Trudeau expels ex ministers in bid to end Liberal Party crisis

The prime minister's former principal secretary, Gerald Butts, has submitted text conversations he had with Jody Wilson-Raybould that show the tensions between the PMO and the former justice minister as she was being shuffled into a different portfolio.

Wilson Raybould, the former attorney general, first broke the news that she had been removed from caucus, saying in a post on Twitter Tuesday evening that she had also been removed as a party candidate in Vancouver Granville.

The Ontario caucus of the federal Liberals was expected to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss whether or not to give Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott the boot after they said they lost confidence in the Prime Minister over the SNC-Lavalin affair.

"Rather than acknowledge the obvious - that a range of individuals had inappropriately attempted to pressure the former Attorney General in relation to a prosecutorial decision - and apologize for what occurred, a decision was made to attempt to deny the obvious - to attack Jody Wilson-Raybould's credibility and attempt to blame her", Philpott said.

It's the latest twist in the turmoil that has roiled the top ranks of the Trudeau government for weeks, fuelled by allegations that Wilson-Raybould was improperly pressured by the Prime Minister's Office to intervene in the criminal prosecution of the Montreal-based engineering firm.

In a letter, Wilson-Raybould acknowledged her colleagues are enraged but said she was "trying to help protect the Prime Minister and the government from a frightful mess".

Trudeau told Wilson-Raybould on January 7, while she was vacationing in Bali, that he was moving her to Indigenous Services to replace Jane Philpott whom he was moving to Treasury Board to fill the void left by the retirement of Scott Brison.

"It's become clear that Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Philpott can no longer be part of our Liberal team".

So while the release of the recordings help Wilson-Raybould prove her side of the story, the legal and ethical implications of secretly recording a conversation must also be addressed. What I know - as you must - is that there is a robust and proud record of what our government has done - through my work and that of the (Department of Justice) ...

Trudeau cited repeated questioning of his leadership as well as the fact that Wilson-Raybould publicised a secretly recorded conversation she had with Michael Wernick, Canada's top civil servant. "I am angry, hurt, and frustrated because I feel and believe I was upholding the values that we all committed to", the letter read.

"I am not the one who tried to interfere in sensitive proceedings, I am not the one who made it public, and I am not the one who publicly denied what happened", she wrote. This situation is only going to deepen and I am very anxious about it.

She said she believed the Liberal party shared her vision to build a stronger Canada when it took power in 2015, but the party has strayed from that. "Enough has been said". Tourism Minister Melanie Joly called it "fundamentally wrong".

But two days later, she implied that moving Prince out of Justice was part of a plan to install a new chief of staff who would be more supportive of intervention in the SNC-Lavalin file.

Wilson-Raybould faced criticism from her own party over her decision to secretly record her conversation with Wernick. She pushes back, saying she would not override the decision of the director of public prosecutions to pursue a criminal prosecution against SNC-Lavalin for bribery and fraud related to its activities in Libya.

Wernick told her Trudeau was "quite determined" on the matter and would likely "find a way to get it done one way or another".

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