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Canada's Trudeau expels former allies from caucus

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 3, 2019 - Duration: 02:15s

Canada's Trudeau expels former allies from caucus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seeks to quell a crisis that threatens his chances of re-election, expelling from party ranks two former Cabinet members he said had undermined the ruling Liberals.

Ryan Brooks reports.

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Canada's Trudeau expels former allies from caucus

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU SAYING: The trust that previously existed between these two individuals and our team has been broken.

Canada's Justin Trudeau booted two former ministers from the Liberal caucus on Tuesday (April 2).

Both of them - key players in the worst crisis of his time in office.

Trudeau claims they undermined the ruling party.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU SAYING: Whether it's taping conversations without consent or repeatedly expressing a lack of confidence in our government and in me personally as leader, it's become clear that Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Philpott can no longer remain part of our Liberal team.

It's a move by Trudeau to end the turmoil as he faces mounting allegations in a corruption scandal.

The liberals have been reeling since February - when former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould quit her post.

She claimed that officials had inappropriately pressured her...to ensure a Quebec construction company would escape a corruption trial last year.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JODY WILSON-RAYBOULD, SAYING: "I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutoral discretion, in my role as the Attorney General of Canada, in an inappropriate effort to secure a deferred prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin." Former treasury board minister Jane Philpott quit soon afterwards - saying that she had lost confidence in how Trudeau handled the matter.

The Prime Minister has denied any wrongdoing.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU SAYING: "In regards to standing up for jobs and defending the integrity of our rule of law, I continue to say that there was no inappropriate pressure.

Wilson-Raybould responded to her expulsion on Twitter.

She says she had no regrets, that quote: "I spoke the truth as I will continue to do." Tuesday's developments were a change of course for Trudeau - who has recently said the Liberals need strong legislators with different points of view.

But he's faced challenges from parliament - where many demand that the two women be removed from caucus for undermining party unity.

Opinion polls have shown that the crisis has cut public support for the Liberals, so much so that they could lose the election in October to opposition Conservatives.

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