, 03.21.2019 08:54 AM

The Jane Philpott interview: this is extraordinary

Paul Wells and Maclean’s have got the first interview with Jane Philpott – former Minister of Health, former Treasury Board President, former Minister of Indigenous Services – and it is incredible.

From the very first time I met Jane, and spoke at her riding association many years ago, I believed her to be principled and brilliant.  And the kind of person we need in public life.

Reading some of the snippets below, I am reminded of how principled and brilliant she truly is.  And I convinced, more than ever, that the true is like water.

It will find a way out.


Q: When you left cabinet, did you have a strategic goal in mind? What was the point of resigning?

A: I resigned because I could not maintain solidarity with cabinet on the specific issue of the management of the SNC-Lavalin issue. I felt that there was evidence of an attempt to politically interfere with the justice system in its work on the criminal trial that has been described by some as the most important and serious prosecution of corporate corruption in modern Canadian history.

A: No. There’s much more to the story that should be told.

Q: What sort of stuff?

A: I believe the former attorney general has further points to make. I believe that I have further issues of concern that I’m not free to share. There was a reference by Gerry Butts in his testimony of the fact that I spoke to the Prime Minister on January the 6th about SNC-Lavalin’s desire to have a DPA [deferred prosecution agreement]. This was more than a month before the story became public. And I ordinarily would have not been allowed to share that information. But of course it’s already on the public record from the Justice Committee. I think Canadians might want to know why I would have raised that with the Prime Minister a month before the public knew about it. Why would I have felt that there was a reason why former Minister Wilson-Raybould should not be shuffled?

Q: In what forum would you like to discuss all of this?

A: My sense is that Canadians would like to know the whole story. I believe we actually owe it to Canadians as politicians to ensure that they have the truth. They need to have confidence in the very basic constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system.

Q: Mr. Butts said, essentially, ‘Come on, this doesn’t rise to the level of harassment, or bugging, or even sustained engagement. It’s 20 interactions over four months. It’s two phone calls and two meetings per month.’

A: The constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system is such that the attorney general of our country should not be subjected to political interference in any way. Whether there is one attempt to interfere or whether there are 20 attempts to interfere, that crosses ethical and constitutional lines.

Q: Now there’s an Ethics Commissioner investigation. Michael Wernick seemed to have a lot of confidence in the Ethics Commissioner. Do you think that can capture everything that needs capturing?

A: My sense is that they will not have the appropriate tools to be able to get at all of this.

Q: What’s missing?

A: If nothing wrong took place, then why don’t we waive privilege on the whole issue and let those who have something to say on it speak their minds and share their stories?

Q: The Finance Minister [Bill Morneau] said your resignation from cabinet was an expression of personal friendship with Jody Wilson-Raybould. What do you make of that?

A: I think that’s an insult.

Q: How so?

A: I don’t make decisions on any policy — and definitely not on a matter of principle — based on friendship. I made the very difficult decision to step down because my conscience demanded it.



  1. Another winning comment from the FINMIN…

  2. Luke says:

    Read the whole thing. Leadership aspirations or not, I’d love to see her or JWR in charge of this place.

    • Jake says:

      Yes plenty more to the story. RCMP to investigate. But wait SNC Lavalin should have been under surveillance by the RCMP after the Charbonneau Commission because of election improprieties and the other bribery charges to see if there were others.
      Therefore what does the RCMP know about SNC Lavalin and Trudeau link. The discussions and possible bribery that may have occurred to bring about the DPA coming into law is what many Canadians are asking about and whether the RCMP have checked Butts Trudeau and others bank accounts for bribe money and were they conducting at any time surveillance on SNC Lavalin in order to observe wrongful conduct between PMO and SNC Lavalin.

  3. Nick says:

    It only takes one person who stands for truth and justice to shift the mind set of an entire party and nation to do the same. The truth is that powerful and empowering! It is what aligns us with integrity, our humanity and washes away all toxic fears! This is what All Canadians desire in their hearts so that we can restore our pride in the country we love.

    • Jane says:

      What are all the other Liberal MP’s thinking when they vote to end the Justice Committee hearings. Dont they have their own brain to see what 67 percent and my guess its higher of Canadians who believe JWR . Spineless backless individuals who have no clue how to represent the Canadians who voted for them. If they did they would join JWR and Jane Philpotts . They are blindly obstructing justice themselves and support a PM that did the same. Michelle Rempell pretty much displays what the job of a MP is by her comments and questions and continual attacks against the integrity of the PM and his government. . So does Lisa Raitt. The amount of commendation these 2 woman are getting is incredible. They exemplify what you expect from a representative guarding your public interests and human rights.

  4. Fred from BC says:

    Impressive. I only wish she had actually answered the “in what forum would you like to discuss all of this?” question, but the rest was laudable.

