, 10.10.2017 05:57 AM

Holy Joly

Does she have photos of Justin Trudeau in a compromising position? Does he owe her a lot of money? Is she holding hostage a member of his family?

There’s no longer any other rational or compelling explanation for “Minister” Melanie Joly being a “Minister,” is there? She is, hands down, the worst cabinet minister in the Trudeau government. She is a disaster. She is incompetent. She is inept. She makes Bev Oda look like a PR whiz – and Vic Toews a model of self-restraint.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s just a short sampling of what others are saying about Minister Cassette (so named by Quebec pundit Paul Arcand, due to Joly’s insistence on robotic repetition of talking points):

  • Globe: “Her fall from grace in her home province has been swift and merciless, sped by her maladroit attempts to sell a deal with Netflix…”
  • National Post: “[Joly] she has been savaged in Quebec media, artistic and political circles.”
  • Globe: “The Minister has been roasted and ridiculed to her face on live radio and TV, and dismissed by commentators of all stripes as naive and – worst of all – unable even to understand what the fuss is about.”
  • Québec’s culture minister: Joly makes him “speechless and angry…[she] legitimizes a fiscal inequity which grants preferential treatment to a foreign company over Canadian companies.”
  • Michael Harris, iPolitics: “Joly’s medicine worse than the disease…[Joly’s policy] is absurdity in hot pursuit of farce.”
  • Richard Martineau, Journal de Montreal: “[Joly sounds] like a living answering machine having a nervous breakdown.”

We could go on (and on), but Kate Malloy says quoting Melanie Joly’s bad reviews would take up an entire special section. Besides, you get the point. As one wag on the influential Quebec show Tout le monde en parle put it: “She makes us f**king angry.”

Folks in the rest of Canada may think Joly’s cultural calamity isn’t page one news, but they’d be wrong about that. As Stephen Harper discovered the hard way, “culture” has an entirely different meaning in Quebec than in the rest of Canada. Woe unto the politician who is seen to be indifferent to the importance Quebec attaches to its truly distinct culture.

But Melanie Joly, the wrecking ball of Canadian politics, wasn’t done yet. Non, monsieur! A few days after she pulled a pin on her Netflix hand grenade, then held onto it, Joly decided to insult every Jew in Canada. Seriously.

Her department, you see, came up with a plaque for the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa that…didn’t mention Jews. Or the six million. Or anti-Semitism. Joly then thrust the Prime Minister into the middle of the controversy – which attracted negative media around the world – by inviting him to the unveiling of the monument.

Senator Linda Frum noticed Joly’s error, tweeted about it, and Joly speedily executed a whiplash-inducing volte-face. But the damage had been done. The Jewish community, who this writer knows rather well, will not forget Joly’s insensitivity anytime soon. Because, by keeping her in cabinet, Trudeau suggests to Canadian Jews that he doesn’t think it’s such a big deal.

How, then, does Melanie Joly survive? This, after all, is the minister who turned Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations – and you only get one of those, as far as I am aware – into an unmitigated farce. The Ottawa Citizen recently got its hands on some of the letters average Canadians wrote to Joly and her department about that day. They’re worth clipping and saving.

  • “Shame on you Ottawa. Shame on you Heritage Canada and the organizers. You failed us!”
  • “I have never seen such a poor, chaotic display. Shame on you Ottawa. You actually ruined Canada Day for many thousands of people visiting Ottawa.”
  • “[A] shameful fiasco on many levels…It was an explosive situation…Wasn’t there any brain at the top?…I would like to hear a formal apology from your organization.”
  • “The organizers of Canada Day 2017 should be ashamed of themselves for the shoddy work that went into this year’s event.”
  • “I would respectfully suggest to Justin that he should consider sending you [Joly] for some intensive ‘major event planning’ training because you certainly flopped badly for the July 1st event on Parliament Hill this year.”

One anonymous citizen, however, had the pithiest review and therefore deserves the last word: “What a mess your department made! Time for you to resign!”

Will she? Not a chance.

Melanie Joly has some serious leverage over the Prime Minister, and she clearly isn’t afraid to use it.


  1. Cath says:

    Agree with you Warren on all points.

    Just how she missed being shuffled out over the summer is anyone’s guess.

  2. Gyor says:

    I think the battle for worst minister in this government is fierce fight.

    You also have the Finance Minister who is trying to sell the closing of a tax loophole for the upper middle class as making the rich pay their fair share, while leaving the far more generous tax loopholes that he and Prime Minister Trudeau benifit from, making him look like a hypocrit.

    You had the Minister for Democractic Reform lead work on reforming our electoral system, only for Justin Trudeau to say no, after the other parties come to a reasonable comprise on a MMPR referundium, effectively making all the hard work on that committee a waste of time. To be fair much of the blame for the rests on Trudeau’s shoulders.

    Military procurement is an ongoing disaster.

    Tip of iceberg.

  3. Gyor says:

    You could vote NDP if you don’t like the Tories and Liberals.

  4. Manny says:

    Isn’t practically every minister in this Government incompetent? I mean Billionaire Bill has got to be the worst Finance Minister in long memory. Bardish Chaggar … are you kidding me?? Of course drama boy himself has lowered the bar for qualifications to be a Prime Minister in any Commonwealth country: experience, intelligence, education, all not necessary. Just be good looking and a son of a former PM.

  5. Charlie says:

    Is that picture for real?!

    Not only is she a shitty Minister, she think thinks she can replicate Trudeau’s persona.

    There are a number of reasons I think the PM won’t give her the boot (re: my theory that the PMO is deathly afraid of removing cabinet members and creating “talk” on the Hill). But I think a part of it also has to do with the fact that Joly has successfully mimicked Trudeau enough to garner empathy from him.

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