Foreign Affairs Minister says Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke “her truth.” What does that mean?
What does “truth” mean?
This is an age-old question that has kept philosphers wondering for literally millennia. We can look at dictionary definitions, which boils it down to a constricted word easily bound by language; a noun meaning the quality or state of being true. In accordance with fact, or “reality.”
Well now that opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms. What is reality? Who defines it, and what does reality mean? Does reality bend to perception? Is reality objective? And if it is objective, what is it objective to? Is there an omniprescence or higher benevolence that we can compare reality to, to ensure that our reality is aligned with what is true?
These questions get some hung up on details that are difficult to overcome. We can find debates that date back literally thousands of years ago. As I’m sure, most of us abide by Plato’s meaning of truth. Plato argued powerfully in favor of the objectivity of values such as truth, good, and beauty. Objective values are those that lie outside of the individual and are not dependent upon her/his perception or belief.
Or we can follow the school of thought of Soren Kierkegaard, who argued that “truth is subjectivity” and “subjectivity is truth.”
Hell, there is a full podcast between American neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris and Professor of Clinical Psychology Jordan B. Peterson where they attempt to discuss the origins of truth for nearly two hours. In the end, the two didn’t really get anywhere, and the question remained, “what is truth?”
Basically, does truth abide by your perception, or does it abide by an objectivity? This is difficult to unpack for some. My father always told me while I was growing up that there were three sides to every story; his side, her side, and the truth. And boy, does that ever seem to ring true in the ongoing situation that faces Jody Wilson-Raybould, Justin Trudeau, and the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Just today, after the fallout from Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testimony in which she all but crucified the PM and his Office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stated that Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke “her truth” during her testimony before the Commons justice committee in Ottawa.
Freeland states that Trudeau would “never exert inappropriate pressures” on Wilson-Raybould, which would be in direct contrast of what she stated Wednesday. Believing all women only extends so far, apparently.
Freeland appeared on CBC’s Ottawa Morning on Thursday and was asked directly and right off the bat who she believe; Justin Trudeau, or Wilson-Raybould.
“I believe she spoke, as she said she wanted to do, her truth,” said Freeland.
“Having said that, I am clearly of the view that the prime minister would never apply improper pressure, that the prime minister has always been clear about the unique role of the attorney general, and would respect that.”
Did Jody Wilson-Raybould speak from “her truth,” or from “truth truth”, so to speak? Was it her speaking from her angle, or speaking from what she knows is true. In her conclusion, she stated that “Canadians can judge for themselves” as we all “now have the same frame of information.”
Wilson-Raybould stated that it was always in her view that the Attorney General of Canada “must be non-partisan, more transparent in the principals that are the basis of decisions,” and “always willing to bring truth to power.”
From what Wilson-Raybould herself has said, it does not sound like a woman trying to bring to light her experience, but it sounds like a woman telling us what she knows is true, and trying to honor the virtue of truth.
Mrs. Freeland’s comments come off as dismissive.
Wilson-Raybould continued, noting that the history of Crown/Indigenous relations in Canada has a checkered past, in which the rule of law was not “respected.” That Canada has not always upheld “foundational values such as the rule of law in relations to Indigenous peoples,” speaking from her own experience as an Indigenous woman.
“So what I pledged to serve Canadians as your minister of justice and attorney general, I came to it with a deeply ingrained commitment to the rule of law, and the importance of acting independently of partisan political and narrow-interest in all matters.”
Her last words before concluding her testimony are what truly depict the values of Wilson Raybould.
“I was taught to always be careful what you say, because you cannot take it back. I was taught to always hold true to your core values and principals, and to act with integrity. These are the teachings of my parents, my grandparents, and my community. I come from a long line of matriarchs, and I’m a truth teller. In accordance with the laws and traditions of our big house. This is who I am, and this is who I always will be. Gila’kasla, thank you.”
It’s up to Freeland if she wants to dismiss what Wilson-Raybould is saying as just “her truth” rather than an objective retelling of a political drama gone off the rails. That is her choice. As Canada watched, we knew that Wilson-Raybould wasn’t just speaking “her truth,” but was holding truth to the highest power possible.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he’s willing to help bridge the current divide between Western Canada and the federal government. However, he says that no job has been offered and that speculation over the possibility of his being appointed as a representative of Alberta in a federal cabinet is “silly.”
“No job has been offered, nor no job has been contemplated,” Nenshi told CTV’s Question Period in an interview aired Sunday. “Probably it’s wrong, but I am enjoying all this speculation because it’s so silly.”
Following the election, concern over Western representation in government has been steadily growing, as Conservative candidates, with the exception of one NDP candidate, swept both Alberta and Saskatchewan. This means that the Liberals lack a seat in parliament to represent either of the provinces and their interests.
Recently, Nenshi said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling #Wexit and separatist sentiment in Alberta “very real.”
“Of course the (Trans Mountain) pipeline has to get built, of course we need to re-examine Bill C-69 which my premier calls the No More Pipelines Bill, but is actually much more dangerous than that,” Nenshi said.
Neshi says that Bill C-69 will not only stifle the oil industry’s growth but will also make other infrastructure projects significantly more difficult in the province.
