Bill Wilson, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s Father, Slams Justin Trudeau In CBC Interview

Anna Jefferson
February 13, 2019

Some Indigenous leaders have been highly critical of Trudeau's decision to demote Wilson-Raybould and those criticisms escalated Tuesday.

Wilson-Raybould said in a letter to Trudeau earlier in the day she was leaving "with a heavy heart" but gave no reasons.

This major exemption, combined with the testy letter she released following Trudeau's decision to remove her from her role as AG, in which she made special note that Canada's legal system must "be free from even the perception of political interference", certainly raises some questions about Trudeau's involvement or lack thereof in the SNC Lavalin case. "This work must and will carry on".

Wilson-Raybould - also known by her Kwak'wala name Puglaas - had recently been caught up in allegations that the Prime Minister's office pressured her to help engineering giant SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

Trudeau told reporters that Jody Wilson-Raybould had not raised any concerns with him about how Ottawa was handling the case of construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, which is seeking to avoid a corruption trial because the executives accused of wrongdoing have left the company and it has overhauled ethics and compliance systems.

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The Globe reports that Wilson-Raybould resisted that pressure.

Since solicitor-client privilege is a right that belongs to the lawyer's client, the client may consent to confidential information being disclosed.

While it is not entirely clear what sort of discussions took place between Wilson-Raybould and prime ministerial officials on the SNC-Lavalin matter, it appears she feels bound by solicitor-client privilege by virtue of the advice she provided as attorney general.

Wilson says he last spoke to his daughter about two years ago, and that he's "proud of her".

"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".

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Trudeau denies the allegations, claiming "Neither the current nor the previous attorney general was ever directed by me or anyone in my office to take a decision in this matter".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould during a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall, Wednesday Nov.4, 2015 in Ottawa.

She didn't, however. She stayed on and kept her mouth shut - until January when Trudeau booted her from the attorney general's post and shuffled her into the relatively minor veterans' affairs portfolio.

"She confirmed for me a conversation we had this fall, where I told her directly that any decisions on matters involving the director of public prosecutions were hers alone", Trudeau said Monday.

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. "It doesn't help them that Wilson-Raybould's father (influential First Nations leader Bill Wilson) is calling them out on that failure".

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"It disgusts me", Wilson added. She goes on to thank Canadians who have supported her during her time in the federal cabinet and states she will remain as MP for Vancouver-Granville.

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