Trudeau defends Scheer lawsuit threat, says there are "consequences" for misleading Canadians

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks at the National Press Theatre

Previous Canadian Treasury Board Secretary Jane Philpott declared that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau breached a parliamentary law by firing her and ex-Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal Party's caucus last week.

A set of amendments to the act, spearheaded by Conservative MP Michael Chong, was passed in 2015 in an effort to make it more hard for MPs to be removed from caucus - part of an effort to decentralize political power on Parliament Hill and put it back in the hands of rank-and-file legislators.

"Expulsion should not be his decision to take unilaterally, however the decision had been already made", Philpott said, referencing Trudeau's comments to the national caucus that were televised last Tuesday when he announced their ouster.

THE latest Nanos federal ballot tracking (April 5) has the Conservatives at 34.9 per cent, followed by the Liberals at 32.8 per cent.

She's asking Speaker Geoff Regan to declare that their privileges were violated.

Those votes never occurred in the Liberal caucus following Trudeau's victory in 2015.

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But in November 2015, after the Liberals formed government, they deferred the matter, and as a result the rules - which would have required 90 Liberal MPs to express support for expelling Philpott and Wilson-Raybould - were not formally adopted.

"I can reassure everyone and say very clearly to both Dr. Philpott and Ms. Wilson-Raybould that I consulted extensively with caucus over the proceeding weeks, in the day before and the day of, I talked with all caucus regional chairs and the will of caucus was very, very clear that they wanted the two individuals removed from caucus".

He has already ruled on a related question involving another former Liberal, Toronto-area MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who quit the Liberal caucus on her own in March, however. The act states that recorded votes are to be held on four different provisions, including the provisions on expulsion of caucus members.

"It is important that Canadians always know that we will not stand idly by while the Conservatives intentionally mislead Canadians", Chagger said, adding that the Conservatives and their leader "have a history of making untrue and defamatory statements just for political gains".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his decision to serve Opposition leader Andrew Scheer with notice threatening a defamation suit, saying that "there are consequences" for misleading Canadians.

"You can't be inventing things, you can't be lying to Canadians and I think highlighting that there are consequences, short term and long term, when politicians choose to twist the truth and distort reality for Canadians - it's not something we're going to put up with".

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