Jody Wilson-Raybould: A timeline in federal politics

Jody Wilson-Raybould's journey from Indigenous leader, to Liberal candidate, to minister of justice and now backbencher has been closely watched by both First Nations and members of Parliament.

Canada's first Indigenous justice minister has resigned from Justin Trudeau's cabinet

Jodie Wilson-Raybould's rise to become Canada's first Indigenous justice minister was swift and full of eventful legislation. Her demotion, and subsequent decision to sit on the backbenches, is set to open new challenges for the Liberal government. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Jody Wilson-Raybould's journey from Indigenous leader, to Liberal candidate, to minister of justice, and now backbencher has been high-profile and closely watched by both First Nations and members of Parliament.

Along the way, she changed the way judges were appointed, passed key legislation and made some fiery speeches that revealed her frustration with the pace of reconciliation efforts.

Here's a look at some key dates in Wilson-Raybould's federal political career.

July 31, 2014

The Assembly of First Nations British Columbia regional chief is acclaimed as the Liberal Party of Canada's candidate to run in the 2015 federal election for the riding of Vancouver-Granville.

Her decision to run for the Liberals was welcomed by the party including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's now Principal Secretary Gerry Butts who took to Twitter to say: "So excited to get the chance to work with Jody Wilson-Raybould."

Nov. 4, 2015

Former Crown prosecutor Wilson-Raybould is sworn in as Canada's first Indigenous justice minister. Her appointment is welcomed by Indigenous leaders across the country.

"I think given her experience at the AFN level as well as being our regional chief for many years and her legal background will serve her very well," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, leader of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

June 17, 2016

The Liberal government's much debated and sometimes criticized assisted dying bill receives royal assent.

Wilson-Raybould and then Health Minister Jane Philpott worked on the legislation together and released a joint statement after the bill passed the Senate. 

The legislation "strikes the right balance between personal autonomy for those seeking access to medically assisted dying and protecting the vulnerable," the statement said. 

Oct. 20, 2016

Wilson-Raybould announces changes to the judicial appointments process as she works to fill a backlog of empty judge positions across the country

June 16, 2017

Bill C-16 that updated the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" passes in the Senate.

The legislation also makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression and make it a hate crime to target someone for being transgender. 

July 25, 2017

Wilson-Raybould gave a speech to the Assembly of First Nations on the challenges and opportunities for reconciliation. 

"I would expect some of you to be sceptical. Some of you may not believe that this is actually happening," she told Indigenous leaders. 

Timeline of SNC-Lavalin scandal

5 years ago
Duration 1:33
PM still facing questions about Wilson-Raybould story: Here's how it all began

"To those of you who would think this way, I can tell you under the leadership of our Prime Minister and from the perspective in my seat, it is happening, but I also know that the potential of this moment will only be realized if you help advance it, fight for it, and are deeply involved and driving the change." 

June 21, 2018

The Liberal government changes impaired driving laws to introduce the first roadside oral screening test for cannabis as part of the move towards the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

Sept. 13, 2018

During a speech at the University of Saskatchewan, Wilson-Raybould expressed her frustration with the pace of reconciliation efforts. 

"So, while I have been thrilled in recent years to see how Canadians – and governments – have begun to talk the talk of reconciliation. I remain constantly, incessantly, vigilant in demanding that we honour the meaning of these important words, and that words translate into real, transformative action," she said.

"For my part and to be very candid, I have been challenged, but I also challenge constantly.  And I will continue to do that every day I have the privilege to be the minister of justice and attorney-general of Canada."

Then Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Rayboud is flanked by Mi'kmaq Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy, left, and Morley Googoo, regional chief for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, at a meeting of Atlantic MPs and First Nations chiefs in Wolfville, N.S., in 2017. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Oct. 10, 2018

SNC-Lavalin revealed the federal government had decided not to allow the engineering firm to settle allegations of foreign bribery out of court.

A legal cloud has been hanging over the company since 2015 due to allegations that some of its former employees paid bribes to officials in Libya to influence government decisions and win contracts prior to 2012.

Oct. 17, 2018

Bill C-45, Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott's cannabis legalization legislation, became the law of the land. The legislation made it legal to consume recreational cannabis across the country. The legislation was a key plank of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 2015 election platform.

Dec. 13, 2018

Wilson-Raybould's changes to sexual assault legislation, Bill C-51, received royal assent. The legislation updated sexual assault laws so that an unconscious person cannot legally consent to sex. 

The legislation also removed a number of redundant, or zombie laws, on the books that policed acts such as witchcraft. 

Nov. 29, 2018

During a high-level speech in B.C. to an audience including the province's premier, the provincial cabinet and Indigenous leaders, Wilson-Raybould again showed her frustrations with the Liberal government's reconciliation efforts. 

"Thinking that good intentions, tinkering around the edges of the Indian Act, or that making increased financial investments — however significant and unprecedented — will in themselves close the gaps, is naive. Transformative change and new directions are required," she said.

Jan. 14 2019

Wilson-Raybould is shuffled out of her position as minister of justice and given the lesser cabinet position of minister of veterans affairs. Shortly after her demotion, she published a 2,000 word post on her MP website detailing her achievements and her approach to government. 

"It has always been my view that the Attorney General of Canada must be non-partisan, more transparent in the principles that are the basis of decisions, and, in this respect, always willing to speak truth to power. This is how I served throughout my tenure in that role," she wrote. 

Newly appointed Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould poses for a photo with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Trudeau's cabinet shuffle in Ottawa on Jan. 14. Wilson-Raybould quit cabinet on Tuesday. (Patrick Doyle/Reuters)

Feb. 7, 2019

The Globe and Mail published a report that the Prime Minister's office attempted to put pressure on Wilson-Raybould to intervene in SNC Lavalin case. 

Feb 12, 2019

Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet.

In a letter that thanked her constituents, staff and officials, Raybould said she was stepping down from cabinet but was looking forward to serving her constituents as a member of Parliament for Vancouver-Granville

"I am aware that many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media over the last week. I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter as such, have retained the Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, CC as counsel."