As of November 4, 2015, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has formally resigned along with his cabinet; to be replaced by a Liberal majority led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Of particular interest to our legal community is incoming Justice Minister and Attorney General, MP Jody Wilson-Raybould of British Columbia, and 1 of 15 women cabinet ministers sworn into office. Wilson-Raybould will be the first, First Nations member to hold the position and this will be the first time she has held public office at the Federal level.
Called to the bar in British Columbia in 2000 she worked as a Crown Prosecutor for three years, prior to joining the B.C. Treaty Commission where she was later elected as Commissioner by the First Nations Chiefs ( 2004). She continued her work within the First Nations community being elected Regional Chief of the B.C. First Nations in 2009, a position she held till making the decision to run as a Liberal in the most recent election.
MP Wilson- Raybould’s previous work with First Nation Bands across the country following the “Idle No More” protests and rallies, along with her experience as Regional Chief, will certainly aid her in the months to come following Prime Minister Trudeau’s campaign promises surrounding Aboriginal rights. In an interview with APTN, David Worme, a Saskatchewan based lawyer and founder of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada, said, “Wilson Raybould’s appointment is like a new dawn after a long night.”
Wilson has cut her teeth in the political realm and within the legislative framework pushing for land code reform, and “establishing a regulatory framework for greater transparency in the band’s budgets and expenses.” The second particular standing in line with Prime Minister Trudeau’s call to action surrounding the Harper government.
The jury is still out but most can agree at least that Prime Minister Trudeau and his newly formed cabinet spell change for Canada.