Wilson-Raybould and Philpott to run as independents in fall election campaign

Carla Harmon
May 28, 2019

The pair made their plans known through separate but co-ordinated announcements in their ridings - Wilson-Raybould in Vancouver and Philpott outside Toronto.

After being kicked out of Liberal caucus, following her resignation from her position as Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence earlier this year, Jody Wilson-Raybould announced on Monday morning that she will run again in this year's federal election, as an independent candidate.

Wilson-Raybould pulled off a much more comfortable victory in British Columbia and looks to have the better chance.

"We sometimes hear that politics is a team sport, that politics is also a blood sport", Wilson-Raybould told a press conference in Vancouver.

Wilson-Raybould now sits as an independent MP for the Vancouver Granville riding, the riding that she will run again in, this fall.

"I do hear from people that they are exhausted of hyper-partisanship", she added.

She later revealed she thought the decision to move her out of Justice was motivated by her refusal to intervene in the criminal prosecution of the Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Their decision to run as independents could damage the Liberal party once campaigning begins, with Liberals anxious the two could inadvertently help the Conservatives form a government in October.

Philpott, who served as health minister, Indigenous-services minister and then president of the Treasury Board, also resigned over Trudeau's handling of the controversy. Throughout this time, she said she had the opportunity to reflect on what could be learned from "the events that transpired".

Both first-term MPs wore white, which Philpott said was to signify neutrality in working with political parties of different brand colours.

"That's not to say that I don't see the Green party as a natural ally because I do, particularly around issues of climate change and the environment and innovation", she said.

Both Philpott and Wilson-Raybould spoke highly of the Green party and its leader Elizabeth May, and acknowledged having repeated conversations about running for that party, but decided that Canadian politics needs more people beholden to no central authority. "Neither of them were interested in taking on leadership roles". "I'm not a party person". "There's no longer a political staff are telling me how to vote". She left the party in March over the handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair and following an interaction with Trudeau in which he allegedly yelled at her.

She thanked the public and cited the hundreds messages of support she received.

"We're going to continue to work together", she said.

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