British Columbia·Video

Old video of Pierre Trudeau and Bill Wilson foreshadows political success of kids

An exchange at a 1983 constitutional conference between aboriginal leader Bill Wilson and then prime minister Pierre Trudeau foreshadows the rise of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Video from 1983 conference shows father of Jody Wilson-Raybould telling Trudeau his daughter wants to be PM

B.C. Chief Bill Wilson tells Pierre Trudeau at a 1983 Constitutional conference on native issues that his pre-teen daughter Jody wants the PM's job. 1:15

A 32-year-old video of an exchange between First Nations leader Bill Wilson, the father of newly sworn-in federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, and then prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of newly sworn-in PM Justin Trudeau, is making the rounds on Facebook. 

The exchange took place at the 1983 constitutional conference on native issues in Ottawa. 

In the video, Wilson tells Pierre Trudeau, "I have two children in Vancouver Island, both of whom for some misguided reason say they want to be a lawyer. Both of whom want to be the prime minister."

Newly sworn-in Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould is congratulated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Wednesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

There are chuckles in the room as Wilson pauses, and then adds. "Both of whom, prime minister, are women." 

At this point, the chuckles turn to laughter. The camera cuts from Wilson to Trudeau who is reclining in his chair directly across the large table.

"Tell them I'll stick around until they're ready," Trudeau replies, as the room erupts into even louder laughter.

After a long pause Wilson fires back, "Well, Mr. prime minister, if you're sincere ... I can have one of them on a plane this evening."

Reached in Kamloops, Bill Wilson told CBC News he remembers the exchange like it was yesterday.

"Trudeau being the kind of obstreperous guy that he was got into a bit of a confrontation with me," he recalls. "I got stopped a thousand times in airports over the next 10 years. People would go, 'you're the kid that put Trudeau down!'"

Wilson said seeing his daughter Jody appointed justice minister three decades later by Pierre's son, is "karma or kismet."

"Trudeau was, without a doubt, the most brilliant white guy I ever met in my life," said Wilson. "It looks like the young guy has a chip off the old block."

Jody Wilson-Raybould was 12-years-old at the time of the exchange, and according to her father, watched it live on television at home in Campbell River, B.C.

He said when it comes to the vision of his daughter becoming the first aboriginal prime minister, "she's as close as anyone's ever got."

"I was worried my daughter might end up in the a--hole of cabinet which is Indian affairs and be absolutely useless," he added. "I'm obviously very pleased."


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