Wilson-Raybould says she is willing to act as mediator in rail blockade talks
OTTAWA -- Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould said she would be willing to act as a mediator for the government in its efforts to address the ongoing protests and rail blockades that have shut down much of the country's rail system.
Wilson-Raybould is a former B.C. regional chief who served as justice minister in the Liberal cabinet before being ejected last year over the SNC-Lavalin scandal. She currently sits as an Independent MP.
"Would you be willing to go and act as a mediator in this situation?" Wilson-Raybould was asked Tuesday on CTV Power Play.
"Of course I would. I mean, this is a fundamental issue that is facing our country. It has been facing our country since we became a country. It's one of the reasons why I got involved in politics," Wilson-Raybould replied.
"Certainly if the prime minister were to reach out to me, I would lend a hand however I can."
The protesters in question are pushing back against a planned natural gas pipeline that would cross Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C., with tensions escalating into a broader conversation about First Nations rights, sovereignty and the rule of law.
After the RCMP took action to enforce an injunction at the initial protest site in B.C., protesters across Canada blocked railways and took to the streets to express their solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en opponents of the project.
The government has held meetings with First Nations leadership and opposition leaders – not including outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer – in a bid to find a solution to the issue.
As the former regional chief for British Columbia who previously served as the provincial representative for Wet’suwet’en Nation's band councils at the Assembly of First Nations, Wilson-Raybould said she was surprised not to be invited to the opposition leaders’ meeting on Tuesday.
"I was surprised that I wasn't invited to the meeting that he had today, knowing what I know and the roles that I've played," Wilson-Raybould said.
"This is a non-partisan issue. There are things that can happen. Go up to the territory, have discussions about a cooling off period, I mean these are real things that can be put on the agenda."
CTVNews.ca has reached out to the Prime Minister's Office for comment.