Justin Trudeau removes senators from Liberal caucus
Justin Trudeau has expelled from his caucus every single Liberal member of the upper house and has declared there is no longer any such thing as a Liberal Senator.
The Liberal leader said the former members of the Liberal Senate caucus will sit as Independents, and they will have no formal ties to the Liberal parliamentary machinery apart from through their friendships.
Trudeau’s decision will see some lifelong Liberals and key party operators and fundraisers removed from the party’s caucus and forced outside its inner circles – a foundation-shaking decision in a business where power is derived from membership in a political club and the ability to access its best back rooms.
“The only way to be a part of the Liberal caucus is to be put there by the people of Canada,” Trudeau said.
The move stunned both Liberal senators and senior Liberal Senate staffers, who had not been formally advised of the decision. It also blindsided veteran insiders and political observers who had no inkling about the change.
Trudeau’s surprise move came as all parties held their caucus meetings in Ottawa.
Those meetings typically include both MPs and senators.
But sources told CBC News that Liberal MPs and senators were separated and sent to meet in different rooms.
Trudeau advised senators of his decision just after 9 a.m.
Sources said the senators listened and did not ask many questions.
“The Senate is broken and needs to be fixed,” Trudeau told them.
At a news conference just a few minutes later, Trudeau explained why he had made the decision. (Source: CBC News)