Why I'm running as an independent candidate

For the past three and a half years it has been my greatest privilege to serve the constituents of Vancouver Granville as your Member of Parliament and I believe my time in federal politics is not yet over. There is still much work to be done. So, after much reflection and deliberation and given all of the kind words of encouragement and support, I have decided to seek re-election in the upcoming 2019 federal election for Vancouver Granville as an independent candidate.  

With your support, I am confident that running as an independent at this time is the best path forward to advance the positive change our country needs and to have the most impact on our evolving political system. From what you have told me, it is clear that many of us are motivated and inspired about doing politics differently. 

I have learned and experienced much over the past three and a half years, both as your Member of Parliament and as a Cabinet Minister. The experience of being an MP has provided me with an increased appreciation of the diversity and richness of our community here in Vancouver Granville and the key issues that impact us all and others that are more specfic to some. A number of deep relationships have been fostered and I am the true beneficiary of these. Thank you. As Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I was very proud to be a part of such initiatives as the medical assistance in dying legislation, the legalization of cannabis, the Indigenous Directive on Civil Litigation, new legal protections for trans and gender diverse Canadians, and other justice reforms, including ensuring a more open and transparent system for selecting judges to ensure more diversity on the bench. That said, it has also become very apparent to me and to many other Canadians that there can be, and must be, a different way of doing politics that reflects where our country needs to go and does not regress. We all need to remain vigilant. And there is still work to be done to ensure our democracy evolves and continues to advance and respect the rule of law.  

In making my decision to run as an independent, I have also reflected on why I ran in 2015 in the first place. Back then, in asking you to elect me as your representative, I pledged that I would strive, as best I could, to act differently than we had increasingly been accustomed to by politicians. Before 2015, I had never been involved in federal or provincial politics, and had never been a member of a political party. My leadership experience before running to be your MP had been in the Indigenous world, advocating for transformation in relations with Indigenous peoples. In my cultural teachings, we strive to work through consensus. While there are diverse views, tensions, and challenges, we do not entrench those in political parties, and we often frown on personal ambition. I have tried to bring this approach to Ottawa and will continue to do so.

I now see, more than ever, why this is so important. Moving forward, we cannot afford to be complacent. Around the globe, and across the country, environmental, economic, and security challenges are deepening. And these challenges share a fundamental characteristic – they ignore boundaries between nations and peoples. They impact all of us, remind us of the ways we are interconnected, and require solutions that see us acting with strength and in recognition of how we all have a part to play.  
In the face of these challenges, many places in the world have chosen to erode democracy, traffic in fear, and promote division – naively thinking that the response to the interconnected challenges that effect all of us is to try to protect the few. We have to do the opposite. We must build on our strengths and accomplishments that have brought us together as a nation and allowed us to prosper. When the challenges we have to meet are collective ones, we need to respond through shared and joint efforts that use the distinct ideas, talents, and expertise we all have to offer. 

Rising to these challenges requires Ottawa to operate more openly and transparently in a spirit on non-partisanship and cooperation. This is what I am now, more than ever, as an independent committed to advancing.

As an independent, though, my priorities have not changed. Both as a matter of individual and collective health and well-being, and as a matter of economic prosperity and national security, we must tackle climate change. This is the issue of our generation. As an Indigenous Canadian, it is also important to me that reconciliation be purposeful and lead to a stronger system of cooperative federalism where Indigenous peoples are full partners in Confederation. This is good for all of Canada. In our riding of Vancouver Granville, which is one of the most diverse in the country and growing quickly, we need to continue our focus working with all levels of government to meet the needs of our community. This includes addressing the housing needs as well as ensuring our transportation networks continue to be upgraded and improved, including the timely completion of the Broadway line.

As you consider your vote in October 2019, some may tell you that a vote for JWR is a wasted vote. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can assure you, in this period of transition, that a vote for JWR will ensure that you have a strong independent voice in Ottawa who will work with whichever party is in power, and with MPs of all political stripes, for the betterment of Vancouver Granville and our country. And when I say ‘independent’, I mean it in the true meanings of the word – “free from outside control; not depending on another's authority” and “not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence”.  I will depend upon the vision, service, and support of the citizens of my riding and will listen to the voices of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Moreover, I will continue to work hard and always speak the truth.

In the lead up to the general election I will also continue to seek your guidance on evidence-based policy development, as well as uploading information and ideas to my website. In my view, once re-elected, one of the first tasks will be to work across party lines to amend the rules that govern how parliament works to make it more effective and less partisan. 

I am very much looking forward to our on-going conversations whether through email, in community meetings or on the doorstep. And if you would like to join our independent movement or volunteer, please feel free to contact me. Your support in any way is most appreciated.

I look forward to continuing to earn your support so that we can carry on with our efforts to do politics differently and to ensure progress is made on the issues that are important to all of us.




Showing 19 reactions

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  • Nigel Kearns
    commented 2019-09-26 06:30:25 -0700
    Hello Jody, I am part of a growing movement in Cape Breton Island/Unama’ki, who’s mission is that of independent candidacy in the pursuit of true autonomy of our island and its peoples. A non-partisan movement to direct representation between the people and the chosen representative, free of the cumbersomeness party interventions and agendas.

