Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Surrey. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Elizabeth May says expelled Liberal MPs ‘very brave’

Trudeau expelled Liberal MPs Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from caucus Tuesday afternoon

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May appears to like a good puzzle as much as the next gal. Perhaps that’s why she spent considerable time Tuesday morning in Surrey speaking to the SNC-Lavalin issue and sticking up for her fellow MP at the centre of the storm, the now-former Liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould.

“I believe Jody Wilson-Raybould has been very honourable in her work, very impressive, she has a lot of integrity,” said May, speaking at a Surrey Board of Trade function showcasing leaders of Canada’s federal parties in a series of meetings in this city.

READ ALSO: Elizabeth May aims to reprise ‘great Surrey breakthrough’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expelled Liberal MPs Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from caucus Tuesday.

“When we were elected in 2015 we won because we stood together as a team,” Trudeau told reporters afterward. “The old Liberal party was notorious for infighting. My leadership was a commitment to change that.”

homelessphoto

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (File photo)

“Civil wars within parties are incredibly damaging because they signal to Canadians that we care more about ourselves than we care about them,” Trudeau told reporters. “That’s why I made the difficult decision to remove Ms. Wilson Raybould and Dr. Philpott from the Liberal caucus.

“We’ve taken every effort to address their concerns. But ultimately if they can’t honestly say that they have confidence in this team, despite weeks of testimony, face-to-face conversations and phone calls with myself and other members of caucus, then they cannot be part of this team.”

Meantime, May said Wilson-Raybould and Philpott are “very brave. But they’re not the norm.”

READ ALSO: Supporters in Vancouver riding would back Wilson-Raybould as an Independent

An audience member remarked that as far as she could see no laws were broken and yet Wilson-Raybould “is burning down the House.”

May replied that that “the laws weren’t broken because she held firm.”

“The constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence really matters,” the Green Party leader said. “We can’t be a country where if you’re big enough and rich enough, you get a get-out-of jail-free card.

“In this case the prosecutorial independence is not the attorney general’s, the prosecutorial independence is to protect the independence of the director of public prosecutions,” she said. “She’s the only one, other that the attorney general, who’s looked through the evidence they have on SNC-Lavalin and made a determination under the law, does this corporation qualify for this new tool, deferred prosecution agreement, which I voted for because it looked pretty benign when I read the whole omnibus budget.

“I didn’t know it was for SNC-Lavalin,” May said. “I read the reasons it could be used and thought they were satisfactory. Well, I think they may be satisfactory because the director of public prosecutions in this country looked at the criteria under the deferred prosecution agreement, which included such things as a corporation can qualify if it self-reported its crime. SNC-Lavalin didn’t self-report.”

“We need to look at the evidence,” May said, “before we decide that the attorney general should do something unprecedented and intervene and tell the director of public prosecutions you’re going to give this company a deal.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read