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Trudeau broke law by kicking former ministers out of caucus, Philpott says

Last Updated Apr 9, 2019 at 6:01 pm EDT

Summary

Jane Philpott says the Prime Minister violated the law when he expelled her and Jody Wilson-Raybould from caucus


Philpott says Trudeau ejected her, Wilson-Raybould from Liberal caucus without a vote


OTTAWA – Former cabinet minister Jane Philpott says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the law when he expelled her and Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus.

During a point of personal privilege in the House of Commons, Philpott noted the Parliament of Canada Act says MPs can’t be kicked out of their party groups without a vote and Trudeau ejected them on his own.

“In doing so, the prime minister deprived members of their rights to determine the expulsion of a caucus colleague on a secret ballot vote,” Philpott said.

She claims the law requires a vote, but Liberals say parties had to choose whether or not they wanted to follow the caucus vote rule. The Liberals decided not to, which means this doesn’t apply.

“The will of caucus was very clear, but I made the decision,” Trudeau said.

A set of amendments in 2015 was meant to make it more difficult to remove MPs from their caucuses, to shift power away from party leaders and toward rank-and-file legislators.

Philpott said if Trudeau had followed the rules, it would have taken 90 Liberal MPs to vote to kick her and Wilson-Raybould out, and no such vote was held before Trudeau expelled them on the grounds that the caucus didn’t trust them any more.

The two former ministers have been thorns in Trudeau’s side in the SNC-Lavalin affair, with both resigning from cabinet over the way the controversy has been handled.

Philpott has asked Speaker Geoff Regan to declare that their privileges were violated. The speaker will now decide whether there was a violation of the act.