Some people seem to have a wonderfully newfound fondness for ex-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. I get the part about how she's First Nations and the first FN to serve as A.G. That's pretty much were it ends for me.
The Jody I saw was, should I say, "flexible" when it came to her principles. Think back to the summer of 2016 when, as Attorney General, Jody pushed through federal approval of the Site C dam without First Nations consultation and despite their opposition. Well, she really didn't need to consult with First Nations leaders about the dam. She knew what they believed.
Here's Jody in 2012 as Assembly of First Nations regional chief for B.C. condemning the Site C dam.
That's some flexibility.
Then came the assisted dying controversy, settled by the per curiam, 9-0 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Carter case. Jody, of course, is a lawyer and a former Crown Attorney. She knows the law. She knows the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As A.G., independent of her prime minister and cabinet, she knows it is her duty to uphold the law of the land, including the Charter rights of all Canadians.
The Carter case concerned every Canadian's Charter right to a humane death, free of intolerable suffering. The decision is not full of legalese. It's pretty straightforward. The link is above, read it. You can understand it. Even an English-major like Justin or Gerry could understand it. We are a nation of laws, supposedly. The powerful ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada binds the federal government, Liberal or Tory.
So what did the prime minister and ex-Justice Minister Jody do? They took your Charter rights and mine and chiseled them down to something they liked better. They passed legislation abridging your Charter rights on something as critical as the right to a humane death.
Jody's thuggishness came through in the case of a horribly ill Alberta woman, known as "E.F.". This was one of those intolerable suffering situations for which the Supreme Court of Canada, 9-0, said fell within the Charter protection. Only not for Justin and not for Jody.
To hear Wilson-Raybould tell it, E.F. "was suffering from a mental illness and ... a psychiatrist had approved (her) eligibility for medical assistance over Skype."
"I don't think that's a situation that we want to get into," she warned Liberals at the ruling party's national convention in Winnipeg.
The justice minister has repeatedly referred to the E.F. case while urging parliamentarians to pass Bill C-14, the government's proposed new law on assisted dying, by Monday. She's argued that many doctors will refuse to provide medical assistance in dying in the absence of a legal framework while others may provide it to vulnerable people who shouldn't be eligible — like E.F., in Wilson-Raybould's judgment.The truth:
E.F.'s application for an assisted death was supported by three doctors: her long-time attending physician — who had treated her for 28 years, including referrals to several psychiatrists and at least one neurologist — an assisting doctor and a psychiatrist with expertise in E.F.'s condition, who reviewed her medical file but did not examine her.
E.F., whose name has never been disclosed to protect her and her family's privacy, had suffered for nine years from a psychiatric illness called "severe conversion disorder." It caused her muscles to spasm involuntarily, producing constant pain and migraines and rendering her effectively blind, incapable of walking and often incapable of eating.
To hear Jody tell it, E.F. just had a case of the "downers." That's our justice minister, really?
All three doctors agreed that E.F. was competent and enduring intolerable suffering that was irremediable. The Alberta Court of Appeal agreed, in the process blasting a hole in the rationale that the federal government has used to justify the restrictive approach taken in Bill C-14.But, if it was politically expedient to this Liberal government, Justin and Jody were plenty willing to dish out a life sentence of unconscionable cruelty in defiance of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The upshot of their self-serving callousness is that, across the country, people with degenerative terminal illnesses are having to opt for assisted death months earlier out of fear that some day they may be unforeseeably incapable of invoking their rights, forcing them to die in lingering anguish just as the prime minister and his ex-justice minister would prefer it.
Of course this is the very sort of chicanery you can routinely get from a "false majority" government like Trudeau's. Your Charter rights will be shaped by their partisan political interests. It's illegal. It's undemocratic. It's brutally wrong.
So I'm sorry if I don't have a lot of sympathy for Jody or a lot of respect for Justin either. This isn't about Jody standing on principle. That's never been much of an issue for her in the past. Jagmeet, Andrew Scheer, Justin Trudeau, or Jody Wilson-Raybould - to me they're just a pack of opportunists. I wasn't going to vote for any of those snarling curs anyway.