Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation and treatment has upset many people in Canada, including Veterans and Indigenous leaders.
“It’s like the veterans are the last priority in this story. We don’t have a minister of veterans affairs anymore” said Aaron Bedard, a veteran of the Afghan war.
Alongside anger from veterans for the gross mishandling of their affairs, a growing chorus of indigenous leaders are expressing discontent with the Trudeau government.
Recently, the leader of Manitoba’s NDP Wab Kinew, claimed that Trudeau’s treatment of the former Justice Minister has done irreparable damage to his credibility in the Indigenous community.
“Many Indigenous leaders and even Indigenous grassroots folks are upset at the signal that Jody Wilson-Raybould’s treatment sends,” said Kinew.
Wilson-Raybould’s father, Bill Wilson, a hereditary chief of the
Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation claimed that he was “ashamed” by the Prime Minister’s treatment of his daughter.
“She upholds integrity and dignity and the rule of law and she gets kicked in the teeth and moved down to veteran affairs. As important as that is, the reality is that it’s near the armpit of the cabinet. Indian Affairs is the armpit of the cabinet,” said Bill Wilson.
“Especially somebody who is representative, whether she wants to be or not, of Aboriginal people, being treated and kicked in the face the way we always have been, by his father, and now by him, and by the Conservatives and all the other governments.”
Soon after the cabinet shuffle earlier this year, Jody Wilson-Raybould was moved from the Justice Minister position into Veterans Affairs.
Many have called the move a demotion and speculated it was punishment for her refusal to bow down to pressure by the Prime Minister’s Office on the SNC-Lavalin affair.
“When you’re saying you’re being demoted and you’re being sent to veterans affairs, it’s a slap in the face for us,” said Daniel Tremblay, an Afghan war veteran from Ottawa.
Jody Wilson-Raybould is the third Veterans Affairs Minister appointed by the Trudeau government.
Despite all of the promises from the Liberal government for an improvement in the treatment of former service members and Indigenous people, Justin Trudeau has failed on all fronts.