Friday, 22 February, 2019

Wilson-Raybould resignation sets back Liberal relationship with B.C. First Nations

Jodi Wilson-Raybould Trudeau in ethics probe over handling of Libyan contract fraud
Lloyd Bates | 13 February, 2019, 04:45

Wilson-Raybould shepherded legislation to allow medical assistance in dying, prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, and to legalize cannabis.

In a letter published on her website, Wilson-Raybould thanked the residents of Vancouver-Graniville, while stating that her resignation as Minister of the Crown "in no way changes my commitment to seeing" her goal of "implementing a positive and progressive version of change on behalf of all Canadians".

When asked if the allegations and the subsequent resignation should concern Canadians over the independence of the judicial system, he relied with a succinct, "No". In recent days, Liberal operatives have attempted to smear Wilson-Raybould's performance even though she was widely seen as a credible and competent Minister throughout her tenure. "This work must and will carry on".

Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet this morning, a month after she was moved from Justice to Veterans Affairs, and less than a week after allegations surfaced that she was pressured to drop a criminal prosecution against SNC-Lavalin for fraud and corruption related to its business dealings in Libya.

On Monday, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion informed the NDP MPs who had requested an investigation that there is sufficient cause to proceed with an inquiry into Trudeau's actions in the case.

I've asked our current minister of justice and attorney general to make recommendations to me on the question of solicitor-client privilege.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answered reporters' questions this afternoon in Winnipeg about Jody Wilson-Raybould's resignation from cabinet.

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"They perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women can not be powerful, forthright, and steadfast in positions of power, but rather confrontational, meddling and egotistic".

Trudeau said on Monday that he had full confidence in her and that her presence in cabinet spoke for itself. "I expressed my disappointment to the prime minister in a meeting with him and other cabinet ministers the day of the shuffle". Because if anyone, particularly the attorney general, felt that we were not doing our job fully, responsibly and according to all the rules, as a government, it was her responsibility to come forward to me this past fall and highlight that directly to me.

PM Justin Trudeau says he and former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould have talked a couple of times since he arrived in B.C. yesterday, and confirmed that they spoke previously about matters involving the Director of Public Prosecutions being hers alone.

Sheila North, the former grand chief of the northern Manitoba chiefs' organization Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, said the government has lost a valued, well-regarded member of the Indigenous community. And he called Wilson-Raybould's resignation "a significant step backwards in our long-standing efforts to advance reconciliation".

Wilson-Raybould, who plans to stay on as MP for Vancouver-Granville, has been quiet since the original Globe and Mail story broke, saying she can't comment because she's bound by solicitor-client privilege.

"It disgusts me", Wilson added.

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