Mandate letter results so far: Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould - InfoNews

Current Conditions


Mandate letter results so far: Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould

Carolyn Bennett (left), minister of Crown-Indigenous relations and northern affairs looks on as Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott speaks to media after a Liberal cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
November 03, 2017 - 12:03 PM



Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould helped introduce legislation on doctor-assisted dying and develop the mandate for the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. She also restored the Court Challenges program, brought in legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational use, introduced new national security legislation, brought in an independent process for recommending nominees to the Supreme Court, including a way to ensure they are functionally bilingual, and added gender identity as a prohibited grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Working on it

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked her with reviewing the sentencing reforms the Conservatives brought in as part of their tough-on-crime agenda, a mandate that Wilson-Raybould seized upon as an opportunity to reform the criminal justice system writ large. After raising expectations among advocates, she has yet to introduce legislation on mandatory minimums or other major reforms.

Not at all, or at least not yet

The Liberals promised during the election campaign to toughen criminal laws and bail conditions in domestic assault cases, a commitment that was repeated in the mandate letter, but no laws have been brought in. The same goes for a promise to repeal key elements of Bill C-42, which the Conservatives brought in to relax some requirements around transporting firearms, and bring in laws to reduce the number of handguns and assault weapons on the streets.

Will it matter?

The justice minister was given an ambitious mandate and last year's Supreme Court decision on unreasonable delays, known as R. v. Jordan, has both complicated the file and increased its urgency. Some of those advocating for justice reform have been willing to give her some time to make sure she gets things right. Still, advocates said earlier this year they were running out of patience. As the 2019 election draws nearer, it could become difficult to bring in changes that political opponents could spin as being soft on crime.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile