Jody Wilson-Raybould Becomes the Principal Antagonist to Justin Trudeau and a Corrupt System
Former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for the first time in 2013, when he attempted to recruit her as one of his stellar candidates for the 2015 election. “We talked about the future of Canada and his convictions with respect to Indigenous peoples,” she said, as quoted on the National Post. “I came to see formal political participation as a chance to be part of a government whose leader made a solemn commitment to fundamental change with a vision for true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
Following this event, Wilson-Raybould became a part of Trudeau’s government, serving as some kind of poster child for the Liberals who saw her as a link to their reconciliation with theindigenous people.
However, the recent story published by Globe and Mailalleging that the Prime Minister’s Office had pressured Wilson-Raybouldto help Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution, would most likely change this relationship forever. Wilson-Raybould’shas now become Trudeau’s principal antagonist.
It can be recalled that the indigenous people had voted massively for the Liberals in the 2015 elections, following their campaign which preached a reconciliation message to the indigenous people. With his relationship with Wilson-Raybould now shaky, it is uncertain if Trudeau can gather this kind of support once again from the indigenous people, come October 2019 elections.
For Russ Diabo, a First Nations policy adviser, this development suggest that the welfare of the indigenous people is no longer at the top of the minds of this government. “The treatment of Jody Wilson and her demotion, and moving Philpott and all of these things, it all signals that the government is shifting its priorities and Indigenous issues aren’t up there,” he said. He projected that Indigenous people will just stay home during the elections this year.
To be fair, the Liberals have made some efforts towards fulfilling promises made to the indigenous people during the election campaign in 2015. According to National Post, “They (Trudeau’s government)have launched a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women split the Indigenous affairs department in two, and supported a bill calling for the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). They claim to be on track to eliminate all long-term drinking-water advisories on First Nation reserves by March 2021, and they've invested billions in First Nations education. They've recently tabled long-awaited Indigenous languages and child welfare legislation in the House of Commons.”
However, only a few of these efforts have been successful.
“They’ve been masters of promising everything but not delivering at the end of the day,” said NDP reconciliation critic Romeo Saganash. “I hope people will have understood by now. This has been going on for 150 years.”
However, a few people still hold faith that there is still room for a reconciliation
“Very often, we see that people say that this is the end of reconciliation,”said Ry Moran, director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, “I personally do not feel that reconciliation is dead, because so long as there remains one single person that holds within their hearts the idea of a fair and just and equitable country… that fire of reconciliation is still burning.”