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.

Just Posted

Westin Bear Mountain hotel sold to local businessman and entrepreneur

Ecoasis will maintain responsibility of golf and tennis operations and developable lands

West Shore RCMP release sketch of Galloping Goose sexual assault suspect

Anyone who knows the man is asked to call West Shore RCMP

Motorcylist ticketed for excessive speed, bike impounded by Saanich Police

The 22-year-old was issued two tickets – one for a bent licence plate

Impaired driver caught travelling double the speed in playground zone: Saanich police

Vehicle impounded and driver issued ticket, 90-day suspension

Concrete beams for McKenzie interchange set for installation this weekend

No lane closures expected during weekend work, says ministry

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read