Jody Wilson-Raybould is my MP. I voted for her in the last federal election, and readers of this Blog will recall how I supported her heroic stand against Liberal attempts to interfere in her supposedly independent role as Canada’s Justice Minister and Attorney General.
Here’s what I wrote in February: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/lavelin-coverup-would-be-trudeaus-achilles-heel/.
So clearly I was a Wilson-Raybould fan.
In covering politics at all levels for 38 years … including 8 years on Parliament Hill … I can tell you there are VERY FEW politicians who have the same ethics and principles in power that they espoused while seeking election or serving in Opposition.
Too many are ready, willing and shameless enough to go along, stay silent or even loudly defend, proclaim and support sleaziness, lying, nepotism, corruption, even illegality once THEY themselves start sharing the perks, privileges, prestige and especially the higher pay that goes along with power.
So I was particularly surprised (and no doubt so were her Liberal colleagues!) and impressed when our Vancouver Granville BC MP refused to cave to the HEAVY pressures for SNC Lavelin’s and Quebec’s stooges in Ottawa to get the country’s Attorney General to illegally and unethically interfere in Court proceedings.
BUT I’m still having problems in deciding whether to vote for her.
This election will likely be VERY close … the main battle for POWER being between the Liberals and the Tories … and, frankly, I still have not decided which party I would want to see in control.
I keep thinking how I would feel if, once I made my choice which would be best for Canada, the other party took power by ONE seat … and I had helped elect an Independent in Vancouver Granville.
It could happen: there have been seats won and lost by a single vote in the past; and look how close the BC election was last election … power could have gone either way.
Could Vancouver Granville hold the key? Not likely … but MAYBE!
And as a local constituent, I also have another concern about the “new” Independent Wilson-Raybould
I watched her Press Conference the dramatic day our Vancouver Granville MP announced she will run as an Independent. And there she was, standing next to a HUGE poster featuring some sort of First Nations artwork, with her name emblazoned on it.
Then a few weeks ago on my doorstep, I received a pre-campaign Wilson-Raybould leaflet … again featuring the MP with a background featuring First Nations art.
On her re-election website, Wilson-Raybould also emphasizes her Indigenous background.
“My leadership experience before running to be your MP had been in the Indigenous world, advocating for transformation in relations with Indigenous peoples. In my cultural teachings, we strive to work through consensus. While there are diverse views, tensions, and challenges, we do not entrench those in political parties, and we often frown on personal ambition. I have tried to bring this approach to Ottawa and will continue to do so.”
Guaranteed to win her the First Nations vote in our riding.
But what about the rest of us?
The MAJORITY of voters in Vancouver Granville are NOT First Nations; we have many concerns and problems that are NOT Indigenous-centred and need an MP who will make OUR issues … housing costs, taxes, pensions, taxes, safety, taxes, immigration, taxes, crime, taxes, the environment, taxes, energy costs, taxes, federal giveaways and more taxes … her (or his) PRIMARY focus … NOT just become spectators as Jody gives PRIORITY to First Nations issues or the Great Federal Liberal Internal Struggle.
I don’t personally care about any candidate’s race. ethnicity, religion etc. … but if a Sikh, Asian, or Muslim, Indigenous or yes, Caucasian continually emphasizes or panders so often and heavily to any group’s particular concerns/issues … instead of problems and policies that affect us all … it gives me pause, to say the least.
Selfish? Perhaps. But if Indigenous voters can be selfish and vote on the basis of self-interest, why can’t he rest of us in Vancouver Granville?
True, Wilson-Raybould’s website also mentions the Trans-Mountain pipeline concerns and her record in dealing issues such as “medical assistance in dying legislation, the legalization of cannabis, the Indigenous Directive on Civil Litigation, new legal protections for trans and gender diverse Canadians, and other justice reforms, including ensuring a more open and transparent system for selecting judges to ensure more diversity on the bench.”
As I said … I’m NOT ruling out voting for her: I DO admire her principled stand and refusal to be bullied by Trudeau or his minions.
But let’s keep it real: independent MPs have very little say on major issues in Parliament or on committees: they must carefully pick and choose their issues, emphasis and time-consuming efforts.
And judging by Jody-Wilson’s statements, posters, soon-to-be-published book, it sure doesn’t look like the “rest of us” will rank FIRST if she gets re-elected … as an Independent.