That’s the name you use on Twitter, and the name you got when you were born: Puglaas. In the Kwak’wala language, it means “woman born to noble people.”
And noble – in the traditional sense of the word – you certainly are. Daughter of a fearless British Columbia hereditary chief. Chief Commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission. We Wai Kai Councillor. Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. Lawyer, former Crown Attorney. (Where, incidentally, you learned quite a bit about what “solicitor-client privilege” means.)
The dictionaries define noble as “having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.” And, with each passing day, you have shown all of Canada that you certainly possess fine personal qualities. High morals and principles and ideals, too.
You have done that in a way that no other politician ever has, really. You have done that by remaining silent. You have done that by saying nothing, and by waiting for your moment.
It is coming.
Your adversaries, meanwhile, have made lots of noise. They’ve bleated and screeched, like swine being herded onto a slaughterhouse truck. The analogy is apt.
And, sadly, you do have adversaries, now. People who lied to your face and once told you they are your friends. They aren’t. They’re liars. They’re cowards. Some of them may be actively involved in covering up an obstruction of justice – which, ironically, is an obstruction of justice itself. (Ask James Comey.)
The cowards, last week, included the House of Commons committee that professes to be all about “justice and human rights,” but doesn’t espouse either. Last week, the Liberal members of that committee actually voted to deny you the opportunity to testify about what you know in the metastasizing SNC-Lavalin obstruction of justice scandal. They did that, right out in the open. They voted, instead, to shield their political masters in Justin Trudeau’s office, and convene secret meetings.
These are their names: Anthony Housefather, the weakling who leads the committee. Ali Ehsassi, who is said to be a lawyer, and said this of the alleged obstruction of justice: “there is nothing to be concerned about.” Colin Fraser, who is thankfully quitting politics, and who also claims to have once practiced criminal law. A nonentity named Ron McKinnon, who actually said the committee shouldn’t invite any “random people” from PMO to testify – even though the Opposition had a decidedly non-random list, ready to go.
Oh, and Randy Boissonnault and Iqra Khalid. Those two, in particular, distinguished themselves as Nixonian exemplars. When this sordid, sickening affair grinds to its inevitable end, in a courtroom somewhere, it is Boissonnault and Khalid who will receive special commendations for unalloyed dishonesty. Boissonnault, for saying out loud – like Donald Trump, who says it all the time and in what lawyers call “similar fact-situations” – that the whole affair is “a witch hunt.” He said that, with a straight face.
The disgust this writer feels for Khalid, meanwhile, is somewhat personal. Some months ago, she and I attended an anti-racism event in East Toronto. Several racists and Islamophobes showed up, and things got out of hand. They started moving towards Khalid, so former Liberal MPP Arthur Potts and I stood between her and the racists – to physically protect her, if need be. To allow her to speak her truth.
But there Khalid was, last week, doing her utmost to prevent you from speaking your truth, Puglaas. Gagging you, almost literally. Insisting that the committee’s role isn’t to “investigate.” She said that.
The Liberal MPs on the committee were awful. They were pitiful. And, in the end, they were only aping the Coward-in-Chief, Justin Trudeau – who, last week in Vancouver, said for the first time that he met with you last Fall to discuss SNC-Lavalin’s desire to escape criminal prosecution. And who, the very next day in Winnipeg – the next day! – did a whiplash-inducing about-face, and said that he was “perplexed” and “bewildered” you didn’t speak to him about it all.
When he had said, just 24 hours before, that you had.
That makes Justin Trudeau a liar, not a Prime Minister. That makes his Liberals on the inaptly-named Justice Committee weaklings. And that makes the spineless factotums in his office – who let you others attack you, anonymously, for being a woman who” is difficult to work with” and “a thorn in the side of cabinet” – even worse. For being an indigenous person who, you know, is a bit too uppity with her betters.
This, from the ones who claimed to be feminists. This, from the ones who claimed to be on the side of indigenous people. This, from the ones who promised to bring back ethics and accountability.
Know this, Puglaas. You are beating them – simply by being silent, and by maintaining your dignity, and by waiting for your moment. You are showing all of the country who you truly are.
What you are, truly, is noble. And them?
They’re cowards and liars, for whom the end is edging ever-closer.