    Your words in your “Why I’m running as an independent candidate” above are our words. There has been m,any discussing this action, however it was our own Senator Dan Christmas’s statements ion November 2, 2017 that triggered us to action.

    We are pleased, no, excited to know you are out there fighting for your constituents and the Canadian people as an independent. This is truly the direction our nation, provinces and communities need to go to get our respective communities strong and back on track.

    We would welcome and discussion or dialogue with you moving forward. Keep up the fight! Lead by example! And above all…Be The Change!

    Nigel Kearns, president,
    Cape Breton United Association
  • Sandra Jewitt
    commented 2019-09-19 18:37:41 -0700
    I’m extremely proud to call you my MP. I had planned on voting for you again, your change in party affiliation doesn’t change that. You exemplify what we want those in elected office to be.
  • James Cook
    commented 2019-09-06 05:49:43 -0700
    I hope you encourage others to run as independents. Partisan politics is divisive and has inherent flaws for the modern day age when voters are educated and informed, and not in a class society.
    We need to seriously look at this way of doing things and consider the Nunavut model of no parties. We elect based on merit.
    Let those elected decide amongst themselves who will be PM and various ministers ;more like a business corporation.
    Good luck.
  • Johnny Dixon
    commented 2019-06-28 18:25:52 -0700
    Post a blog about that striking piece of art.
  • Jack Hopkins
    followed this page 2019-06-18 12:19:18 -0700
  • Russell Stirrett
    commented 2019-06-10 19:14:58 -0700
    Jody, you have 2 votes from this household! time to get back to what democracy really means. Free votes for all MP’s on all votes. No party whips forcing party MP’s to vote the party line. No longer need the Prime Minister to OK a nomination from a riding. Thank you for bringing honesty and integrity back into politics!
  • Kim Munn-Goebel
    commented 2019-06-02 18:06:25 -0700
    We want you as Prime Minister of Canada! Your honesty and integrity is what every Canadian is looking for to lead us!
  • Nick Austin
    commented 2019-05-31 19:34:16 -0700
    You make sense which is a contradiction in terms with politics in Canada. We have lost sight of the fact that our elected officials are elected to serve not to RULE as is happening at all levels of government. I am not one of your constituents but having followed all that you have been through am a strong supporter. I wish you well and hope that one day you will run as our prime minister
  • Bao Nguyen
    commented 2019-05-30 13:33:48 -0700
    I just donated and I am happy to support JWR as she brings integrity back to politics. Keep up the great work 👍
  • Peter Kwok
    commented 2019-05-30 05:21:21 -0700
    Go, Jody, go! You have my vote, and I’ll also bring my whole family out to vote for you!
  • MaryAnn Wilhelm
    commented 2019-05-28 07:27:08 -0700
    There is a better vision of doing politics rather than the myopic views of parties. I’ve been following politics since 2011, political parties expect their candidates to tow the party platform, even if it doesn’t fit the constituents or the morality of its candidate. Cross that line as a candidate, well… we know what happens. This country deserves better. This country deserves more independents across Canada. This country deserves a voice that is more representative of those that can’t see their voice being heard in the confines of political parties. Rise up Independents. https://m.facebook.com/groups/624975011278773?id=624975011278773&ref=content_filter&_rdr
  • Mary Talbot
    commented 2019-05-27 20:51:02 -0700
    You lit a FIRE Jody! Thank you for your example. You are fearless!
  • carsinogenic
    @carsinogenic tweeted link to this page. 2019-05-27 17:57:37 -0700
  • Bob Privacy
    commented 2019-05-27 17:30:44 -0700
    Jody Wilson or JWR, good use of acronym JWR although slightly depersonalized is easier.
    Now, you running as an independent. I wrote you after the Liberal party spiral to somewhere sad…and hoped you would lead. What would you do?
    You are a leader. You are a dedicated woman of intelligence and substance. You are indigenous, First Nation… connected to maybe a way of leadership that serves. The serve and be served continuum is possible. I do not know about the political world but know we need a politic and someone who will lead. Show a path ahead. Show a path of integrity. Show this society a path of meaning and of good purpose, inclusive of all peoples. If you can do this JWR…if you can…many will follow.
  • Kirsten Kramar
    commented 2019-05-27 16:28:02 -0700
    Fantastic news! Your leadership and integrity are an inspiration for all Canadians!
  • Jim Montain
    commented 2019-05-27 15:12:50 -0700
    Way to go Jody ,,, glad you are staying in politics and as an independent. The more the better , by the way say helllo to husband Tim I always admired his approach in our WestbankFirst Nation days ,,, cheers Jim Montain a
  • Reboot Robertson
    commented 2019-05-27 14:44:09 -0700
    I am going to donate $25.00 now and another $25.00 once the writ drop. Keep up the good work.
  • Chris Haines
    commented 2019-05-27 14:14:27 -0700
    I don’t agree with Jody on all the issues (I believe pipelines are essential for example), but I agree with her integrity. While I don’t live in her riding, I will support her campaign.
  • Catherine McDonald
    @CatherineMcDon3 tweeted link to this page. 2019-05-27 10:29:40 -0700