LETTERS: Wilson-Raybould ‘squandered her opportunity’

Editor:

MP Gordie Hogg is right to support Jody Wilson-Raybould’s ouster, but I am sad that she is gone – a talented aboriginal woman.

She was a former Crown prosecutor for three years, and a regional chief of the BCAFN for six years. She showed such promise in 2016. But she misplayed her power and squandered her opportunity.

She seemed to forget that even as a trailblazer for aboriginal rights, she was a minister of the Crown and subject to its constraints. She was not the PM, but a prominent cabinet minister and member of the Liberal caucus. Now she is neither. She gambled that Trudeau would be afraid to fire her as an aboriginal woman and lost.

Given her flagrant disregard for protocol and her choice to go public, disrespecting her colleagues, Trudeau had no choice. She was the Attorney General of Canada – serving at the pleasure of the PM as per our Parliamentary tradition. Losing trust with the person who appoints you ends your appointment. She had an appointment, not a job.

SCN Lavalin was a convenient prop for the expression of anger over the cabinet shuffle, and her frustration to effect the changes she wanted to make while creating martyrdom. Who actually leaked the story to the Globe and Mail which started the furor? What frustrated her?

Well, for one, she failed in her plan to see a francophone from outside Quebec (first time ever) become Chief Justice, which would have left a spot for a promotion of Canada’s first Indigenous Superior Court Chief Justice. Instead Justice Wagner was appointed by the PM as Chief Justice – a francophone from Quebec. Appointing Indigenous Chief Justices is a good thing, but the process was wrong.

Yes, there was probably pressure on her with the SNC-Lavalin. Yes, allegedly bribing Gadhafi was illegal and it was 11 years ago and SNC-Lavalin’s current work force need jobs. Despite the pressures she felt, she did not communicate that to the PM. And she could have resigned on matter of principle. And, yes, she is a woman and an aboriginal woman, but that does not give her a pass.

If you go out of your way to poison political waters of your party, please don’t pretend that you really want to do politics in a better way. And for all those young women who turned their backs on Trudeau because he treated a woman badly, please do your homework, understand the nuances of our politics. A man wouldn’t have gotten away with it for as long as she did.

Beryl Kirk, Surrey

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