Jody Wilson-Raybould to announce political future next week

Former Liberal Attorney General tells the Courier climate change most important issue facing Canadians

Former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould will make a “community announcement about her political future” in Vancouver May 27.

 

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The independent MP for Vancouver-Granville will make the announcement at Marpole Neighbourhood House, according to a May 24 press release. Wilson-Raybould just appeared at the community centre for its opening celebration on May 22.

At that event, Wilson-Raybould was coy about her plans for the upcoming federal election.

“For now, I'm going to consider it a little bit more,” Wilson-Raybould told the Courier.

“I think it's important to let people know what my intentions are. But, also, it's equally important for me to be 100 per cent sure about my next steps and to make sure I've listened to the people that elected me, and that's what I'm doing.”

Since the fallout of the SNC-Lavalin affair, speculation over Wilson-Raybould’s political future has grown. Both the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Green Party have reportedly courted her candidacy in recent months.

On Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould also spoke about what issues she believes are most important heading into the fall election, placing climate change front and centre.

“We're confronted with some major issues of our times that need to be addressed right now before we lose our way on it – and the biggest one is addressing climate change,” she said.

“I hope that voters in the next election will make decisions based on what's best for the environment and the natural world,” she continued. “How best we can represent the constituents in terms of the nature of our democracy, the nature of our parliamentary democracy and how decisions are made.”

Wilson-Raybould suggested the Liberal government’s approach to climate change does not go far enough. However, she believes the responsibility should not fall on just one party.

“I think that action on climate change and innovation has to be a non-partisan issue,” Wilson-Raybould said. “I hope that the dialogue, debate and discussion move beyond what one party is representing versus the other party and actually focuses on ensuring that we reduce our carbon emissions, that we meet the targets that we've set out and that we be a bit more ambitious.”

Stewart Prest, a political scientist at Simon Fraser University, said Wilson-Raybould’s comments indicate she may be leaning toward a run with the Greens.

“It is certainly echoing some of the key themes you would associate with a Green Party platform, both in terms of placing environmental issues as a generational challenge but also in terms of talking about the way we go about doing your own politics and making that a topic as well,” Prest said.

He also said that Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s friendship with the former Liberal minister, as well as their shared views, might lead her to that party. At May’s wedding in April, Wilson-Raybould said she had spoken with May about running with the Greens several times.

Despite her expulsion from the Liberal caucus in April, Prest said that Wilson-Raybould’s politics still very much invoke the platform the Liberals ran and won on in 2015. 

“She, herself, seems remarkably consistent in that what she ran for and why she was involved in the Liberal Party was a real belief in that 'sunny ways' platform,” said Prest. “And the comments she's saying now suggest that she's still looking to find a way to practice that kind of politics.”

Wilson-Raybould said as much in a letter to former Liberal colleagues back in April before she was kicked out of the party.

“In 2015, I believed the Liberal Party held such a vision, and I still believe the Liberals can and must advance such a vision,” she wrote.

However, in that same letter, she also hinted at her disappointment with how the party has governed, particularly highlighting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision not to move forward with proportional representation.

Jane Philpott, another former high-ranking minister who was expelled from the Liberal Party at the same time as Wilson-Raybould, said Friday she would also make an announcement about her political future on Monday at the same time as her independent colleague.

@benjaminmussett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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