, 03.04.2019 08:30 AM

Your morning #LavScam roundup

There’s been a lot going on since the last round-up.  It’s all going swimmingly, as you can see.

(If you’ve got one to share that I’ve missed, do so in comments with source, please.)

  • Richard Martineau, Journal de Montreal: “And was it because of empathy for workers that Trudeau wanted to save SNC-Lavalin? No. Because Justin needs votes in Quebec to win his next election…If Quebecers continue supporting Trudeau now, in spite of this attack on the independence of the justice system, we are imbeciles.”
  • “David Olive, Toronto Star: “The Trudeau “war room” is dug in, expecting the current outrage to subside. But the Grit brand will be further weakened by still more allegations to come of unseemly conduct by Trudeau and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The unpopularity of the PMO is widespread in this government. The PMO’s pressure on Wilson-Raybould is but one of countless acts of meddling in the work of cabinet officers, committee chairs and backbenchers.”
  • Toronto Star poll: “57 per cent said the situation has “worsened” their opinion of Trudeau, versus 36 per cent who said it has had “no effect” and 7 per cent who said their view of the prime minister has been improved by the situation.”
  • Chantal Hebert, Star:  “Another week of political drama on Parliament Hill finds the SNC-Lavalin affair no closer to closure. In the aftermath of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s appearance at the Commons justice committee, even the future of the prime minister as Liberal leader has become fair game for speculation.  If anything, the former attorney general’s testimony has left many Canadians with more questions than definitive answers.”
  • Royson James, Star: “[The]prime minister is throwing the woman under the bus. And the clerk of the Privy Council, a top bureaucrat on nobody’s radar except political animals, tries to undercut her by suggesting that if she felt pressure in her job as attorney general, that’s par for the course. In short, “Suck it up lady. That’s how the big boys play the game. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Indigenous advocates and women’s groups and Canadians attuned to the issues and now confused by the black cloud threatening the sunny ways they’d welcomed just yesterday responded with outrage and concern.”
  • Globe and Mail poll: “More than half of Canadians say fraud and corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. should go to a criminal trial rather than a negotiated settlement where the Montreal engineering and construction giant would pay fines and avoid prosecution, according to a new survey.”
  • John Ibbitson, Globe: “In the absence of doing the right thing – calling an election to let the people decide this issue – the smart thing for the Liberals is to do nothing that will prolong the agony of this scandal. Fresh testimony, even if it bolsters their case, will only drag things on, increasing the risk that Mr. Trudeau himself might be forced to testify, requiring him to do something he has refused to do for three straight weeks: respond to a direct question with a direct answer.”
  • Shelby Blackley, Globe: “Courage is clearly innate for Ms. Wilson-Raybould, but maybe it was bolstered by the support of women near and far. After Ms. Wilson-Raybould resigned from the federal cabinet on Feb. 12, the hashtag #StandwithJody began trending. Fellow MPs such as Jane Philpott, and Celina Caesar-Chavannes, among others, voiced their support.”
  • Campbell Clark, Globe: “Firing attacks at Ms. Wilson-Raybould…clearly backfired. Mr. Trudeau had made a milestone of her appointment as the first female Indigenous justice minister in 2015. Accusations that the PMO was “smearing” Ms. Wilson-Raybould dented Mr. Trudeau’s political brand. She has seized the high ground.”
  • Globe editorial board:  “If the Trudeau government has any hope of seeing the back of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, it has to put its full version of the story, all of it, in front of the Canadian people. Perfunctory denials won’t do. The allegations made by former justice minister and attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould are too serious. That the allegations go to the very top, and come from one of the government’s most senior members, makes them unprecedented.”
  • Kelly McParland, National Post: “Jody Wilson-Raybould was clear, credible, straightforward and eminently convincing. Anyone outside a hardened partisan would have to conclude this was a strong woman who held firm beliefs and had stood by them under extreme duress from powerful men.”
