Canada: PM expels ex-ministers for ending Liberal Party crisis

Published: April 3, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has expelled two ex-cabinet ministers who had undermined the Liberal Party which is currently in power in a bid to put an end to the worst crisis of his entire tenure. PM had categorically announced that former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Treasury Board Minister Jane Philpott will not be allowed to sit amongst the Liberal legislators.

The Liberal Party had been facing a severe crisis as the Wilson-Raybould had said in February she was pressurised to make sure that the construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. had successfully escaped a corruption trial while she was the minister of the justice. Trudeau told the media, “The trust that previously existed between these two individuals and our team has been broken. Our political opponents win when Liberals are divided. We can’t afford to make that mistake. Canadians are counting on us.” Trudeau had assumed office in 2015 and had to face re-election in 2019. PM Trudeau said it was repeated questioning of the leadership and also the publicising of a secretly recorded conversation by Wilson Raybould which she had with the top civil servant of Canada Michael Wernick. He called that act as ‘unconscionable’. Wilson-Raybould had been demoted in January and it was in February that she resigned. Philpott also resigned soon after stating that she was not confident of the way Justin Trudeau is handling the whole situation.

The recent move is seen as a defeat of Trudeau who had stated last week that the Liberal Party needs such strong legislators who have different points of view. It was the mounting parliamentary pressure of angry legislators who had demanded the removal of both the women from caucus as they were said to be hurting and undermining the unity of the Liberal Party. The whole scandal has severely hit the Liberal Party and the possibility that they will lose the October elections to the Conservatives who now sit in the Opposition is gaining strength. Many legislators resigned from their posts amid the scandal like Gerry Butts who was the top aide of Trudeau and also a close friend. Liberals are also losing their support base in Quebec where they will have to bag more seats in the October election in order to remain in power.

 

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