High Time Trudeau Booted Philpott, Wilson-Raybould


Last week, Justin Trudeau kicked MPs Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott out of the federal Liberal caucus. Finally.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m a woman, a feminist even, and I wholeheartedly believe both women should have had their bags packed weeks ago, along with friendly advice not to let the door hit them on the way out. 

How dare I? The truth on this one is simple. If you’re an employer who, both in practice and principle, promotes women into leadership positions in your company, there is no expectation that you are to allow them free rein to do whatever they want, including attempting to destroy your company.

What sane CEO or business owner would do that? 

I hate to break it to you, but politics is no different. Wilson-Raybould may have had an ethical leg to stand on at one point, but she lost the moral high ground when she started releasing conversations that she secretly taped — conversations in which she clearly baited her subject to say something incriminating.

In case it’s not abundantly obvious, I’m here to say that the SNC-Lavalin scandal may be a lot of things, but it most certainly is not about gender. It’s about governance, and it’s about being an elected member of a political team. 

If you want to use that to get to the always-helpful sports analogy, let’s do it. Whether it’s a men’s, women’s or co-ed team, if you’re a player not working actively to score goals and win games, you’re not going to be a member of the team very long. 

I think Trudeau’s office and his party did exactly what any other government and party would have done if they had been in office, no matter how hard the federal Conservatives try to pretend they’re morally outraged. 

I also think that Wilson-Raybould was unyielding, in this instance, to her team. That is fine, but when they refused to yield back to her, she didn’t just decide to get angry; she decided to get even.

If you think only women are capable of doing that, especially in a political environment, then perhaps you want to check your own attitude toward gender stereotypes.

Where one sits on this issue — in public, anyway — appears to be divided neatly along partisan lines. If you’re on the left, you’re convinced that not only is this about Wilson-Raybould’s gender, but also about her Indigenous background. If you’re on the right, it’s about her gender, which conveniently feeds into the narrative that not only is Trudeau corrupt, he’s a misogynist hiding in feminist clothing.

If anything, the whole thing does feel very high school, complete with the backstabbing, the gossip and the cliques, the rebels and cool kids.

Some want to take that a step further and make it about a boy pressuring a girl to do something she doesn’t want to. Sorry, but no. This is about grown-ups desperately trying, and failing, to be adults making very important decisions. If anything it’s a pox on all their houses. 

An equal-opportunity pox, though, you can be sure.