May 27, 2019 10:19 am
Updated: May 28, 2019 10:08 pm

‘I will be truly free’: Wilson-Raybould, Philpott to run as Independents in the fall election

WATCH: Former Liberal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould will run again in the upcoming federal election, but not as a candidate for any political party. She speaks with Dawna Friesen about what it means for her to be an independent candidate.

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Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will both run as Independent candidates in the fall election, citing the need to “do politics differently” and to encourage more women to “stand up for what is right.”

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In a press conference held in Vancouver on Monday, the former attorney general explained her decision not to seek the nomination for another federal political party after she was kicked out of the Liberal caucus in April for accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his senior advisers of attempted political interference in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

READ MORE: Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott kicked out of Liberal Party caucus

WATCH: Jody Wilson-Raybould speaks out about independent run

“As an Independent, I will be truly free to take the guidance of the citizens of Vancouver-Granville and to represent you,” she said. “I will not have to try to convince myself that just because this is how it has always been done means it has to continue to be done that way.”

Wilson-Raybould, a former Indigenous political leader, has sat as an Independent MP since her ouster.

WATCH BELOW: Wilson-Raybould explains decision to run as independent in 2019 election

She told supporters gathered for her announcement that her “time in federal politics isn’t over” and urged Canadians to turn their attention to supporting more Independent candidates that want to work collaboratively across party lines rather than toeing party lines.

“There is too much power in the centre,” she said, adding it has been a “challenging” last couple of months.

“I do not believe that being a member of a political party should mean that you have to set your principles aside or have to make decisions because someone told you this was the decision to be made.”

Wilson-Raybould also unveiled her campaign poster which featured an Indigenous sun mask, a symbol she said was associated with rebirth.

WATCH BELOW: Wilson-Raybould calls for Ottawa to ‘operate more openly and transparently’

Jane Philpott, former president of the Treasury Board, also quit her post in cabinet over the scandal, saying the government wasn’t taking the allegations seriously enough. Trudeau kicked both her and Wilson-Raybould out for raising their concerns and demanding action.

In her own press conference in Toronto on Monday, Philpott also announced her political future.

“I have decided to put my name forward as a candidate in the federal election in October 2019,” she told supporters. “I am going to run in the federal election as an Independent candidate.”

She continued, adding that she worried about the message it would send to young women if she quit politics.

“What lesson would it be for those young girls if I was to walk away with my tail between my legs?” she said. “We are ready for a new lesson to say, ‘hang in there, speak for the truth.'”

WATCH BELOW: Philpott says party politics is why people are losing faith in Ottawa

Both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott wore white suits or jackets, the colour symbolically associated with suffragettes and women’s political equality.

Philpott also took aim at what she described as “the fact that the system is broken.”

“People want politicians who are authentic, who really present the real deal. They want politicians who are accountable, who admit from time-to-time that we make mistakes,” she said, saying voices outside of the main parties are needed to address big challenges like climate change.

“This is a cry for cooperation. Let’s cooperate. Let’s collaborate. That’s the only way we’re going to solve these hard problems. I hope today that as I announce my candidacy as an Independent … I hope across the country people will say, none of the parties are exactly me, but I feel I can represent my community well.”

Philpott wrapped up her announcement by playing Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song,’ the anthem that became known as the go-to rally song used by 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

WATCH BELOW: Philpott running as Independent because her work in Ottawa ‘isn’t done’

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