, 03.13.2019 07:42 AM

In today’s Sun! Trudeau’s train-wreck #LavScam press conference

It was vintage Justin Trudeau.

There he stood at the prime ministerial podium at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, a battery of Canadian flags behind him, a throng of journalists in front of him. He blinked, all dewy-eyed sincerity.

It was Thursday morning, early. He’d just been asked if he planned to apologize for the metastasizing Lavscam scandal. It wasn’t a crazy question: Trudeau’s own press minions had been leaking that the prime minister was considering doing precisely that.

But, no. Said Trudeau: “I will be making an Inuit apology later today,” he said. Blink, blink.

And so it went. Not the worst press encounter of the week — R. Kelly won that prize, hands down — but close. Made a bad situation way, way worse.

Here’s why.

For starters, as noted, the Liberal leader didn’t apologize — for what he had done to Jody Wilson-Raybould. For trying to cook up a sweetheart deal for a rotten Quebec engineering firm. For wiping his feet on the rule of law.

Apologies cost nothing, Justin. If done right, they pay lots of dividends.

That’s not all: The Deflector-in-Chief didn’t take responsibility. Not even a bit.

Even if you don’t apologize, Justin — even if you don’t express the smallest amount of regret, which you didn’t do either — it’s important that you accept that the proverbial buck stops with you. Instead, you whinged (yet again) that it’s all Wilson-Raybould’s fault.

“She didn’t come to me,” you wheezed. (Actually, she did. You just wouldn’t listen.)

The worst of it: Trudeau sounded as sincere as a two-bit carnival barker.

That’s a surprise. Trudeau’s greatest talent, you see, is acting. He is an expert at radiating sincerity and emotion. But at his press conference, he had all the conviction of an al-Qaida hostage reading a statement about the evils of the West. This was a historic moment, and Trudeau needed to convince us. He didn’t.

He didn’t acknowledge the seriousness of this scandal, either. Lavscam is a raging five-alarm fire; Trudeau brought a squirt gun. He said nothing that will extinguish Canadians’ growing belief that Trudeau and his staff may have obstructed justice.

Also: Trudeau didn’t rebut the allegations that have been made against him. In fact, he did the reverse. He confirmed all of Wilson-Raybould’s evidence: That she was pressured to give SNC-Lavalin a judicial high-five. That he and his officials — 11 of them, more than 20 times, over a four-month period in fall 2018 — did what the former attorney general said they did. Guilty as charged, Your Honour.

At one point, Trudeau looked up from his focus-grouped talking points. He looked a bit weepy. Was an apology about to arrive?

Nope.

Instead, Trudeau gave us every indication that the pressure is getting to him. Without warning, he launched into a bizarre exposition about his dead father. How he and Pierre liked justice. And stuff.

Pro tip, Justin: Hauling dead relatives out of the crypt to buttress your argument isn’t convincing. It’s creepy.

And so it went. Trudeau just didn’t get how bad this is. You know: That, in a functioning democracy, politicians cannot ever, ever tell judges and prosecutors what to do. When that happens enough, you are a democracy no more. You’re a banana republic.

As he departed to “make an Inuit apology,” he was right about one thing, however. An “erosion of trust” had happened, as he said.

But the “erosion of trust” wasn’t between him and Wilson-Raybould.

It’s between him and us.

8 Comments

  1. Sean says:

    Trudeau is lacking in so many areas: diplomacy, depth of knowledge, listening skills, tact, preparedness, work ethic, empathy, sincerity, honesty, conflict resolution, anger management, interpersonal relationships, copping skills, and much more.

    He was never ready, and still isn’t. The ceremonial prime minister experiment has gone tragically wrong and with Butts marginalized, we begin to see just how wrong. We are leaderless, adrift, and derelict.

  2. Shane says:

    Curious as to what can be read into the recent departure of Ethics Comissioner Mario Dion for extended and indefinite medical leave. Trudeau refuses to apologize knowing he can get Dion to run out the clock on the ethics enquiry while simultaneously getting the Justice Committee to say that additional testimony from Jody Wilson-Raybould would serve no further purpose, in the hopes of weathering the storm?

  3. the real Sean says:

    The RCMP will announce an investigation in week three of the campaign… a day or two after the Tories announce a boost to policing. That’s how we roll in Canada.

