, 01.22.2019 08:18 AM

Column: Trudeau turns his back on women and indigenous people

Justin Trudeau said he’d support indigenous leaders.

He didn’t.

Justin Trudeau said he’s a feminist.

He isn’t.

Justin Trudeau is a terrific actor, however. There he was, after his latest cabinet shuffle, and butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. He almost sounded offended.

Demoting a competent, smart, inspiring indigenous woman like Jody Wilson-Raybould – as the Liberal leader had literally done, just minutes before inside Rideau Hall – wasn’t a demotion at all, he huffed. There can be no greater honour than working with Canada’s veterans, he insisted.

And if some other Prime Minister had said it, it’d be partly true: it is an honour assisting the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces. But under Trudeau, it was a lie. Under him, Veteran’s Affairs has become a political landfill. Under him, veterans have been disregarded, disrespected, and litigated against in the courts.

So, everyone recognized Trudeau’s claim for what it was, which was unadulterated bullshit.

This was the truth: Jody Wilson-Raybould was demoted – as she effectively later confirmed herself, in her own words, with an extraordinary statement to the constituents who first elected her in 2015. She’d been dumped. She’d been rendered PNG – persona non grata, to appropriate a phrase from The PMO Kid’s fave TV show, The Americans.

Why? Because she threatened them.

Leaving aside her gender, leaving aside her indigenous heritage, Wilson-Raybould was simply the most effective Minister of Justice in a long, long time. And she was insufficiently deferential to Justin Trudeau and the grievance-nurturing children who comprise his entourage. Or, as a Maclean’s writer memorably called them, “a tiny cadre of out-of-their-league staffers operating out of the Building Formerly Known as Langevin.”

Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke truth to power, as she herself said. She didn’t suffer fools gladly, as was well-known. She was impatient for change – for women, for the forgotten, for First Nations people.

But Justin Trudeau and his oxymoronic brain trust – who always regard dissent as treason, and who always see themselves alone as the stewards of all that is good and true and Canadian – didn’t like that. They didn’t like that at all.

As “feminists,” as those who claim to empower all women, their most revealing moment came last Summer, when it was confirmed that Justin Trudeau had groped a female reporter at a long-ago festival in B.C. Trudeau’s response?

Believe women when they come forward. Just, you know, don’t believe that woman. Support women who are victimized by men.

Just not that one.

Jody Wilson-Raybould has achieved plenty in her career, as a wildly-successful lawyer, as a Crown Attorney, as the leader of the B.C. Treaty Commission, as the Grand Chief of her home province. She knows Trudeau’s type, one suspects. All capable women do.

Justin Trudeau – who was the beneficiary of the most inept Conservative and New Democratic election campaigns in a generation – is entirely that type. He was born to immense wealth, was elected due to his surname, and never held a Parliamentary position more senior than the youth critic for the third party in the House of Commons.

But as an actor – as the willing receptacle for bland, beige talking points, wheedled out of a focus group somewhere – he is without equal. He is indisputably the Phoney-in-Chief, and he is exceptionally good at it.

Will female voters be offended by Trudeau’s ritual knifing of Jody Wilson-Raybould? It’s unlikely, for now. With Andrew Scheer’s social media still churning out frat boy bumpersticker stuff – and with Jagmeet Singh continuing his downward descent into irrelevance – female voters, historically reliably liberal, will keep their powder dry.

Will indigenous leaders turn against Trudeau for what he did to Jody Wilson-Raybould? That seems more likely. Across Canada, indigenous leaders are increasingly muttering to each other that, at least with Stephen Harper, he was always truthful about his disinterest in their issues. Justin Trudeau, they say, cheerily says one thing to them, and then does another.

And what of Jody Wilson-Raybould? She should resist the temptation to quit – because that’s what Trudeau and his acolytes want her to do. She should do her new job well, bide her time, and wait for her moment.

Her leadership moment. It is coming.

