Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould waits to speak after the Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, September 24, 2017. Wilson-Raybould in her Vancouver Granville riding say they’re disappointed by the decision of government MPs to eject her from the Liberal caucus but they would back her in the upcoming election if she ran as an Independent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Supporters in Vancouver riding would back Wilson-Raybould as an Independent

It’s alleged the Prime Minister’s Office pressured Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin

Supporters of Jody Wilson-Raybould in her Vancouver Granville riding say they’re disappointed she was ejected from the Liberal caucus but they would back her in the federal election if she ran as an Independent.

Tracy Beshara, executive director of Marpole Oakridge Family Place in south Vancouver, said she has met Wilson-Raybould and she is a woman of “integrity and quality.”

“All that is going on with her is a disappointment, and we support her fully,” said Beshara. “She’s honest. She’s real and she can tell you both sides. She won’t tell you what you want to hear. She’ll tell you the way it is. Most politicians don’t do that.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were no longer in caucus on Tuesday, moments after Liberal MPs held an emergency meeting to determine their future. Trudeau said the trust that previously existed between the two MPs and his team had been broken.

Trudeau’s government has been tormented for weeks by allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured Wilson-Raybould, the former attorney general, to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. Last week, a fresh uproar erupted over a key phone call with former top bureaucrat Michael Wernick, which Wilson-Raybould secretly recorded.

Throughout it all, many supporters in Vancouver Granville have stood by their MP, who they describe as direct, honest and genuine. Beshara said she hadn’t kept up with every news development but she would “absolutely” support Wilson-Raybould if she ran independently or for a different party.

“I don’t really think it matters what party she’s with, because she’ll represent with integrity with whatever party she’s with.”

Walter Wells of the community group Vancouver Odd Fellows, which is based just around the corner from Wilson-Raybould’s constituency office, said Tuesday afternoon he was sitting at his desk, looking at the news, and felt simply “astounded.”

“I’m not sure what adjective to use,” he said, adding he had never been particularly involved in politics before he met the MP.

“Because I had met her … I started paying more attention and honestly what I see happening here — I listened to the tape and I read as much as I can on (the SNC-Lavalin scandal). I believe she was acting with integrity, with honour,” he said.

Wells lives outside the riding, but said he still intends to volunteer for Wilson-Raybould’s campaign, should she run as an Independent or for a different party. He also said he’ll vote against the Liberals in the next election.

“I believe she is a very talented, very skilled, very knowledgeable person and they’re making a big mistake in throwing her away,” he said.

“She’s seems to be continuing the path of truthfulness and embracing the Liberal principles and the rest of them seem to be doing whatever they have to do to stay in power, and that’s typical politics.

“She is not engaging in typical politics. She’s trying to do the right thing and she’s being punished for it and it disgusts me.”

READ MORE: Jody Wilson-Raybould honoured at ceremony on Vancouver Island amid controversy

READ MORE: Conservative promises to filibuster budget to force more SNC-Lavalin testimony

Wilson-Raybould was a first-time federal candidate in 2015 when she won the newly created riding with 43 per cent of the vote. She had previously served in high-ranking roles in Indigenous organizations, including as regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations.

The Vancouver Granville Liberal Riding Association, which had previously voiced support for Wilson-Raybould, did not immediately respond to requests for comment

Rev. Steven Epperson of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver said the decision to oust Wilson-Raybould was “unfortunate.”

“I am really impressed with Jody and her dedication to serving Canada. I want to sort of underline that. I really think she has the best interests of the nation at heart,” he said. “I think she is a person of integrity and honesty and I hope she has a future — she should — in politics in this country. I think we would be well-served by people like her.”

Epperson said if Wilson-Raybould chose to run as an Independent, he’d volunteer for her campaign, as an individual and not as a representative of the church.

“Just after she was elected she reached out to me — I didn’t reach out to her — recognizing we were an important constituency within her riding. She’s an excellent retail politician and that’s a compliment.”

Laura Kane and Hina Alam, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP still looking for suspect in liquor store break and enter theft

The theft happened around midnight back on Jan. 28, 2020.

‘Spacecapades’ Ice Carnival is coming to the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill

‘Spacecapades’ will feature 18 different acts and an intermission in the middle of the show.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Otters in the water

“It seemed as though the older otters were more willing to be photographed”

Bantams win first game of playoff finals against Thunderbirds

“The team would appreciate a big show of support”

Port Hardy RCMP discuss reconciliation with First Nations

The RCMP “want to be emotionally respectful of the past while still trying to uphold the laws.”

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

North Island College draft strategic plan available for feedback

North Island College is inviting the public to provide feedback on its… Continue reading

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Most Read