Monday, December 16, 2019

More Waves

Jody Wilson-Raybould is making waves again. She's refusing to leave her minister's office, even though she is now an independent MP. Susan Delacourt writes:

Rank matters when it comes to Parliament Hill real estate — offices are allocated on the basis of which party holds the most seats and which MPs hold the most significant positions within their parties.
Wilson-Raybould, as an Independent, is now at the bottom of the pecking order for office space and is not pleased that this means a downgrade in her working conditions.
“It seems a little bit petty to me,” Wilson-Raybould told CBC News. “It makes no sense to remove me from my MP office. So I don’t understand why they’re wanting to do it.”

There are those who will argue that the white men in Parliament are picking on an indigenous woman. But there's an interesting wrinkle to this story:

The mere suggestion of an Indigenous woman being ousted from her land (in this case, six rooms of office space) makes this whole drama somewhat freighted — and polarizing, just as the SNC story was. Once again, there are going to be people eager to portray Wilson-Raybould as a victim of white privilege in the political corridors of power.
There’s a complicating wrinkle to that story though: the minister who is supposed to move into Wilson-Raybould’s space is also Indigenous: Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal, a newly elected M├ętis MP from Winnipeg.

Wilson-Raybould has a reputation for being stubborn -- whether on her legislation on assisted dying or her position on SNC Lavalin. Obviously, she's still the same person she was before the election. From her perspective, nothing has changed. After all, she is still in the same seat she occupied before the national vote.

Image: The National Observer


zoombats said...

It's easy to see who is being "petty" here, pots and kettles aside.

Owen Gray said...

Things have changed, zoombats. But JWR doesn't recognize the changes.

the salamander said...

.. the furor unleashed via MainMedia and social media upon Ms Wilson-Raybould has attained ludicrous levels. She's maintained her usual dignity, no surprise. I had to laugh early this ayem on reading Jesse Brown's fabulous Twitter takedown of CBC re its vapid & breathless, indeed hyperbolic article that appears to have set this fandangle off. I can barely wait for Don Martin, Vassy Kapelos to join the hue n cry

The Liberal partisanos were in full cry immediately. The 'entitled' woman needs to 'get over herself' was popular- As CBC saw it she had taken an 'entire suite' hostage, 'refused to leave' blah blah woof woof. Ms Delacourt played it more coyly.. but it was her and CBC who ignored the facts and brought in the 'entitled indigenous' deflection storyline. Thus having her office 'blessed' was presumptuous and deflecting.. Its gone into the realm of total partisan sillyness & vitriol since. Ms Delacourt writes on interviewing Justin in his tiny office about 6 years ago as noteworthy. Was that in Center Block or in the temporary offices now being utilized ? He would not even be Official Opposition at that point. Of course Speaker Scheer did not award him a nice office. Harper would see to that

Darn.. but Ms Wilson-Raybould had kindly pointed out she had the impression she retained her office (3 connected rooms) and the day (Dec 12) the story broke she had been in contact with for clarification & had actually received via The Speakers office a list of offices to choose from for relocation.. and was reviewing. So much for 'refusing'. There is a 2nd similar & also average size office next door which she would vacate. Presumably many of her files are extremely sensative. Was she to pile them in the hallway ?

Jesse Brown inadvertently misspelled her @ Puglaas twitter handle as @ Puglass in his elegant CBC teardown. Oopsy.. the 'replies' to him from the defenders of Justin Trudeau also 'tagged' @ Puglass.. to make sure they gave her a piece of their mind as well.. plus threw in accusations the fine hand of Warren Kinsella just had to be involved ! The response was 'woof' - @ Puglass is the family puppy, a pug puppy.. with 'lass' at the tail of the family's name. Thus I was able to congratulate the enranged partisans for insulting a puppy, still being house trained.. and unwilling to vacate the doghouse.

Life is funny Owen.. and I do love spewing my 2nd coffee 5 ayem on realizing the confusion.. and hurting myself laughing. Our two dogs awakened and soon the house was rocked by woofs and barking. Presumably both the unfortunate & undeserving targets will press on regardless.. undeterred by the confusion..

