, 02.22.2019 11:02 AM

#LavScam latest: Canada’s top bureaucrat assassinates his reputation – and Trudeau’s, too

A must-read Tom Brodbeck column here.

Key bits:

“The most mind-boggling thing Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick said Thursday didn’t occur during his testimony at the House of Commons justice committee.

Granted, the federal government’s top bureaucrat said some pretty shocking things there, including his bizarre comments about how Canada is essentially going to hell in a hand basket and that someone may even get shot in the next federal election.

But more to the point of what the committee was trying to examine – whether former Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or any senior federal officials tried to interfere in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin – Wernick’s most outrageous comment came during a scrum with reporters following his testimony.

The privy council clerk admitted at committee that not only was he in a meeting with Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau on Sept. 17 when the three discussed the SNC-Lavalin case – even though a decision to prosecute had already been made – but that Wernick also contacted Wilson-Raybould three months later on Dec. 18 to discuss whether giving SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution was “still an option.”

Wernick was asked by reporters following his testimony why he would contact the attorney general over three months after a decision had been made on the SNC-Lavalin case.

“Because the decision had not already been made,” Wernick said.

The decision had not already been made? Pardon?

The director of public prosecutions Kathleen Roussel made the decision on Sept. 4.”

This is shocking. It means one of two things.

  1. Wernick was as bizarre following his testimony as he was during his testimony – and he got some big facts wrong.
  2. Wernick told the truth – he and the Prime Minister plainly did attempt to push for a sweetheart deal for a huge Liberal Party donor facing a criminal trial.

Did anyone at PMO review tho guy’s speech before he gave it? Did they not think it was a good idea to take out the stuff where Wernick seems to suggest that critics of Justin Trudeau are vomitous murderers?

And did they not realize that the Clerk of the Privy Council planned to confirm the key allegation against Trudeau et al. – that they obstructed justice to benefit SNC-Lavalin?

Pro tip, Justin: when in a hole, stop digging.

11 Comments

  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    I’d hate to be the PMO staffer who gets to try and clean this up.

  2. Vancouverois says:

    Well, of course the decision hadn’t been made. A *different* decision had been made, so naturally it didn’t count. It doesn’t count until they get the *right* one.

    Are these people actually going to be held accountable? I worry that this is happening too soon – most voters rarely seem to pay any attention to what’s going on between elections – and rarely even during elections, to be frank.

    Then again, at the rate things are going here, the scandal may well last until the fall.

  3. Sam Davies says:

    I think the saddest thing about Liberals and their supporters is the likely tribalism that lurks within. I’m not an insider of any party, but I get the feeling that Conservatives manage to stay focused on the prize, and not turn against each other as often. Conservatives tend to be more ideologically focused, while Liberals are situational and opportunistic.

    I look forward to how this plays out, as more information is revealed. So far, I’m buying into what the ruling government is saying. This is a complex issue – I think government is obligated to take it seriously and weigh all considerations. Seeing it being presented by media influencers as good/bad corrupt/lawful is only further reducing (the already low) faith in governmental institutions.

  4. Steve T says:

    Brodbeck is a great columnist – probably the main reason I still pay for a print subscription to the Winnipeg Sun.

    As for the Wernick thing, well this feels like a “boom goes the dynamite” moment, doesn’t it? And yet Trudeau is in the media today, saying people should “…believe the Privy Council Clerk.” Um, OK, let’s do that!

  5. Gilbert says:

    I think it’s obvious that Ms. Wilson-Raybould was pressured to avoid a trial with SNC-Lavalin. She knew that the decision was hers to make, so there was absolutely no need for the prime minister to tell her that. He clearly interfered in the judicial process.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Watched Manley on BNN Bloomberg. Under ordinary circumstances I might agree with him. But this is different due to those illegal and quite deliberate political donations to the LPC. Sure, they were repaid but that taints the party and government nonetheless.

    It’s not necessarily a quid pro quo — but the optics ain’t good.

  7. Roger T says:

    Agreement at last.

    22 February
    Warren Kinsella
    “push for a sweetheart deal”

    20 February
    Mark Steyn
    “offering a sweetheart deal to SNC-Lavalin”

  8. Housevader says:

    “The optics aren’t good.” Eye roll. Manley is 100% correct. And What about the alternative? Scheer has no strategy for reconciliation which is why JWR must want something for herself out of #Lavacam. Don’t forget that Harper set the groundwork for DPA so he could (if re-elected get then sweetheart deal) and then removed the economic line item, which no one caught, facepalm

    “X is obstructing justice”, partisan hackery that didn’t help Ignatieff either. Nor the democrats in the US hence no democrat candidate talks about impeachment

    And sorry, Media exhoes from ‘merica Are easier to convey because we are already primed for collusion and obstruction of justice narratives. But those narratives are getting crushed by reality in the US by the looks the special council. Ancillary convictions are concelation prizes; Dershowitz can explain it better. Hence no democratic hopeful talks about the seriously, correctly focusing on ideas

    Few care about SNC Lavalin…not relevant for Canadaland which isn’t being listened to.it’s only interesting for its educational benefit to insiders who are reminded what the Privy Council is….

    If I was advising scheer he should be focusing on innovative solutions that are easy to understand “build the pipe”, not going down the Russia Collusion cul de sac. But if you’re a Liberal, yes, let him expend all his energy on this rather than pitching real solutions to real concerns.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Housevader,

      Did you not learn anything from Sponsorship? Political perception, often accurate or exaggerated, IS ALWAYS the be-all, end-all. That’s what takes down governments, à la Martin, when the shit took place on the previous government’s watch.

      Have you any idea how those illegal donations are being perceived in English-Canada? Not good. Some in Quebec are prepared to write them off — but is that really most people in this province? Again, perception is nine-tenths of the law and it absolutely kills politically. Cold fact-based reality is never a government saver under such circumstances.

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