  • Andrew Coyne, Post: “Unless you think Wilson-Raybould is flat out lying, something has gone very wrong with the culture of this government. I don’t mean the desire to spare the company’s employees from hardship, or even the concern for the political repercussions in Quebec, but the apparently widespread assumption that the way to attend to these was to corrupt a prosecution and trample over the independence of the attorney general.”
  • National Post editorial board:  “What is the prime minister waiting for? His friend and confidant Butts will have a chance to speak, as will Wernick, for a second time now. Wilson-Raybould, for her part, should be given the chance to flesh out what Liberal MPs have been dismissing as her inaccurate version of things, unfettered by potential self-serving limits imposed by the prime minister.  That would be the prime minister, you’ll remember, who once pledged to lead the most transparent government in Canadian history. The people of Canada are eager for answers, and there are numerous people willing to speak. Let’s hear what they have to say — all of them, and all of it.”
  • CTV News Nanos poll: “One in four Canadians say the SNC-Lavalin scandal will influence their vote in the next federal election – and the political fallout appears to be growing, according to a new Nanos survey…Before the former attorney general testified, 14 per cent of respondents said they considered Trudeau the most ethical federal leader. At the time, Trudeau ranked third behind Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, at 23 per cent, and Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, at 21 per cent. But by Friday, Trudeau had sunk to 10 per cent support, putting him in the fourth spot behind NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who held 11 per cent.”
  • Paul Wells, Maclean’s:  “THE MORAL CATASTROPHE OF JUSTIN TRUDEAU…Unless the Trudeau Liberals can produce persuasive evidence that Jody Wilson-Raybould is an utter fabulist (and frankly, I now expect several to try), her testimony before the Commons Justice Committee establishes pretty clearly that the hucksters and worse were running the show. Led by the grinning legatee who taints the Prime Ministers’ office…What the former attorney general described is a sickeningly smug protection racket whose participants must have been astonished when she refused to play along.”
  • Anne Kingston, Maclean’s: “We’re talking Grand-Master-Jedi-level gaslighting here. Clearly the “No” registered on the SNC-Lavalin DPA on Sept. 4, Sept. 17, Oct. 7, Dec. 19 did not register as an actual or final decision. As for pressure? She must be imagining things! After all, the decision was Wilson-Raybould’s alone to make. And the insurance kicker:  If Wilson-Raybould did feel she was being pressured to override the decision to prosecute, it was up to her to protest to the very office applying pressure, or resign. If she didn’t, well, it’s nobody’s fault but hers. Her behaviour is the problem. As I said, it’s an age-old template.  As for “How many times did Jody Wilson Raybould need to say ‘No?’ before being heard?” It’s a trick question. The correct answer: Zero.”
  • Leah McLaren, The Guardian: “Liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau – proud feminist, defender of minority rights, advocate for transparency, inclusivity and decency, and prince of the one-armed push-up – was morally eviscerated over four-hours of astonishing testimony by his own former attorney general and justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould – a woman of great integrity and a rare Indigenous Canadian cabinet minister…Trudeau’s behaviour was way beyond the bounds of what was fair or decent. It was sleazy, plain and simple. And for a leader whose entire brand identity, right down to the toes of his cotton rainbow socks, is based on fairness and decency, that’s pure political poison.”
  • Paul Wells, Maclean’s: “Long story short, the government of Canada was telling one story to itself and another to Canadians. To themselves, they said they were protecting jobs. To the rest of us, they said they were getting tough. A government that indulges in that much sustained double-talk clearly thinks it has something to hide. It’s being disingenuous. It’s being phony. And since the lot of them never stop calling themselves #TeamTrudeau on Twitter, I guess we can, without fear of contradiction, say the Prime Minister of Canada has been the phony-in-chief…She wanted to back the country’s public prosecutor, to let a court do what courts do every day: weigh and judge. He wanted to change the rules mid-game and hope we wouldn’t notice.  And the problem for Trudeau—who came to power promising a new era of transparency—is that this phoniness is a trait he shows all too often.”


