EDITORIAL: Wilson-Raybould on political integrity – Toronto Sun

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Sun Media

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Jul 10, 2021  •  5 hours ago  •  2 minute read  •  9 Comments

Former Canadian Justice Minister and current independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould addresses supporters at a rally in Vancouver, Canada, September 18, 2019.
Former Canadian Justice Minister and current independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould addresses supporters at a rally in Vancouver, Canada, September 18, 2019. Photo by Jennifer Gauthier /REUTERS

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In announcing her decision not to run for re-election in her riding of Vancouver Granville, former Trudeau cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke for many Canadians about what’s wrong with politics today.

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“I have not made this decision in order to spend more time with my family or to focus on other challenges and pursuits,” she wrote.

Rather, “from my seat over the last six years, I have noticed a change in Parliament, a regression. It has become more and more toxic and ineffective while simultaneously marginalizing individuals from certain backgrounds. Federal politics is, in my view, increasingly a disgraceful triumph of harmful partisanship over substantive action.”

Wilson-Raybould left unsaid the fact she’s a rare example in politics of someone who was excommunicated from her party by a prime minister along with his senior aides, cabinet and caucus for not being politically corrupt.

As Canada’s first Indigenous attorney general, she refused to succumb to pressure from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to interfere in the justice system, by dropping a criminal prosecution against a favoured Quebec company.

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Despite that, Wilson-Raybould continued:

“This crisis is not really about the individual people in politics, many of whom are well-intentioned and do good work.

“Rather, it is in the way we practice democracy in Canada … The power of the prime minister and the centralization of power in the hands of those who are unelected. The erosion of governing principles and conventions to the point where there are limited or no consequences for wrongful acts undertaken for political benefit. The lack of courage to speak the truth — and the failure of bystanders to support those who do.”

After winning her seat as an independent MP in the 2019 election, Wilson-Raybould said, “Initially, I thought the pandemic would reinforce the urgent need to make our governing institutions work better, and for a time, it did.

“But all too quickly, we saw a return to more common patterns of self-interested partisanship, game-playing, and jockeying for advantage.”

If even a global pandemic cannot “shake our partisan patterns of behaviour, what can?” Wilson-Raybould asked.

Good question. So is asking why so many people with integrity refuse to enter politics, or leave within a few years, disillusioned.

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