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

Castlegar woman to appear on Dragons’ Den

Happy Gut sells water kefir beverages and kits to make water kefir at home.

Four injured in Wednesday evening crash near Beasley

Police say alcohol may have been a factor in the incident

Update: accident between Castlegar and Nelson closes Hwy. 3

DriveBC estimates road will re-open at 2:15 a.m.

Green candidate reflects on South Okanagan-West Kootenay campaign

Rosslander Tara Howse talks about the highs and lows of running for office

Basin beer commercials on tap tonight at Trail theatre

The adults-only event in the Royal Theatre starts at 7 p.m.

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Louis C.K. accuser ‘infuriated’ by Canadian comedy booker’s defence

Accuser says she did not consent to C.K. undressing and masturbating in front of her

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference faces criticism over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

Most Read