And, she should always remember this: smart, capable women are used to dealing with insecure boy-men who have more power than brains.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is just the latest.

With Justin Trudeau, she won’t be the last.

37 Comments

  1. Pedant says:

    If Canada is to be ruled by Gerald Butts – the far-left version of Steve Bannon – than he, and not his empty-headed puppet, should take the Liberal spot in the leaders’ debates during the upcoming election.

    • The Doctor says:

      I certainly see Butts all over the “Screw the West, take the Rest” strategy that seems to be the Liberal 2019 Election Plan.

  2. How I wish I could write like that, but I digress.

    There’s nothing more pathetic than watching serial failed advisers going from one party’s train to another, to another…and in their wake, governments fall like dominos.

    But what’s worse is watching a conductor willingly egging on the cacophony. Tragic.

  3. Deborah Rankin says:

    Part of the problem with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is that the media has let him off the hook on the groping incident and his flippant response to it (then and now). This is the same man who unceremoniously dumped 2 Liberal MPs based on unsubstantiated claims of sexual harassment. This story has been allowed to simply go away. However, it is a window on his style of leadership as much as the incident itself.

  4. Derek Pearce says:

    I don’t get what Butts et al have against Wilson-Raybould. What did she do that they found soooooo egregious? When you say “she doesn’t suffer fools gladly,” what incidents arose that pissed the PMO off so much that they stupidly thought this was necessary?

    • Montréalaise says:

      I suspect they expected deference and submission from her, and they didn’t get it.

    • Edwin Holly says:

      Why doesn’t she cross the floor like Leona Alleslev did. Better than sitting and sniveling about what a disaster this fool Trudeau has imposed on her. Leona didn’t sit crying ME,ME,ME, for the good of our Country, she done something and crossed over,. More Liberals should do the same.

  5. Mike says:

    “…the grievance-nurturing children who comprise his entourage”
    Oh, that is quite the turn of phrase. Sheer poetry.

  6. the salamander says:

    .. a startling stunning series of broadsides.. ‘raking fire’ is the naval term- ‘crossing the T of Trudeau. .. Well aimed Mr K

  7. Terence Quinn says:

    I believe you are premature on your version of events.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Terence,

      They boxed themselves in by saying from the get-go that it wasn’t a demotion or a lateral move. And now they want to claim that another version of events has yet to be known. Come again?

      Don’t they realize that they will look stupid for not having spit it out in the first place, if it has merit?

  8. Kmmf says:

    So Jody has many fans and is inspiration to women, indigenous people and lawyers…however Rosemary Barton said on At Issue that Jody was not doing the best job possible. Is it more than lack of conformity? Or is an ‘objective’ CBC reporter susceptible to party insider manipulation, Warren?

  9. Matt says:

    Granted it’s a small personal sample size, but the guys I’ve known over the years who claim to be feminists are the biggest assholes to women (and in general terms) I’ve ever met.

  10. Sam White says:

    I’ve been watching the man-child with an admittedly jaded eye for some time now. I wasn’t a big fan of his dad but he did have my grudging respect, for being smart and sharp as a tack. Justin is neither of these, in fact the polar opposite. There’s just something about him I find unsettling, a dark secret of sorts, lingering not too far below the surface.

    My significant other, and for the record, most gen X women I know, find him “creepy”. Their words, not mine.

    Which brings up an interesting article I read, by a lady named Amy MacPherson. Perhaps you know here Warren, perhaps someone else here does. In any case her article in her pinned tweet here: https://twitter.com/MsAmyMacPherson was a riveting read, and left me somewhat uncomfortable. She’s not a raging conservative by any means, but she’s definitely not juniors #1 fan either.

    Some of the allegations in her article are quite disturbing, I did some rudimentary follow up on a few and could find nothing to discredit them, in fact a few were verified.

    What bothers me, is if they are what they say they are – why have we not heard more about them? Is she a kook nobody listens to?

    Honest question, I’ve never really heard of her before.

