Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday May 28, 2019
Wilson-Raybould, Philpott to run again as independent candidates
Former ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will be running for re-election in the fall federal campaign as independent candidates, though have both cited an intent to align themselves with the Green Party on some issues.
The two former Liberals and close political allies donned white and unveiled their next political moves in consecutive announcements in their respective ridings on Monday. Meanwhile in Ottawa, Green Leader Elizabeth May said while she she’ll push for their re-election, she is “at a loss” as to why the two wouldn’t join her team after a serious courting.
Wilson-Raybould, who was Canada’s first-ever federal Indigenous justice minister and attorney general, said being an MP has been one of the greatest honours of her life and she wants to be elected again to return to the House of Commons, without any party affiliation.
“Today is a good day,” she said during the much-anticipated announcement in her Vancouver-Granville, B.C. riding. “I know who I am, and I am not a party person.”
Philpott, who held a trio of cabinet positions over the course of the last four years, said her decision to run again comes in part out of a desire to show young women that you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
“What lesson would it be for those young girls if I were to walk away… with my tail between my legs… I need to persevere,” Philpott said in her Markham-Stouffville Ont. riding announcement. “We’re going to do it together.”
Running as independents will prove to be tougher campaigns to wage and win, given the additional supports available to recognized parties in the Canadian electoral system. While they will likely continue to help each other, the political realities in their ridings differ. Wilson-Raybould won her seat in 2015 with 44 per cent of the vote, while Philpott won with 49 per cent.
“There will be challenges but with your support I am confident that running as an independent is the best way to go about it at this time, and the best way to transform our political culture,” said Wilson-Raybould.
Similarly, Philpott spoke about how this decision will free her from the confines of partisan politics. She said she hopes that her and Wilson-Raybould’s campaigns will start a tradition of more independent candidates running, and winning. (CTV)