OTTAWA – Having promised an open and cooperative policy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada ran Tuesday from his party two prominent former female cabinet ministers who have been at the center of a partying political crisis on his handling of a criminal case.
Attempt to divert the country's attention from the controversy, Mr. Trudeau was in a hard place politically.
The two women were seen by many as symbols of his progressive feminist government. But within his liberal party, they were considered insignificant backstabbers who kept their heads alive for weeks with new information campaigns celebrated by the press and opposition parties.
Since then, Liberals' standing has fallen into polls. And Mr Trudeau's image as a fresh force that practiced politics in a new and transparent way has been severely affected.
With their re-election process, which dampens less than seven months before the national vote, several liberal parliamentarians have openly expressed frustration with Mrs Wilson-Raybould, who returned from the cabinet on February 12 and with Jane Philpott, there was president of the treasury, and later resigned in solidarity with her.
"It has become clear that Mrs Wilson-Raybould and Mrs Philpott can no longer be part of our liberal team," Trudeau said on Tuesday evening an emergency meeting of the Liberal Members of Parliament. "Our political opponents win when the Liberals are divided. We can't afford to make it wrong."
He added, "When we learn to do things and make them different, we have experienced difficult moments."
Ms. Wilson-Raybould said on Facebook on Tuesday night that she would talk to her followers about what to do next.
"I did what I had to do and what was to be done based on principles and values that must always go over the party," she wrote.
In a separate Facebook message released Monday night, Ms. Philpott expressed dissatisfaction with not being able to make her case the national causus before she was exposed to it.
"The need has never been greater for a targeted reassessment of how the government should respond to this issue," she wrote. "What I've heard from Canadians is that they want to know the truth."
Jenny Kwan, member of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia, said Mr. Trudeau's action undermined his claim to be a feminist.
"This is about real truth to power, and the government knocked it down," she said.
But Indian minister Carolyn Bennett tried to repair any damage, told reporters after Mr Trudeau spoke that the Prime Minister's commitment to feminism was not a shame.
"It's not about sex," she said, saying that her former colleagues had to go simply because they couldn't trust.
Until Tuesday, Trudeau was hopefully prevented from criticizing one of his former ministers. "I've approached this situation with patience and understanding," he said.
But he called last week's revelation that Mrs Wilson-Raybould secretly recorded a conversation with the country's top official "irreconcilable"
The two discussed the case against SNC-Lavalin, who has been accused of bribing Libyan officials under the dictatorship of colleague Muammar el-Qaddafi.
Mr. Trudeau's government asked Ms. Wilson-Raybould to consider using a new measure similar to that in the United States and some European countries that would allow the company to avoid conviction in exchange for a substantial financial penalty.
A conviction would have excluded the company from government work, which could potentially have silenced thousands of Canadian jobs. Mr. Trudeau and his helpers have repeatedly denied any inconvenience.
Ms. Philpott also angered his liberal colleagues by saying in a magazine interview that Mrs Wilson-Raybould was blocked by the government from revealing important information about the case.
While Trudeau decided to expel the two former members, a movement within the caucus to remove them began escalating over the weekend.
Wayne Easter, a former cabinet minister and parliamentarian, told the press release Canadian press on Monday to record the call without knowledge of Michael Wernick, the clerk of the privilege, "as low as you can go."
He added: "Jody Wilson-Raybould? Must be gone. Away. Should have gone long ago."
When no women found many allies within their party, they were celebrated by opposition members to the parliament for their actions.
In a statement, Andrew Scheer, the leader of the opposition Conservative, said their expulsion showed that "if you tell the truth, there is no room for you in the liberal party."
The Conservatives are debating Mr Trudeau's budget legislation to force a public inquiry into People.
Hours before she was removed from the liberal causus, Wilson-Raybould asked his colleagues in an unapologetic letter to let her stay in the party.
"Now I know that many of you are angry, evil and frustrated," she wrote. "And honestly, I am. I am angry, hurt and frustrated because I feel that I abide by the values that we all committed to."
In his statement Monday night, Philpott dismissed the criticism of several of her former colleagues.
"I was publicly accused of caucus people not being loyal, trying to bring the prime minister, politically motivated, and being motivated by my friendship with Jody Wilson-Raybould," said Mrs Philpott wrote. "These attacks were based on inaccuracies and lies. I did not start the crisis now facing the party or the prime minister. Nor did Jody Wilson-Raybould."
The two former Cabinet ministers will not be allowed to re-elect under Liberal Party banner in October elections and is likely to face liberal opponents in their constituencies if they choose to run for re-election.
Unless they participate in one of the opposition parties, they will also not have access to partial economic, logistical and polling resources.
Both were political neophytes during the last election in 2015. Mrs Philpott is a doctor and Mrs Raybould-Wilson a lawyer who was also a native leader in British Columbia. Nor is there a well-developed, personal political machine.
Mr. Trudeau's efforts to turn political attention away from the case have so far failed.
On Tuesday, he concluded his announcement with a campaign style speech in which he, among other things, stressed the government's efforts to mitigate climate change and attack the Conservative plan to kill carbon taxes.