Woof woof !

Owen Gray said...

I don't want to make too much of this, sal. But the election changed a lot of things for a lot of people. That change should be noted by all those who experienced it.

John B. said...

Considering the question of that wrinkle or wrinkle not, either way it makes sense to me.

"Let the Pawnee clean up."

Owen Gray said...

It seems to me that it's not a matter of prejudice against indigenous people, John. But it has a lot to do with personalities.

the salamander said...

.. true enough Owen, true enough. I use the term 'natural consequences'. It was the guiding term for those like me who worked with juvenile and adult offenders. Facts are just that.. the facts, despite there being three sides to every story. I'm sure it was the same in the classroom. There needs to be 'law and order' whether I agree with it or not. I have high respect for Ms Wilson-Raybould, as I do for Ms Jane Philpott. I doubt either were unaware of where their decisions would lead.

I have no respect for uninformed partisan pile-ons.. its a form of group bullying that I recognize immediately. Charlie Angus provided insight on this matter, based on Parliamentary experience. In his view this event was quite typical of 'payback'. I will stay tuned for further factual reportage.. and may 'unroll' Jesse Brown's fine Twitter thread for appraisal by those not on Twitter. I found it refreshingly on point, scathingly accurate

Anonymous said...

I should think JWR's laughing her head off. She's just trolled the Liberal establishment for all the trouble they caused her earlier this year, and they took the bait. Played the "dumb" First Nation Person on them to see if they'd actually been paying real attention on JT's waffly First Nations policy, and they bit as only PC people without a clue do. Anyone who can write as well as JWR can is no fool, at all. It was a jab in the ribs, on purpose, just to let 'em know -- you didn't get rid of me. I'm here, and you'll know about it. Getting elected as an independent is no mean feat, and this just reminded the establishment: I'm still here. Ralphie isn't.

What really made me happy was Montreal Simon's reaction of hate and fear - that boy is off the rails in love with JT. So while he was at it, he also took a slam at Philpott, the idiot. Having heard her in a long CBC Radio interview, I'd say she is really bright. Public speaking and being hardass isn't her gig, that's all.

My personal opinions. If you disagree, I really don't care.


Owen Gray said...

I have no doubt that this is about payback, sal. Clearly JWR does not like to be crossed. I suspect that, after she feels she has made that point, she'll move to different digs.

The Disaffected Lib said...

I think Jody is overplaying her hand. She knows from personal experience that ministers do more work, have larger staffs to accommodate and thus are given larger offices. How many backbench Liberals have ministerial-grade offices?

For her to play the waif is unconvincing. Sal suggests she has many "sensitive" files. She doesn't get to keep her DoJ files. She's not even in the government caucus.

I sense that she dreads the idea of being sidelined but that's politics.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect your take on JWR is pretty solid, BM. My question is: As an independent, how is she going to get things done?

Owen Gray said...

As I suggested to BM. Mound, I wonder how she will get things done. Politics requires you to play with others. Sometimes that's not easy. But one person rarely accomplishes anything on his or her own.

the salamander said...

.. I like how contentious this fooforaw has become ..
It shines a lkght on how decrepid Parliament has become.

Last I looked Ms Wilson-Raybould was elected to represent her riding. Strangely perhaps, she actually is.. plus she's a BC resident from the west coast ! Even re-elected as an independant ! Shame that Ms Philpott was not. So she has unusual customs like blessing an office ? BTW, who appointed her ? Uh oh, Justin himself. The superficial partisan view of her as lightweight contradicts the original opinion of Justin Trudeau. She operates & communicates with dignity.. just as First Nations tend to.. though let there be no doubt they can show just how steely they are.

