The Globe and Mail spoke with Jane Philpott after her announcement on Monday. This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Q: It’s traditionally been very difficult for independents to get elected.
A: The last independent elected in this area was in 1984 when Tony Roman was elected.
Q: So it is possible, but very difficult. How are you going to buck the trend?
A: I absolutely acknowledge that it’s going to be a challenge. But I have a lot of support. I know this community well, and I have worked hard to earn its trust, both as a family doctor for 17 years and then as a member of Parliament.
Q: How much of an impact will the SNC-Lavalin affair have on the local Liberal candidate?
A: It’s hard to say. There are voters who vote on the basis of a single issue sometimes, and other people take into account the whole broad range.
Q: Are we headed toward a minority-government situation?
A: I wouldn’t want to make a firm prediction. Probably my favourite prime minister, Lester B. Pearson, led this country for a very short period of time, but was able to implement some of the most important and long-standing policies in the country.
Q: Do you and Jody Wilson-Raybould plan to co-ordinate in terms of ideas or issues?
A: We do see eye to eye on a number of issues, like indigenous issues for example. But there are issues that are particular to my community that are not issues for her, and vice-versa.
Q: I was surprised by your comments that you would be willing to work with a Liberal government under Justin Trudeau.
A: I’m not prepared to make a firm commitment to anything at this point. We’ll see what the landscape looks like on Oct. 22. I’m happy to work with people who have good policies.