Wilson-Raybould calls Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Bennett for sending her “racist” and “misogynistic” text – .

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Wilson-Raybould calls Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Bennett for sending her “racist” and “misogynistic” text – .


OTTAWA – Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett has admitted sending Independent MP and former Liberal Justice Minister Jody Wilson Raybould a text message Wilson-Raybould called “racist” and “misogynist.”

Wilson-Raybould said that while she was “stunned” by the message, to her it was “indicative of a pattern of behavior” that she says she experienced in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office. And, for her, it is emblematic of the Liberal government’s struggle to “do the right thing” by aboriginal peoples.

The incident stems from a “troubled interpersonal relationship” between the two federal politicians, according to Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller.

Thursday morning, Wilson-Raybould tweeted a screenshot of a text message Bennett sent him, in which Bennett asked, “Pension? “

The comment seemed to suggest that Wilson-Raybould calling on Trudeau to stop “maneuvering for an election” was driven by his own desire to maintain his MP pension, and not because the nation continues to mourn the growing number of anonymous graves discovered. at the former residential school sites.

MPs are entitled to pensions after serving for six years, a milestone already taken by Bennett, having been first elected in 1997.

Responding in his own tweetBennett admitted she sent the message and said she apologized directly to her former cabinet colleague.

“Earlier, I apologized directly to the member for Vancouver-Granville. I let the interpersonal dynamic get the better of me and sent a callous and inappropriate comment, which I deeply regret and shouldn’t have done, ”Bennett said.

In an interview on CTV News Channel’s Power Play, Wilson-Raybould said she “cried” when she woke up to this message from Bennett on Thursday morning, claiming that the last time they exchanged texts , that was in 2018.

“I was surprised and shocked to say the least… Faced with this horrible news, to receive a message of racism and misogyny from the Minister, and not from any Minister, the Minister responsible for the Crown-Aboriginal relations in this country, I was devastated, ”she said.

Wilson-Raybould said she hoped Bennett’s apology – a text message saying “sorry” – was genuine and that she was reflecting on his “ridiculous” innuendo that she was working for money.

Wilson-Raybould and many other MPs first elected in 2015 will be entitled to pensions next October once they reach six years of service, and some have speculated that this could be a factor in the timing of the next election, which has widely speculated could occur this summer or fall.

“Words matter, and the initial reaction, or his first reaction to send me that message, says something,” Wilson-Raybould said.

The Prime Minister’s Office made no comment on Thursday, referring to Bennett’s tweet.

Bennett and Wilson-Raybould worked side-by-side in the federal cabinet between 2015 and 2019. Wilson-Raybould, who was Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister, resigned from the cabinet in February 2019 and then in April from the that same year, Trudeau removed her from the Liberal Party. caucus on the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

In an interview with CTV News Channel’s Power Play, Miller said Bennett “absolutely never should have said” what she did. He said he had “immense” respect for the two women, but he knows the two have had “a troubled interpersonal relationship.”

“I have known Minister Bennett’s dedication to reconciliation for decades. I know she is mortified to have texted this to Jody Wilson-Raybould and bitterly regrets it, ”Miller said, declining to respond if, in her opinion, it undermines the Liberals’ credibility on reconciliation and ability to work with the communities, given that one of the two prime ministers on the issue expressed himself in this way.

In response to the exchange, NDP MP Charlie Angus said it was time for Bennett be “sent to pack”. British Columbia MP and Conservative Mark Strahl said Bennett’s comment was intended to “disparage” Wilson-Raybould, who in his opinion “Has more integrity and is more respected than Justin Trudeau and his entire cabinet combined. “

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