    (maybe there is a legal reason for that omission?…)

  5. Mike Jeffries says:

    Who is this a criticism of? The PMO or the LPC? There is rot somewhere in there and it’s not just JT! Remaining as a Liberal MP by JP says to me one thing — she wants to become leader because she thinks she can do a better job than JT. Having lost confidence in JT how can she campaign in her riding for his party? It’s ridiculous.

    • Vancouverois says:

      She’s staying because the party is bigger than any one individual, obviously. It doesn’t belong to whoever happens to be leader at a given moment.

      Or so she would like to believe. From the way you and some others react, it seems that the Liberal party may actually now be nothing more than a cult of personality for Justin Trudeau.

      • Max says:

        Great response Vancouver!

      • mike jeffries says:

        “the party is bigger than any one individual”!!!
        What? No party push back to what the Justin Committee did? It’s NOT just Justin! It is the whole caucus minus JWR & JP who are rotten.
        YES, it appears that the “Liberal party” IS exactly like JT. How can we not conclude otherwise. It’s a no brainer! It speaks LOUDLY to their lack of integrity. What, what are Canadians going to do?

    • HarryR says:

      One doesn’t condemn the entire barrel for a few bad apples! Clearly, neither JWR nor JP want to destroy their party for want of clearing out the rot. And I don’t believe they’re angling for JT’s job. What surprises me is the apathy demonstrated by the rest of the caucus. Where is their concern? This is not going to go away!

      • HarryR,

        They were told to remain on HappyPlanet.TM And most obeyed.

      • Walter says:

        Maybe they just want to qualify for their pensions, and figure being re-elected as Liberals is easier than as independents.

        Otherwise, just step away from the corrupt Liberals and come back when they rid themselves of the rot.

  6. not 1st says:

    If you cant speak then resign but stop sitting on the fence. Do something. Celina is a pretty weak MP but she stood up yesterday. Staying in caucus is tarnishing the integrity you are trying to protect. Trudeau is still at the helm and only an election can take him down. So dance with the devil you know, keep quiet or expose the rot and let someone else in there. Hard choices for people with integrity but who still crave power.

    • Warren says:

      Says the coward who won’t use his real name.

    • Nick says:

      Standing up for a just and fair liberal party is clearly a tight rope walk in the present circumstances but doesn’t necessarily entail a desire for leadership rather an awakening of conscience from latent party members who also in their hearts want fairness and integrity. At present her only ‘leadership’ comes from lighting the path for others to find for themselves.

    • Nick says:

      Standing up for a just and fair liberal party is clearly a tight rope walk in the present circumstances but doesn’t necessarily entail a desire for leadership rather an awakening of conscience from latent party members who also in their hearts want fairness and integrity. At present her only ‘leadership’ comes from lighting the path for others to find for themselves. The election will separate the wheat from the chafe based on the choices these latent members make in the coming months. The LPC will die or with courage be reborn again in a different guise.

    • BMarcille says:

      This is the dirty cop handbook: We stand together, no matter how horrifically a brother has transgressed.

      No, it takes a heroine to stand against power; and even more so stand against your wayward leader. Otherwise, you’re no better than the cosa nostra.

    • Max says:

      You’ve learned nothing about integrity and bringing principles and ethics to the political discourse and process. So what’s your choice? “Shut up and go along to get along and collect your very generous MPs salary” or cut and run”? Brutal. Oh, and pray tell why you deem “Celina” to be weak??

    • the real Sean says:

      not the 1st: the caucus or leader can eject JWR and/or JP any time they like. They don’t have the balls to do that because that would be the beginning of the end. They know it will ignite a firestorm that will bring down this government on a confidence vote.

  7. William R Morrison says:

    Reading this, I’m struck by how different the tone and content is from what you usually hear from politicians from all parties, but especially whoever happens to be in power. Most of what they say is carefully balanced political babble, designed to deflect away from the truth. It’s remarkable when you hear one of them speaking forthrightly and truthfully. It suggests to me that she believes her political career to be over.

    • The Doctor says:

      Speaking of babble, when JT was taking questions this morning . . . ugh. The guy is basically incapable of thinking on his feet and saying anything compelling or coherent when he’s challenged by a question. Especially when he’s in deer-in-headlights mode.

      The other thing is, anyone with half a political brain can see the Liberals’ transparent communication strategy, which is: immediately change the channel and talk about how fabulous the economy is doing and how the economy is really what matters etc. Which is, irony of ironies, also the fallback communication strategy of the Trump White House. What’s that old saying about the company you keep?

      • Lynn says:

        I agree, Pierre’s and Margaret’s child is not a nibble thinker and his constant babble about jobs is tiresome.