According to The Canadian Press, speculation over whether Nenshi will represent Western Canada was triggered by comments made by Trudeau following the election.
These comments came Thursday when Trudeau said he has no intention of forming a coalition government but does need to be more collaborative to bridge the regional gaps between Canadians.
Along with Nenshi, former Alberta premier Alison Redford has also been pegged as a possible Trudeau confidant and representative. In a CTV Question Period, she says that she would be happy to assist the Liberals in addressing Western representation at the federal level. However, like Nenshi, she has yet to be asked.
“I haven’t been asked. I am happy to help in any way,” she told CTV’s Question Period.
“This is something Canadians have been thinking about for a long time and I think the key is that there has to be a lot of voices at the table.”
On October 24, Alvin Tedjo, a hopeful candidate vying for leadership of the Ontario Liberals, announced his campaign promise to merge the Catholic and public school boards in Ontario according to the Toronto Star. To achieve this, Tedio says that it is necessary to eliminate all public funding to a separate Catholic school board.
“For students, this change means the convenience of attending their closest school, less time on the bus and access to an optional religious curriculum,” Tedjo said Thursday.
“For teachers and early childhood educators, it means smaller class sizes, availability of more resources and the freedom to teach in any publicly funded school.”
Despite being Catholic himself, Tedjo says his move makes fiscal sense and that it’s necessary to have all four school boards merged into secular French and English schools.
“As a Catholic, I have a choice, but others don’t have that choice.”
Tedjo says that by merging Catholic school boards with the public, Ontario could save between $1.2 and $1.6 billion, citing a 2012 Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods study.
Tedjo has entitled his plan “Learning Together,” and has drawn inspiration from Quebec, Manitoba, and Newfoundland which have done the same.
“For students, this change means the convenience of attending their closest school, less time on the bus and access to an optional religious curriculum. For teachers and early childhood educators, it means smaller class sizes, availability of more resources and the freedom to teach in any publicly funded school,” said Tedjo in a news release.
“Learning Together would also see more class offerings in STEM and the arts, as well as improved mental health resources and supports for students with special needs.”
Despite the controversy, and the fact Tedjo has three children enrolled in Catholic education right now, he says that Learning Together will allow the merged school board to incorporate the strengths of both and provide a better education and school experience for all kids in the province.
In response to increasing criticism and outrage from Western Canada, the new Liberal minority government has decided that it’s in their (and the rest of Canada’s) best interests to push through with the Trans Mountain pipeline.
After losing every single seat in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dialled back his climate policy rhetoric and opted for a more nuanced approach to balance the green push with realistic economic policies.
On October 23, he told a press conference that he will begin his second term as prime minister by working to ensure that oil producers can sell their product abroad at fair prices by moving forward with the pipeline. When asked why his parliament failed to win seats and represent Western Canada, he said that why isn’t the central question but how can the federal government mend the disconnect between West and East.
“We made a decision to move forward on the pipeline because it was in the interest of Canada to do so because the environment and the economy need to go together. We will be continuing with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion,” Trudeau said.
“Albertans and people in Saskatchewan have faced very difficult years over these past few years because of the global commodity prices, because of the challenges they are facing. For a long time, they weren’t able to get their resources to markets other than the U.S. We are moving forward to solve those challenges.”
According to CBC, the 1,150-kilometre pipeline expansion would roughly “triple the existing pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels a day,” and would allow Alberta to ship oil through B.C. to international markets such as Asia.
The Liberal government has also stated its plans to use the additional oil revenues to transition to cleaner sources of energy, predicting up to $500 million for green energy projects.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that the plan to extend the pipeline isn’t merely a ploy to mollify Alberta and assist negotiations between the minority government and the provinces. Rather, Morneau says that balancing the economy with green energy initiatives is a crucial part of the Liberal’s transitionary measures.
“We purchased [the pipeline] for a reason,” said Morneau. “We now see how it can help us accelerate our clean energy transition by putting any revenues that we get from it into a transition to clean energy. We think that is the best way we can move forward in our current context.”
According to CTV News, construction for the expansion is expected to be complete by the middle of 2022. The Liberal government has forecasted taking up to $125 million in revenue from Trans Mountain Canada each year up to the expansion’s completion and the $500 million each year after.
“My expectation is that we have much common ground between the other parties that have been elected to the next Parliament,” said Morneau.
“We will be seeking consensus on how we can move forward on that common ground. This project we’ve already moved forward on. It’s one that we’ve said that we’re moving forward on, we’ve actually already gone through that process.”
Stocks for the scandal-ridden Quebec-based engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. surged by nearly 15 percent on the morning after Justin Trudeau’s re-election to a Liberal minority government.
Currently, SNC-Lavalin is facing corruption charges for bribing officials while conducting business in Libya, including bribes to the son of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The company was at the heart of an election interference scandal that plagued the Trudeau government and resulted in the ejection of former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and MP Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus.
Wilson-Raybould has since been re-elected as an independent candidate for Vancouver Granville.
Trudeau was eventually found to have broken the law and had attempted to politically interfere in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin by the ethics commissioner.
Prior to Trudeau’s re-election, SNC-Lavalin stocks had faced a downturn, falling more than 60 percent over the last year.