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CANADA: Wilson-Raybould, Philpott to run as Independents in fall election

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Jody Wilson-Raybould says she’s running as independent candidate in federal election

Wilson-Raybould will try to retain her current seat representing Vancouver Granville, a new riding she won for the Liberals in the 2015 federal election.

In the lead-up to the separate but coordinated announcements of Wilson-Raybould and former health minister Jane Philpott, who was also kicked from the Liberal Party, that they would run as independents, there was some speculation they would join the Greens.

Wilson-Raybould now sits as an independent MP for the Vancouver-Granville riding, the same riding she will be seeking re-election in. She said running as an independent was the best way to transform a political culture that has centralized power and put partisanship ahead of principle.

Wilson-Raybould gave four hours of testimony to the House of Commons justice committee in February detailing sustained pressure she felt over a period of four months to head off the company's prosecution on corruption charges related to contracts in Libya.

Their decision to run as independents could damage the Liberal party once campaigning begins, with Liberals anxious the two could inadvertently help the Conservatives form a government in October.

In early April, both were ousted from the Liberal caucus.

"I didn't lose my voice; I found my voice. and the only people who are the boss of me right now is you", Philpott said of her recent time as an independent MP.

Peggy Nash, a visiting liberal arts professor at Ryerson University who is teaching women's leadership, says of Philpott: 'She's very high profile.

Although that is not the case, Wilson-Raybould today called the Green Party "natural and necessary allies" in fighting climate change. She said MPs who are more independent, whether it's within parties or outside of them, are good for the country. She left the party in March over the handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair and following an interaction with Trudeau in which he allegedly yelled at her.

Philpott acknowledged some will be surprised by her decision but she said running on her own is the most honest thing for her to do.

Moving forward, she continued, "we can not afford to be complacent". They had indicated that their time in politics may not be up, but said they would only make their decisions after consulting their constituents. She had previously announced she would not be running again. "I do believe in the importance of a strong team, but I'm not sure that there has to be any blood involved". "We need to move beyond what is traditionally thought of as the establishment, to individual voices of members of Parliament".

The Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats have all confirmed to CTV News that they will run candidates in the two ridings.

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