  4. Rob says:

    He is not a patriotic Canadian. He is a lost Narcissist that thinks the world begins and ends with him. He can’t care about 36 million others, he is still a child living a life with a detached much older father and growing up in essentially a “royal family” with a mother who was lost herself.

    I don’t think he is pure evil like Trump, but he is not a fully formed human being. He is a child that wants to impress everyone, every one… and anyone, all that matters is him getting a pat on the head and getting told he is a good, smart boy.

    Really that is his life. The public and Liberals and voters are responsible for bringing a talking Handsome Ken Doll to power. He might as well have a pull string for Ken to repeat empty platitides he does not even comprehend.

    As this death spiral continues we will see more and more of this aspect of Justin Trudeau. Compared to Chretien or Martin or Harper he is a joke. He is not even the one really in power or making the decisions. He is a Ronald Reagan like figurehead, no nothing actor, that fails to realize that is his actual role in his own government.

    We need him gone from Canadian Political life. He is as cancerous to Canada as the Ford’s are. We need a fuckimg “adult” to lead this country. Not a lost “Prince” that has never grown up or had to realize that you can’t serve every master and please everyone. As angry as I am at Trudeau now… I feel a mix of pity and sadness at hiw empty and broken a human he is. Because as evil as all this shit wuth SNC is… and that quite possibly the actual people in charge are corrupt personally. Trudeau has literally as much of a clue as Trump does, or my dog. I mean my dog loves everyone. He will cuddle and lick and wag his tale for everyone and anyone. No decernment or judgement by my dog… or Justin. Trudeau is now as obviously not capable of being Prime Minister as Trump is. Without all the pure evil. A lost boy or deer in the headlights of an oncoming train. And Trudeau, in that situation would try to tell the train how important the train is to Canada. How the train will be in the cabinet with the airplane and transport and that train values are Canadian values… until he is run over 10 seconds later.

    As I hate politics more and more… I really want me some Joe Clark and Chretien and Broadbent and Layton. And really the two cabinet members who resigned. They all were flawed but… they stood for something and I coukd at least respect them. This shit is pathetic. And it is on the voters and media who made some handsome prince with maybe a 110 IQ and no experience not being part of basically a royal family into the highest office.

    We are the fools for choosing this fool, and keeping him in office as he acts like a fool.

    • tiredofthis says:

      Justin definitely seems like a narcissist, but you’re making a mistake in falling for his little boy lost, Peter Pan persona. That type of narcissist is as dangerous as any other, perhaps more so, because people often have sympathy for them due to their childlike presentation. They are just as malicious and vindictive as any other malignant narcissist against anyone whom they see as a threat. The treatment of JWR has been a textbook narcissistic attack – smears, diversions, gaslighting, DARVO, word salad, “flying monkeys” and so on.

  5. Mark says:

    Warren, some good PR for you in this Georgia Strait piece.