Where's the beef that all the partisans on their fainting couches are spouting from ? Her riding must be stoked..! They electred a warrior, not a pansy ass like Rob Anders or a Pierre Poilivre or a Calandra. She will follow correct protocol, when the protocol is properly observed. Only then. BM gets it. This is cut and thrust.. she will suck eggs or aquiesce for nobody now. Completely unbeholden to any Party Whip or Caucus conformity.. she fully understands 'the deal'.. and those who deal from the bottom of the deck. The day may come when Trudeau must beg for her critical support to avoid defeat. If we think she cannot count votes in Parliament.. we are idiots.. she is way smarter than the average bear.. count on it !

Owen Gray said...

And, in the end, everything will depend on who she sides with, sal.

Rob said...

Montreal Simon is a Justin Trudeau, Liberal blowhard! But, I have to agree with him on this one. JWR is a spoiled rotten, self-centered user. She has played the indigenous and female card to extreme with a little help from friends. I have never voted Liberal and probably never will but I believe Warren Kinsella and the conservative party had a lot to do with the WJR, SNC Lavalin controversy. What we will never know until someone writes a book somewhere down the road is how competent she was in her ministerial roll. Liberals state that she was impossible to work with. That could be true and with her latest actions I tend to believe it. She wants to be Prime Minister and will do whatever it takes to get there. If you do not believe that then talk to her dad!

Owen Gray said...

Long ago, her father testified to his and his daughter's ambition, Rob. We'll soon see how far that ambition will take her.

e.a.f. said...

why be P.M. when you can work outside of the main stream to achieve your goals.

I found it funny. Laughed, when she refused to give up the office. Good for her. They aren't pushing her to the back of the bus. The ranking system for offices were set back in the day by a lot of "boys". Now "girls" have joined the game and they want new rules. Elizabeth May would have been consigned to the "back of the bus". To bad she didn't kick up a big "fuss". This isn't about a "fuss" in my opinion or being spoilt. Its about changing the system, a system which was brought into being by white men.

As to a Metis "wanting" the office, why do you think they "used" a Metis? they didn't want to come out as racists and they have "succeeded". These hierachly games men played in politics need to go. why can't offices be assigned by lottery. Cabinet need to be close. The leader of the Opposition, needs offices and so do the leaders of smaller parties. "regular M.P.s" ought not to be given priority over leaders of other parties. Change needs to come.

Now I do agree with Salamaner and A. 5:38 p.m. I'm sure also JWR is having a good laugh running these "boys" through the hoops.

Read over at Montreal Simon, JWR has new offices in the new section. why should she, by consigned to a "dump" of an office, if she can get a better one. Its not childish, its taking care of your career and how you are perceived in politics and by other leaders and that includes around the world. Don't be surprised if we look up one day and find JWR has not gone for the P.M. job but some thing at the U.N. or the Court of the Hague.

In my opinion, JWR is amazing and lots of fun! We need more women like her in politics

Montreal Simon can't get over his "love" for Trudeau. As I tried to point out on his blog, and got kicked off, is the Liberals are better off with Trudeau and the country is better off with him than Scheer. However, if Trudeau were to leave the party and its a one man band, where does that leave the Liberals or an "idiot" replaces him. Montreal Simon and whatever blue kept bashing the other smaller parties during the election. I expressed the opinion that wasn't smart. In a minority government you need those parties to stay in office. Fortunately the attitudes of Simon and some of the "crack pots" didn't spread to others. Now the Liberals need those smaller parties to pass the budget and other pieces of Legislation.

Rob, I don't think JWR will do "whatever' to achieve her ambitions. She is bigger than that. JWR is smart and more political sauvy than the white crowd want to give her credit for. Polpot also is principled and smart. Lot more principled and smart than a lot of people sitting in Parliament and the Senate.

People might want to remember JWR was elected as an Independent in her riding, which is a tad "varied". Not too many have been able to do that. don't under estimate her. Remember who her Father was/is. Remember he and his brothers had to fight their way to school each day, in the Comox Valley because they were in the provincial school system. His family did not live on the reserve. At the time for your parents, JWR's Grandfather, to send you to a "regular" school was a feat all on its own.

Owen Gray said...

JWR was sending the message "Don't mess with me," e.a.f. Now she has moved out to another office.