She’s at the centre of one of the biggest scandals facing the Liberal government, but the SNC-Lavalin scandal is not what Jody Wilson-Raybould’s book is about.
From Where I Stand: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a Stronger Canada is focused on Indigenous reconciliation and abolishing the Indian Act. But the independent candidate and former Liberal also writes about how her gender, world view and culture were not always compatible with Ottawa politics.
“A woman’s lived experience is still often used against us, as a reason for marginalization, as a basis for blame,” she wrote in the book.
Wilson-Raybould said she believes she would have been treated differently if she was a male politician and gives the example of being called “difficult.”
“If being difficult is doing your job, which I did as the attorney general, (and) if being difficult is standing up for what’s right and taking action based on one’s principles or standing up for the rule of law or the independence of our institutions and the fundamental tenants of democracy, then I’m OK with being difficult every day of our life,” she said.
When asked if Wilson-Raybould believed Justin Trudeau is still a feminist, the now-independent candidate said she doesn’t subscribe to labels. However if she did, she said feminism to her is “ensuring every individual is equal and has an equal opportunity to success.”
Wilson-Raybould’s book focused making sure Indigenous Canadians have equal opportunities.
“The Indian Act is a colonial piece of legislation that was introduced in 1976 and still exists in various iterations today and it represents an impoverished system of government that has been imposed Indigenous communities, taking away their traditional forms of governments, imposing legislative structures in terms of how they elect chief and council,” she said.
Wilson-Raybould said Canada needs to create mechanisms that enable Indigenous communities to remove themselves from the Indian Act when they are ready.
She said while running as an independent, she’s had more conversations with members of parliament from all political stripes than during the time she was a minister of the Crown.
“We need to think about why that is,” Wilson-Raybould said, adding she hopes to be a bridge builder of sorts between parties.
“No political party has a monopoly on the truth or on solutions.”