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    Dave says:

    “But the Grit brand will be further weakened by still more allegations to come of unseemly conduct by Trudeau and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). ‘” Very interesting statement.

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      Warren says:

      Norman trial. Same issues, same people involved in PMO. And two strong and brilliant woman in either case: Jody Wilson-Raybould and Marie Heinen.

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        the real Sean says:

        Marie Heinen – that is fucking awesome.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Yeah, IMHO, Norman will make SNC-L look like a tempest in a tea pot. Incredibly painful days ahead.

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    Colin Wills says:

    From the Guardian in UK

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    Daphne says:

    Did you see the Barbara Yaffe editorial in the Globe that reduced the whole sordid mess to Wilson-Raybould’s being “nagged”?

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    Charles says:

    Unfortunately, as per Nanos Poll (who has lots of credibility), SNC scandal will impact the vote of only 1 in 4 Canadians. You can bet this will have even less impact once we get closer to the election.

    Harper didn’t win because of Ad scam, but because he offered a methodical 5 step plan that included 2% drop in HST and tax breaks directly to families.

    Trudeau won because he offered “modest 10 billion deficit and growth”. Had Harper focused on his 0 deficit, best economy in G7 and the newly European agreement instead of his “Trudeau-not-ready” obsession, he may be still in power – at least as minority.

    Next lection will be won by whoever offers better economical plan, not less scandals.

    “It’s the economy stupid”.

    At the end, the electorate consider all politicians corrupt, and look for the ones who can benefit them more. On that matter, the Liberals have a landslide advantage through all kind of freebees and irresponsible new expenses. If Sheer can offer something reasonable and substantial plan, he may have a chance. If he focus on scandals, Liberals will bounce back.

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      Jeff says:

      This comment is not going to age well.

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        Charles says:

        There nothing more in me that would like to see this fraud of PM gone. However, I am stating the obvious in the Canadian politics and electorate. Trudeau is copying Obama’s playbook for reelection:
        -Pander to social activists and minorities.
        -Distribute goodies.
        -Vilify the alternative (Sheer).
        -Request more time to terminate his “social revolution” (yes we can, but we need more time).

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          Ronald O'Dowd says:


          Copying the Obama playbook is one thing. Having people likely staring down various Sections of the CC is another thing altogether.

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      Vancouverois says:

      That 1 in 4 seems to be only the beginning. Stay tuned.

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    Montréalaise says:

    Trudeau only lifted the waiver on what JWR could say up to the time she was demoted from the Justice portfolio, but it’s still in place for whatever transpired afterwards. So – what is so awful that he doesn’t want her to talk about? Her testimony was damaging – are we to infer that what she isn’t allowed to say is even more damaging?

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      Warren says:

      I believe he was trying to manage her testimony, and offering her a quid pro quo. And that happened while she was at VA, and that’s what he doesn’t want to come out.

      It’s never the break-in. It’s always the cover-up.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Some assumptions are less unreasonable than others.

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    Grant says:

    The Gropenfeuhrer has a history of using indigenous folks as props. Thus we saw his use of Patrick Brazeau who “fit the narrative” so he could try and look tough to prop up his image. Thus we see how he appointed Jody Wilson-Raybould as AG in order to fit his diversity/feminist facade. When he no longer needed to do so, he jettisoned her. This man is a vile hypocrite…..how anyone with any sense of morality can support him is beyond me.

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      Daryl Gordon says:

      Remember Chief Theresa Spence, the remarkably well fed hunger striker from the Attawapiskat band. The opposition parties of the day led by Bob Rae and Thomas Mulcair shamelessly exploited that situation to their own political advantage. Trudeau just has taken virtue signaling to a new level, ultimately every move made for political gain.

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        Vancouverois says:

        Actually, as I remember it, didn’t Mulcair have the good sense to stay away? Perhaps I’m wrong, but I thought JT was the only one who tried to capitalize on her protest.

        He should have paid a political price for it once she was exposes, but that was back in the days when he could do no wrong…

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    Max says:

    Paul Wells wrote a damn fine piece in MacLeans. Wells just restored my appreciation for solid journalism. Also check out a close second by David Delaney in todays edition of The Cape Breton Post. Calling a spade a spade.

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    not 1st says:


    “By all indications, Wilson-Raybould does not plan to be done with politics. She has plenty of personal electoral capital to spend on staying in the game. But she may have to look to the provincial scene in her home-province of British Columbia where she is said to be close to NDP Premier John Horgan rather than to the national stage for a bright future.”

    Cozying up with comrade Horgan is a mistake.

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    Vancouverois says:

    I just read the Paul Wells “Justin Trudeau, Imposter” column. Absolutely devastating.

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    Max says:

    Philpott just called Justin on his bullshit. She resigned. Its too late for Freeland who said JWR “spoke her truth”. Kinda like ‘alternative facts’ Chrystia. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

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    Montréalaise says:

    John Ibbitson wrote that Trudeau ”has refused ….. for three straight weeks: respond to a direct question with a direct answer.” Correction: Trudeau has NEVER responded with a direct answer! Some time ago, I read an interview with Thomas Mulcair in the Journal de Montréal, where he said that as leader of the Opposition, it would frustrate him to no end that whenever he asked JT a question, JT would invariably spout platitudes that had little or nothing to do wih the actual question being asked. Mulcair added that while he despised many of Harper’s policies, he respected Harper for actually answering questions put to him.

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    Dave says:


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Different world now. The PM could never get away with a fuck you on this, or Norman.

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