Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday February 13, 2019
Resignation of ‘very principled’ Jody Wilson-Raybould not a surprise, say former Manitoba grand chiefs
Two former Manitoba grand chiefs are defending Jody Wilson-Raybould as a strong leader following her resignation from cabinet Tuesday morning.
“She follows her convictions to the greatest degree. She’s very principled,” said Sheila North, former grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which represents Manitoba’s northern First Nations.
North worked with Wilson-Raybould on Indigenous files over the years, including missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and said Tuesday she was not surprised by her resignation.
“Her resolve to do the right thing is always on the top of her mind,” said North.
Wilson-Raybould’s resignation as minister of Veterans Affairs and associate minister of National Defence comes in the wake of a Globe and Mail story that alleged pressure was placed on her from the Prime Minister’s Office when she was the federal Justice minister.
The Globe reported she was pressured by the PMO to direct federal prosecutors to make a “deferred prosecution agreement” to avoid taking the Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin to trial on bribery and fraud charges in connection with contracts in Libya.
At a news conference later in the day Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “surprised and disappointed” with her decision to leave cabinet.
Trudeau denies he or his staff directed Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case. (Source: CBC)