    Devilish advice for Justin Trudeau during his most trying time as prime minister
    The Georgia Straight
    Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    By Charlie Smith
    Right-wing bloggers love to portray Justin Trudeau as the devil, but he’s actually a nice Catholic boy with the best of intentions.
    He loves his wife. He loves his children. And he truly believes that there’s strength in diversity.
    But like all of us, Trudeau slips up from time to time. And never so badly as when he and the fixers in his office thought that it was a good idea to try to prevent SNC-Lavalin from being convicted of a criminal offence.
    But even a good Catholic can give in to temptation if the stakes are high enough.
    And with his prime minister’s position on the line, the Straight has learned that he’s been consulting with the devil himself for political advice.
    An unnamed source in Hell has provided us with the transcript of one of these conversations. You can read it below.
    Justin: I know I’m not supposed to talk to you, but I’m truly fucked right now because of the Globe and Mail. Any advice?
    Lucifer: You could quit.
    Justin: I’m not a quitter. Besides, that would give that twerp Scheer just what he wants.
    Lucifer: So you want me to save your ass?
    Justin: Uh, yes.
    Lucifer: Are you prepared to listen to what I say?
    Justin: Yes
    Lucifer: You’re a fucking idiot.
    Justin: What are you talking about? I’m the prime minister of Canada!
    Lucifer: So far, you’ve done everything wrong. The maximum shelf life of any major news story should be no more than three weeks. Even the clamouring over the death of Prince Diana pretty much ended after three weeks. This is the fifth week of SNC-Lavalin leading the news. You’re in so deep you’ll need an excavation crew to get you out. I’m tempted to call in those dive teams who got those Thai kids out of that cave.
    Justin: If you’re so smart, tell me what I’ve done wrong.
    Lucifer: First off, you thought you were so powerful that you didn’t need to suck up to the Canadian media. You gave everything to Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and the CBC. You thought that by pandering to the digital giants, it would help you in trade talks with Trump. But that totally destroyed the Globe and Mail, CTV, the Toronto Star, Postmedia, and Global-as well as its owners, the Shaw family. They’re never going to drop the SNC-Lavalin story now.
    Justin: What are you talking about? Morneau is handing over $600 million to those bastards.
    Lucifer: That’s chump change to Thomson and Godfrey. And it’s over five years, for fuck sakes. They smell weakness, just like they did when you went to India. This is their opportunity to get Scheer elected.
    Justin: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
    Lucifer: David Thomson might be the richest man in Canada, but he’s seriously ticked over the amount of money he’s losing on the Globe. But he can’t sell it because he’ll look like a doofus to all those people who thought his dad was a great newspaper proprietor.
    Justin: What about Godfrey?
    Lucifer: He’s so pissed that his newspapers have to compete with CBC for digital ads. And Scheer has promised to privatize the CBC. You never think about these things, do you? You’re such a moron sometimes. Chrétien had Kinsella in his office-he understood media. Who have you relied on? Gardner? Jesus Murphy.
    Justin: What’s wrong with Gardner?
    Lucifer: He thinks he’s a goddamned professor. No wonder you’re so fucked. Kinsella was a streetfighter. He would have gotten you out of this situation by turning the attention on Scheer. But you were too pure to rely on his advice. Everyone in Ottawa knows you have trust issues with anyone born before 1970, except for Morneau and Goodale. The Globe stuck it to you because you made it so easy. If Fife could take down Stephen Harper over the Duffy scandal, you were going to be a piece of cake.
    Justin: Why me?
    Lucifer: Fife’s bosses hate you because you kissed Zuckerberg’s ass. You kissed Google’s ass. You kissed Netflix’s ass. Evan Solomon’s bosses hate you for the same reason. And that Mercedes Stephenson is a secret right winger. Global was glad when Vassy bolted for CBC. It put someone from Calgary in the driver’s seat.
    Justin: How did I get into this mess with the media?
    Lucifer: Hedy Fry showed you a way out but you ignored her. The heritage committee gave you the blueprint. She’s won eight goddamned elections.
    Justin: Is this why the Globe keeps nailing me?
    Lucifer: It’s not the only reason. The newsroom is filled with libertarians. I’ll let you in on something, though. Crawley, the publisher, was hooting when he saw the print edition on February 7 detailing what you did to Wilson-Raybould. He quipped “just not ready”. Justin Trudeau has been making all the wrong moves as he tries to dig himself out of political trouble over SNC-Lavalin.
    Justin: Okay, I get it. I need to improve on media relations. What else?
    Lucifer: Your third-party endorsers are, for the most part, a disaster. Jonathan Wilkinson? Good god, nobody even knows who he is. He looks like the type of guy who would shut down a GM plant. Sheila Copps? Why did you bring out that old retread? Did you seriously think she was going to influence anyone by trashing Jody Wilson-Raybould? It’s made her a martyr. But the worst is Christy Clark. By far. I can’t imagine what made you think she would help your cause. Just because she’s a woman isn’t going to help you with female voters, especially in B.C. You’re so sophomoric, Justin.
