VANCOUVER – Over the past three and a half years, it has been my greatest privilege to serve you as your Member of Parliament. With your support, guidance, and participation we have achieved important things – and, of course, there is important work yet to be done. Currently, as has been publicly reported, I intend to stand for re-election as the Liberal candidate for the 2019 federal election.
Recent events have been a wake-up call for many across the country. These matters are still unfolding, and further clarity and information is needed. As in other places around the globe, our democratic institutions and norms – including the rule of law and prosecutorial independence – are under pressure. Collectively, and as individuals, we are challenged to respond.
Unsurprisingly, some responses to this challenge – including from some politicians and commentators – suggest this is simply the way things are, and the way things will always be.
This old, cynical view is wrong. We need never resign ourselves to the excuse that “this is just the way things are done.” Our country is built on a belief that we can, and must, continually do better. We will never be perfect, but we must always be striving to strengthen the foundations of diversity, inclusion, equality, and justice. When we are not doing that, we have truly lost our way.
This is why Canadians from coast to coast to coast have so inspired me in recent weeks. I found myself in a situation I never expected to be in. I was just doing my job, and I did not expect it to become a national focus. But you were paying attention – and with good reason – because this matter is serious, and some questions remain unanswered. And – importantly – your responses have motivated and intensified courageous action about doing politics differently.
Being different is a theme intimately connected to my work in politics. In asking you to elect me as your representative, I pledged to you that I would strive – as best I could – to act differently than we had increasingly been accustomed.
Before 2015 I had never been involved in federal or provincial politics and had never been a member of a political party. My leadership experience before running to be your Member of Parliament had been in the Indigenous world, advocating for transformation in relations with Indigenous peoples and to do politics differently – less partisan and more open. As many of you know, in my cultural teachings we strive to work through consensus. While there are diverse views, tensions, and challenges, we do not entrench those in political parties, and we often frown on personal ambition. I have tried to bring this approach to Ottawa and will continue to do so.
During these recent events, you have taught me so much about what a changed politics means. I have received over 10,000 emails, texts, phone calls, cards, and letters from around the country expressing the vision, desire, and passion of Canadians to effect real and transformative change.
You are the true leaders who reject the increasing culture of conflict, empty partisanship, and cynical games that are far too common, and you are committed to building a culture of ever-greater collaboration, truth-seeking, and principled service for the well-being of Canada and all Canadians. Thank you.
I stand with you. Our collective goal is to encourage, support, and advance all lines of action that will help transform a political culture from being self-serving to service-oriented on behalf of all Canadians.
Beyond partisanship, spin, and image, there lies a politics of change that is driven forward by galvanizing our core values – regardless of political stripe – into concrete laws, policies and actions that support Canada as an ever-advancing society.
I look forward to continuing to advance this work with you, and with Canadians across the country. Let us continue to be engaged, stay true to principles and values we hold dear, and uphold each other as we all work to strengthen our communities and our institutions, knowing that each of our voices counts.
Thank you again for your outreach.
Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville