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Wilson-Raybould, Philpott to seek re-election as independent candidates this fall

Last Updated May 27, 2019 at 1:16 pm PDT

Jody Wilson-Raybould says she will run as an independent candidate in the upcoming fall federal election. (Ash Kelly, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Jane Philpott to run as independent candidates in fall federal election

Both former Liberal cabinet ministers resigned over the SNC-Lavalin controversy

MARKHAM, Ont. — Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will be seeking re-election in their respective ridings as independent candidates this fall.

Both former Liberal cabinet ministers resigned over the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

“Today is a good day,” Wilson-Raybould said in her Vancouver Granville riding on Monday. “It is after much deliberation that I have decided to put my name forward for re-election in the 2019 election in Vancouver Granville. And in this election, I will be running as an independent candidate.”

Wilson-Raybould said she found herself in “uncharted waters” in recent months. Throughout this time, she said she had the opportunity to reflect on what could be learned from “the events that transpired.”

Wilson-Raybould served as justice minister in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet before she was shuffled to the portfolio of veterans affairs in January.

She later revealed she thought the decision to move her out of the justice role was motivated by her handling of a request to intervene in the criminal prosecution of the Quebec engineering giant, SNC-Lavalin.

Over the past few months, Wilson-Raybould added she had received a lot of support, with many people sharing their thoughts on what she should do next.

“The overwhelming message I received was clear,” she said. “Clear how we need to do politics differently. That partisanship is trumping principle, that exclusion is trumping inclusion, and the lack of diversity of voices was simply unacceptable, and there is too much power in the centre.”

Philpott announced her plan to run as an independent in the fall federal election at a news conference in her Ontario riding of Markham-Stouffville.

She said she had heard from a number of people who said they were getting tired of “hyper-partisan politics.”

“They said to me, ‘The system seems to be dysfunctional. It seems like all they’re doing up there in Ottawa is fighting with each other, and there’s a disconnect. We don’t feel like the people in Ottawa are connected to us, the people. Party politics is a big part of the disconnect and the dysfunction.’

“I heard what you wanted,” Philpott added. “You said you want politicians who will treat each other with respect. Who will collaborate and work together across party lines, who will believe in what is possible and find the voices, find the minds, find the creativity across all the parties to solve the big problems that are facing us.”

Philpott, a former health minister, Indigenous-services minister and president of the Treasury Board, resigned from cabinet in early March over Trudeau’s handling of the affair.

She said on Monday that the people want politicians who are authentic, accountable, and willing to admit their mistakes.

“People want politicians that are bold, that realize that we have some serious existential threats in this country,” Philpott said, noting climate change as an important topic.

WATCH LIVE: Jane Philpott announces news about political future

In early April, both women were ousted from the Liberal caucus.