to pressure her.
      I do not believe that JWR gave a fig about losing her position. She knew that taping a conversation could go either way for her. And, although it is considered ‘inappropriate’, her actions of taping a conversation were not illegal.

  2. Thanks Bill for identifying to all that you support the ndp. Now I know how much stupidity is involved in your comments. You seem to have some issues with strong women.

  3. I truly can not believe that anyone, with even an ounce of intelligence and integrity, would support this fake-feminist, egotistical, so-called pm of this great Country. Ms. Wilson-Raybould, in my opinion, had no choice but to tape the conversation, because this gang of unbelievables – butts, warnick and the so-called pm were ganging up on her. And why were they doing this; because Ms. Ray-Bould has scruples, she stuck to her principles. Ms. Wilson-RayBould performed in her position as Attorney General with honour and integrity. Ms. Wilson Ray-Bould was not the villain in this whole snc scandal-plagued lib government – the pm and his gang of misfits were. Keep that in mind as we move closer to this federal election on Oct. 21.

  4. Please name one time before her excommunication from the Liberal Party when Liberal MP Wilson-Raybould “stiffed” her “boos”.

    It didn’t happen. Not even once.

    You do, however, bring up an interesting comparison Bill(1), that of “boss” (CEO) and direct senior level subordinate “employee” in a corporate workplace.

    Q/ How would boss Justin Trudeau’s actions as CEO towards senior level subordinate, yet independent, “employee” Jody Wiilson–Raybould go in a corporate workplace?

    A/ CEO Justin Trudeau would be fired by his Board of Directors – https://globalnews.ca/news/5106545/justin-trudeau-jody-wilson-raybould-3/

    But not in the Secret Societies of the mainstream political parties. Their “bosses” can browbeat their “employees” then fire the “employees” for secretly DOCUMENTING their browbeating “boss'” behaviours for protection against constructive dismissal.

    Unfortunately we’ve all had a boss like that, and we all know what Ms. Wilson-Rabould went through to keep doing her jobs for Canada (AG), and for the people of her riding (MP) with such undeniable professionalism and integrity.

    We all know what Ms. Wilson-Raybould went through was very very difficult, and DOCUMENTING the many aggressors’ behaviour in her Secret Society workplace was the good and right thing to do to protect herself and others who will definitely come after her, and who will face the same browbeating behaviours from their mainstream political party bosses.

    It will take strong, principled leadership of integrity to change this in political parties.

    My personal heartfelt thanks go out to MP Philpot and most especially MP Wilson-Raybould for giving us the opportunity to fix this “blind trust and unquestioning support of the Leader that sees good members/people get excommunicated” problem in political parties.

    This whole “blind trust and unquestioning support of the Leader” political party thing reminds me a lot about the cover-up of Priests’ criminal activities in the Catholic Church.

    It’s taken a strong, principled Pope Paul, a leader of unquestionable caring and integrity, to make massive changes to the Secret Society of the Pope-hood to begin fix the problem, and give the affected members of the Catholic Church a chance to heal, and to give all members of the Catholic community a chance to, once again, look to their leaders as a source of hope and inspiration instead of looking at them with suspicion and doubt.

    Thank you very much MP Jody Wilson-Raybould. You have done Canada a great kindness.

    But our work is not yet done.

    Sincerely,
    Citizen Mark Brown

    • Not interested in your off-base comments , Mark, and I don’t need lessons from you on how to deal with employers or employees having been on both sides of the coin many times in my long life.., She stiffed her boss and now she’s out, as it should be… She is also now in a position of not being trusted by her co-workers because you will never be sure if she’s taping you or not, and if she is gonna go after you next.. The NDP is making noises about taking her on and they will never get this vote if they do… See you at the next council meeting….:)…

    • Hi Bill,

      I’ll concede that you probably know a lot about being a good boss, and being a good employee in a corporate setting, but you also probably know virtually nothing about how Registered Political Parties operate in Canada.

      One of the main differences is that Political Parties are totalitarian dictatorships with the Leader holing all of the power.

      The Party Leader, and the Party Leader alone, gets to:

      – Pick Candidates
      – Pick Cabinet Ministers
      – Pick who can and cannot speak in the House of Commons
      – Enforce Caucus Confidentiality
      – Boot, excommunicate, fire duly elected MPs out of the Party for whatever reason they want.

      Documenting a private conversation is NOT a sufficient reason for firing someone in the private sector, Bill, there are LEGAL PROTECTIONS for employees, but as we saw yesterday Party Leader can invalidate the votes of tens of thousands of voters by firing a duly elected member of their Party for as little as AGREEING WIYH a fellow Party MP who documents a private conversation.

      Totalitarian.

      Dictatorship.

      No Legal Employment Protections for Party Members.

      Unfortunately this has absolutely nothing to do with your significant experience in the private sector Bill.

      Registered Political Party Leaders and their personal advisors have way too much power.

      A Royal Commission needs to look at this Political Party expulsion situation.

      Nobody should be permitted to fire someone WITHOUT LEGAL CAUSE in this country, and most especially NOT a duly elected Member of Parliament.

      MPs need Legal Protections to respectfully disagree with their Leaders.

      The Leader is NOT the Party.

      The Party Members and their Policies are the Party.

      Things have got to change with respect to Registered Political Parties, and Legal Protections for their elected Members, and there is much work to do.

      Royal Commission.

      Citizen Mark Brown

    • P.S. Jody Wilson-Raybould taped ONE conversation with ONE UN-ELECTED emissary of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to succinctly prove Criminal Political Interferece. That’s not exactly a credible basis for the hyperbolic statement, “now nobody can trust her.”

  5. Don’t care where you work or what your job is, you can’t keep stiffing your boss and expect to keep your job.. I’m only surprised it took this long to boot her out.. When you start secretly taping conversations you lose the trust of all those around you.. Glad to see her gone, really……

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