Trudeau minister apologizes for insulting Indigenous MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

Text message from Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett accused Vancouver-Granville MP of putting her pension ahead of politics

Article content

She may be Justin Trudeau’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs, but Carolyn Bennett resorted to stereotypes when insulting Indigenous MP and former cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Bennett implied that Wilson-Raybould was just looking to secure her pension when she called on Trudeau to stop angling for an election and fulfil his promises to Canada’s First Nations.

Wilson-Raybould, who represents the riding of Vancouver-Granville and was formerly Justice Minister until leaving cabinet over pressure to cut a sweetheart deal over the SNL-Lavalin affair, had been commenting on the discovery of 751 unmarked graves at a Saskatchewan residential school.

“With the horrific news out of Saskatchewan, our collective call, again, is for concrete transformative action,” Wilson-Raybould tweeted.

“@JustinTrudeau, if you care enough to make things right, stop your selfish jockeying for an election—which no one really wants—and do what you promised in 2018. #215+”


Story continues below

Article content

Bennett responded via text, including the tweet with simply the phrase, “Pension?”

That phrase ‘pension’ refers to the fact that MPs who were first elected in the 2015 election are eligible for a pension once they achieve six years of service, which won’t happen until late October.

If an election takes place before that time, anyone who is not re-elected will forgo their pension.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Bennett was effectively saying that Wilson-Raybould was asking Trudeau not to call an election to so she could secure her pension.

The comment didn’t sit well with the MP for Vancouver-Granville who posted a screenshot of the message on Twitter.

“Racist & misogynist text from @Carolyn_Bennett #215+ Reflects notion that Indigenous peoples are lazy & only want $ Shows disregard, disdain, & disrespect for Indigenous peoples, as in our history Conveys a strong Indigenous woman, is a bad Indig woman.”


Story continues below

Article content

A little more than an hour after Wilson-Raybould posted a screenshot of the text, Bennett announced that she had apologized.


Story continues below

Article content

“Earlier I offered my apologies directly to the MP for Vancouver-Granville. I let interpersonal dynamics get the better of me and sent an insensitive and inappropriate comment, which I deeply regret and shouldn’t have done,” Bennett said.

The Trudeau government has made bold promises to Canada’s First Nations communities but has been criticized for not delivering including on ensuring clean drinking water.

In March 2019, Trudeau had his own embarrassing moment when he dismissed an Indigenous woman protesting the drinking water issue at a Liberal fundraiser.

As the woman was being escorted out he shouted out to her, “Thank you for your donation.”


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
On Key

Related Posts


Russtrat world

USA on the eve of white revenge

MOSCOW, 30 Nov 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute. During the presidency of Donald Trump, so many rules and even taboos have been broken in the American establishment