    Justin: Are any my endorsers working for me?
    Lucifer: Carla Qualtrough’s okay. She’s got this sexy librarian look that works on TV and she has a brain. Men like her and women like her. But nobody really knows who the hell she is. Plus, she’s going to get slaughtered in the next election. Garneau isn’t bad, either. But the reality is that you have to aim far higher.
    Justin: Who should be speaking up for me?
    Lucifer: You need A-listers. People with a reputation for integrity. Paul Martin. Bob Rae. Sheila Fraser. Kevin Page. Jody found herself a Supreme Court judge and she’s got Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in her camp. Plus the most respected Indigenous leaders in the country. Who have you got? Sheila Copps on the line from Mexico. Game, set, and match.
    Justin: Rae won’t help me. He’s still pissed because I wouldn’t tell him that I was planning on seeking the Liberal leadership when he was interim leader.
    Lucifer: Come to think of it, you really did stab him in the back. He could have been prime minister. Page and Fraser won’t help you, either. But Martin might.
    Justin: I was thinking that maybe Ryan Reynolds or Michael Bublé could be of assistance.
    Lucifer: Don’t be a dunce. That will just get you ridiculed on Saturday Night Live. Play to your strengths. Get photographed with icons in different ethnic communities. Herb Dhaliwal. Patrick Chan. People like that. You’ll show up in the Chinese and Indian media outlets and it might prevent more of your MPs from pulling a Jane Philpott on you.
    Justin: You have far better advice than Gerry Butts ever gave me. What else should I know?
    Lucifer: You really chose a stupid cabinet. I figured that you and Gerry picked some people based on how they look on TV. That might have worked for a couple of weeks in 2015 but what did you get in the end? Morneau? Monsef? O’Regan? McKenna? Joly? Kent Hehr? I’ve never seen this many featherweights in a federal cabinet since your dad was prime minister.
    Justin: Gerry, Katie, and Wernick told me that if I put rookies in, it would make it easier to control things from the centre.
    Lucifer: That works only if the centre has a brain. But Wernick is too stupid for words. Who the fuck goes before a parliamentary committee and tries to change the subject by talking about political assassinations? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. By the way, you’ve got to fire Wernick if you want this scandal to die down. The public wants a corpse and for you to show that you realize what you did was wrong.
    Justin: But Wernick is there to help me give the corporations what they want with Indigenous people. These companies need access to resources. That was my two-pronged strategy. Gerry and I dreamed this up back in 2011 when we were meeting with Manley and Carr. Put an Indigenous person in a high-profile cabinet post. Talk a good game about this being the most important relationship. But make certain that corporations have access to resources to keep the stock market up and ensure the Canada Pension Plan makes a good return. It was working perfectly until Jody started raising hell about SNC-Lavalin.
    Lucifer: Yeah, but Jody is smart. She put two and two together and realized that when you bought the Trans Mountain pipeline system, it was about giving more work to SNC-Lavalin.
    Justin: Who should I have put in cabinet?
    Lucifer: David McGuinty. Judy Sgro. Wayne Easter. Arif Virani. Joyce Murray. Adam Vaughan. Anthony Housefather. I could give you more names if you like.
    Justin: No. That’s enough. Where do I go from here?
    Lucifer: Read Martyn Brown’s column on Straight.com. He knows what he’s talking about. He says you have to bring Wilson-Raybould back into cabinet as the attorney general. It’s the only way people will trust you.
    Justin: Who is Martyn Brown? Never heard of him.
    Lucifer: He only managed to get Gordon Campbell elected three times as B.C. premier. One of them was the biggest landslide in Canadian history. But of course, I recognize that you’re not a big reader-and Brown’s articles sometimes run for 6,000 or even 10,000 words. But pay attention to what he’s saying. It just might help you keep your job.
    Justin: I don’t have time to read. Give me the Coles Notes version.
    Lucifer: You have to say you’re sorry. You have to admit you made a mistake by interfering in a criminal prosecution. You have to let Jody Wilson-Raybould tell the whole truth to the justice committee. Otherwise, you’re toast.
    Justin: I think I can win the next election without doing that. There was no inappropriate pressure put on Wilson-Raybould. That’s our line and we’re sticking with it. Besides, Scheer and Jagmeet Singh don’t have a chance against me.
    Lucifer: You just don’t get it. First you said the Globe story was false. Then your flunkies admitted it was true to the justice committee. As this story stays in the news, more of your MPs will start criticizing you because it’s the only way they’ll be able to keep their seats. Say you’re sorry and promise to never give SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement.
    Justin: I’ll never do that. And I’ll never fire Wernick.
    Lucifer: (Sigh) Get me a Tylenol.

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