Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 27, 2019
Morneau says fate of Wilson-Raybould, Philpott ‘will come down to caucus’
The decision about whether former ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will remain in the federal Liberal fold is up to caucus, says Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
Morneau made the comments Tuesday in Vancouver while on a tour to tout the new federal budget.
“It’s really not up to me to decide,” said Morneau, when asked if the pair should remain in caucus.
“They’ve said that they believe that they still want to follow what our Liberal Party has been doing. I think we’ve made enormous strides over the last few years, but it will come down to caucus to come to that conclusion.”
Wilson-Raybould, who quit cabinet on Feb. 12 over allegations the Prime Minister’s Office pressured her inappropriately to intervene in the corruption prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, has told her constituents she plans to run in the October federal election as a Liberal.
Morneau said he hasn’t spoken to Wilson-Raybould or Philpott because he’s been “busy through the process” of rolling out the budget but added that despite the rift, his sense was that MPs across caucus remain united and positive.
“They’re feeling good about the program, they’re feeling good that we’ve been invested in middle-class Canadians and they can see that this budget is going to do that as well, and there will always be people that have a different point of view,” he said.
Morneau also said he believes his office did not overstep its role in dealing with the SNC-Lavalin case, which he said includes thinking through the economic implications of policy decisions.
“I’ve been pretty clear in saying I didn’t really have any interactions with Jody Wilson-Raybould on this issue,” he said.
“She approached me at one stage to say our offices were talking. In my view, that’s appropriate for them to be talking. Of course, we’ve had a broader discussion about this, and the prime minister has been pretty clear in terms of our discussions and in terms of the fact that we followed the rule of law all the way through.” (Source: Global News)