    • Pedant says:

      Oh come on. Surely there’s nothing creepy about a 47-year old man passing himself off as a teen heartthrob. Nope nothing creepy at all about that, totally normal behaviour.

      • Sam White says:

        What I was referring to was the silencing of serious allegations from very high level operatives, and how some things have been scrubbed from internet history. This is unsettling.

        Junior’s creepy behaviour is almost a side bar to this story, but it is there nonetheless. The fact that he was roommates with a pedophile who plied his trade in their shared residence is more than disturbing, as is the media’s (mostly) hands off approach to this story. If a conservative high ranking official had this same history, would they get the same coverage?

        Ask yourself that..

        • Pedant says:

          I was being sarcastic – that was evident with “47-year old teen heartthrob”.

          I agree with you. I personally was not aware of the Ingvaldson story until you brought it to our attention here.

          • The Doctor says:

            The stuff regarding Ingvaldson has been known and floating around in certain Vancouver circles for some time. West Point Grey Academy is not some obscure school; it’s a prominent pillar of Vancouver West Side respectability. I personally know people who work there. The overall impression is that the Ingvaldson stuff has been almost miraculously kept from the view/knowledge of the general public. As a rule, only very inside baseball people seem to know about it. And it does make you wonder: if that were another, less Teflon-coated politician, would such a connection in his or her life be almost completely unknown to the public?

  11. Madeline A Bruce says:

    Very disappointing and transparent move by Trudeau and his cronies. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  12. On Reflection says:

    Not that I disagree with what’s written in previous comments, but I think you have to take a drone’s eye view of the cabinet shuffle in light of the Wet’suwet’en chiefs’ assertion of their traditional land rights the previous week. It’s no secret that Ms. Wilson-Raybould strongly believes in indigenous peoples’ rights to traditional lands. Unfortunately as the Wet’suwet’en protest illustrated to the Liberal think tank, something has to give – either support indigenous peoples’ land rights or get something to tidewater. My bet is that they will be downplaying their indigenous promises re: indigenous self government and traditional land rights in the build up to the election. So I would suggest viewed in this light the Wilson-Raybould and Philpot shuffles get these high profile and effective Ministers out of their sensitive positions, put in O’Reagan who to date hasn’t done much of anything, and in this way pivot away from native peoples’ aspirations and previous government promises, and at the same time signal to those in the west that the Liberals are still trying to support Canada’s oil and natural gas sector.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      On Reflection,

      Their job isn’t to try and support Canada’s oil and natural gas sector. Their job is to broker the deal between Alberta and BC. As for the chiefs, they should be fairly compensated for any right-of-way that’s required. No one can get all First Nations on board but find a way to get more of them to the table. This has to be a four party deal otherwise the pipeline is dead.

      • Sam White says:

        The “hereditary chief’s” demands et all are nothing more than the environmental lobby’s playing some of their last cards.

        You want to see political corruption & nepotism etc, take a good look at political goings on on reserves.

        I belong to one and know of what I speak.

        • The Doctor says:

          Like the saying goes, “The Chief’s driveway is always paved”.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Sam,

          A far better example is known as the Trump White House.

          • Fred from BC says:

            Fred:

            Ronald is one of the most courteous people here. You aren’t.

            Your continual ad hominem attacks on others ends today. If you don’t abide by that, you can go elsewhere.

            Warren

          • Sam White says:

            Partially agree – there’s not a political entity in existence that does not have some level(s) of corruption within their ranks. It’s unfortunately just the nature of the game.

            But I wouldn’t say the WH is any “worse” by any stretch. I personally know of a councilor who was just reelected in a band I am very close to (but don’t belong to) who has been feathering their nest very generously for over a decade. This particular band also has control over their own membership and can decide who and who can’t vote. They literally jumped for joy when Trudeau took away the Chief & councils obligation to post all expenditures etc online.

            Justin likes his “useful” Indians – yes he does indeed..

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