        IMHO, Trudeau also looks po’d that he has to answer something as he stumbles out on a non-answer. It shows in his eyes. He cannot hide his irritation with the questioning despite trying to sound reasonable and telling us how he is Justin, Patron Saint of Employment Preservation.

        I hated the constant droning of the same answer no matter the question by the Cons and Harper, and for this government to revert to this playbook sickens me.

        Kudos to Jane Philpot for the interview and keeping the spotlight on the issue.

  8. Mecheng says:

    As a lifelong right-of-center voter from Alberta, I can tell you if the Liberals turfed Trudeau and elevated Philpot and JWR to the leadership of the party, I would vote Liberal in a second just to show all these career politicians that the average person would rather vote for someone who is proven to have ethics and principals, than to vote for someone who purports to represent my fiscal/social views and then does the opposite.

    Further, if Philpot and JWR were in charge, and ran on a platform of removing the extreme grip party leaders have over their parties, turning QP into a legitimate effort by the government to provide real answers to questions of Canadians, and giving power to our local representatives to influence their parties and or governments actions…I would go out and knock on doors for the Librrals.

    Enough pandering and politics. Average Canadians want some grownups in charge who are there to represent our interests. Not that of their election machine.

  9. MitchB says:

    What Mecheng said!

  10. Grant says:

    Warren..I imagine you have seen this, but here you go just in case…..from Bourque


  11. Sean says:

    Warren concluded with : the truth is like water ; it will find it’s way out. The truth is also an idea and if I may be permitted to quote Victor Hugo: no army is as strong as an idea who’s time has come. An army has been raised from every corner of Canada. This ain’t going away folks and we shall win!

  12. Nick says:

    What we’re witnessing is a metamorphosis of the LPC where the healthy exposes and purges the unhealthy in a desperate but courageous attempt to be reborn.

  13. Christian says:

    Warren, question. Judy Sgro raised an interesting point. Can they not use parliamentary privilege to say what they want without fear?

  14. The problem is that it would appear as though this was just the icing on the cake and that much more has gone on in this government in terms of silencing people and differing opinions. I watched every hour – but a few in both the House and the Senate on Bill C45 and I can tell you there was nothing open and transparent about the process, witnesses and testimony was not just cherry picked it was orchestrated, documents shredded that didn’t fit in, and documents manufactured that suited the purpose – people not allowed to speak – who could have and should provided the evidence of science – this was after all supposed to be evidence based policy – it was nothing of the sort. Then look at the task force – all that testimony from the public is sealed – that’s right sealed – so why is the question all this praise for the Minister of Health at the time – Jane Philpott – with a medical background who let this happen ? She went along with the Trudeau plan – and had to know the science and the fact that more not less people would use marijuana and therefore suffer harm as a result – I applaud those who stand up now – but where were they in the previous years when all of this was happening – Elbow Gate, Gropping Charges, etc etc. etc.

  15. We have five hours of video testimony/interview with a whistle blower at Health Canada who states that a risk assessment on THC was presented to a Liberal Health Minister – the result the documents were shredded – people fired and left the country with their families in fear of reprisals – this is Canada folks and their has been massive corruption in Health Canada for decades – look at the Chopra/Hayden case – look at the case about to start against Health Canada over medical devices and look at the record of Allan Rock Lib, Anne Maclennan Lib, and Philpott – they had to know all about all of it.

  16. Martin says:

    Theoretically, the government fell this afternoon. There weren’t enough liberals in the house quickly enough to be in a position to vote. They did anyway. Some were honourable enough to withdraw their votes but many didn’t. They have tapes. Amateur hour. Butts must be shaking his head.

  17. Cam Kroeger says:

    Usually when a government is in trouble it’s not by women in the majority party.
    The upcoming Alberta election will demonstrate the hate for the Quebec centered federal cronyism of JT.
    I can’t believe he hasn’t resigned yet, and the RCMP haven’t investigated, and laid charges, time will tell.
    The boy can’t even bring himself to kicking them out of caucus….. thinks it will look bad…

  18. Robert White says:

    If the objective of politics is to hold power via the helm we can rest assured knowing that the LPC is maintaining the core objectives of power & politics. Moreover, the LPC has a majority mandate and no logical reason to acquiesce to opposition demands of political suicide.

    Filibustering by opposition is not going to sway any liberals.
    With a clear majority mandate the LPC will simply ignore opposition theatrics and wait for the writ. Opposition appeals to Canadians will be lost amongst the election noise pre-election and the LPC will end up making opposition look like sour grapes in the minds of average Canadian voters once the writ is signed. People will sour at the prospect of a Conservative win for the next electoral round. The majority of Canadians will want to see Trudeau for the second term and not Scheer. Campaigning on the political weakness of the LPC will not yield the results the CPC want.

    As long as JWR remains in caucus Canadians will look favourably at the LPC for the second term leg of leadership.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.