Jody Wilson-Raybould has expressed optimism for her political future after announcing on Monday (May 27) that she intends to run in the next federal election as an independent.
“I know myself and I feel that running as an independent is the right choice,” the former Liberal MP representing Vancouver Granville told CBC’s The Early Edition. “I want to continue to work with the Green Party—with all parties—to ensure we find the best solutions to issues that we're facing and that those solutions aren't necessarily confined to one partisan box.”
Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, the former Liberal MP representing the Ontario riding of Markham-Stouffville, were both kicked out of the federal Liberal caucus after they publicly opposed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office’s attempts to see a deferred prosecution agreement granted to SNC-Lavalin.
There was subsequently widespread speculation that Wislon-Raybould and Philpott might align themselves with the Green Party of Canada.
After both women announced yesterday that they would not and instead run as independents, Green party leader Elizabeth May openly expressed dismay for their decisions.
“I honestly think they’ve made a mistake,” May told CTV News. “I hope they get re-elected as independents.”
On CBC’s Early Edition, host Stephen Quinn asked Wilson-Raybould about how she intends to handle a number of issues as a member of Parliament who’s no longer beholden to the Liberals. For example, what does she think about Trudeau’s decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and his government pledging billions of dollars for an expansion that will see the pipeline carry more diluted bitumen from Alberta to a port in Burnaby?
“This is an issue of concern to the people in Vancouver-Granville and throughout the Lower Mainland, as it should be,” Wilson-Raybould replied. “We have to ensure we hold the government accountable around actually recognizing the jurisdiction and rights of Indigenous peoples and setting a framework where any project in the territory recognizes those rights. I don't think that we've done or that the government has done enough.”
Wilson-Raybould expressed no regrets for how she handled the SNC-Lavalin affair that resulted in her expulsion from the Liberal caucus.
“I feel very comfortable with what I provided on the SNC matter,” she said. “I feel comfortable with the position and the approach that I took as the attorney general in ensuring that I upheld the independence of the public prosecutor.”