Kelowna Liberal MP calls for party to pull together after Wilson-Raybould, Philpott booted from caucus - InfoNews

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Kelowna Liberal MP calls for party to pull together after Wilson-Raybould, Philpott booted from caucus

Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr
April 03, 2019 - 11:11 AM

KELOWNA - Kelowna-Lake Country's Liberal MP fully supports the Prime Minister's decision to remove MPs Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus yesterday.

Stephen Fuhr stressed it's essential to have caucus confidentiality and caucus unity.

“I saw a lot of people try to go the extra mile and find a path forward for the better part of two months,” Fuhr told today, April 3. “Taping colleagues was the final straw for most (MPs).”

MPs Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were kicked out of the Liberal caucus yesterday after Wilson-Raybould released a secret tape she had made of a conversation with Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick over the SNC-Lavalin affair.

“We have all sorts of heated arguments in caucus,” Fuhr explained. “We live in a big country with lots of opinions. When I represent my constituents from British Columbia here in Ottawa on any given issue, we might have different perspectives. I can get into that room and feel confident I can tell it like it is from our perspective so I can have a better chance of influencing an outcome. I can’t do that, or I don’t feel comfortable that I can do that, if what I say or how I say it will get out in the press or into social media. It impairs my ability to represent my community.”

Fuhr said there was no caucus vote, but it was unanimous that the two women be removed. Even regionally, women’s and aboriginal caucuses were unanimous, he said.

While Wilson-Raybould’s taping of that conversation was the final straw, Fuhr was also critical of Philpott for publicly stating she had lost confidence in the Prime Minister.

“This is a team sport,” he said. “You get in there and do what you can do in caucus and try to move the yardsticks. You try to influence the outcome to get what your constituents want. But, at the end of the day, a decision is made and you move forward as a team. That’s just how it works. And you support that position.”

While the opposition parties will continue to attack the Liberals, Fuhr’s attention is elsewhere.

“I’m focused on delivering for the community," he said. "That's my job so I’m going to stay focused on that."

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