The Current

Wilson-Raybould, Philpott may have rejected Greens to keep Liberal door open, pundit says

Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott have both eschewed joining the Green Party to run as Independents — and one political analyst suggests they may have done so to leave open the possibility of rejoining their former party down the line.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May opened an invitation to both MPs, who instead will run as Independent MPs

Jody Wilson-Raybould, right, and Jane Philpott both announced Monday that they would seek re-election this fall as Independent MPs, despite an invite from the Greens. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
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Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott have both eschewed joining the Green Party to run as Independents in the next federal election — and one political analyst suggests they may have done so to leave open the possibility of rejoining their former party down the line.

"It is somewhat puzzling that they decided not to join the Greens. So I think that is because they're keeping the door open to possibly rejoining the Liberals," said HuffPost Canada's Ottawa bureau chief Althia Raj.

As part of Elizabeth May's Green Party, Wilson-Raybould and Philpott "would have been able to do everything that they say they can do as an Independent," Raj told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

Following their departure from the cabinet and caucus, there was widespread speculation — including an invitation from May herself — that the two former Liberal MPs might join the Greens.

Despite this, both MPs announced Monday their plans to seek re-election as Independent candidates in the fall election campaign.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said she was disappointed Wilson-Raybould and Philpott decided not to join her party after weeks of discussion. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The two politicians were ejected from the Liberal caucus in early April following a months-long scandal wherein Wilson-Raybould allegedly faced inappropriate political pressure on the SNC-Lavalin criminal prosecution decision.

To discuss the role Independent MPs could play in this fall's election, as well as how tech giants like Facebook could impact leadership campaigns, Tremonti spoke to:

  • Althia Raj, HuffPost Canada's Ottawa bureau chief.
  • Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star Ottawa bureau chief and national columnist.
  • Chris Hall, the CBC's National Affairs Editor and host of The House.

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.


With files from CBC News. Produced by Idella Sturino.

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