, 03.09.2019 09:38 AM

Your Saturday #LavScam roundup: Trudeau’s coddling of “ordinary evil”

  • National Observer: “…the most depressing spectacle of the entire affair is watching Justin Trudeau, a man who clearly aspires to greatness, debase himself and this nation, by begging, pushing, imploring Canada’s attorney general to let this company off the hook. Then effectively firing her when she wouldn’t comply, and allowing her credibility to be undermined.”
  • National Observer: “A Canadian company is charged with bribing a family infamous around the world for murder, torture, rape, abductions, and widespread human rights abuses, and doing it for its own profit. They didn’t stop until the regime collapsed in 2011 and Swiss authorities came knocking. Charges were laid in April 2015. Because of corruption’s profoundly oppressive impact on the Libyan people, the SNC-Libya charges are vastly more serious even than the McGill hospital bribery scandal, in which SNC paid bribes of $22.5 million to secure the contract. Yet repeatedly and overwhelmingly from the prime minister and his advisors, the hand-wringing has focused on Canadian jobs, without substantiation of what the real job losses might be. Not a whisper for the innocent civilians trampled under a dictator’s boot. The kind of people who don’t have Michael Wernick’s mobile number.”
  • National Observer: “SNC knowingly enabled and overlooked monstrous tyranny and abuse. The company cannot pretend it was unaware of Gaddafi’s vicious cruelty while expensing his son Saadi Gaddafi’s prostitutes, lavish lifestyle, and showering him with millions of dollars a year. The company financed his soccer aspirations and sponsored his team despite widespread reports that, just a few years earlier, his bodyguards had opened fire on soccer fans for booing a referee favouring him. Between 20 and 50 were killed in the ensuing chaos.”
  • Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star: “International Women’s Day came and went in Canada on Friday without much fanfare by Justin Trudeau, who normally uses the occasion to burnish his feminist brand. That brand, like everything else around Trudeau this past month, has been tarnished by the ongoing SNC-Lavalin saga, which has cost the prime minister two strong women ministers and raised questions about whether he really walks the talk of new-style, female-friendly politics.”
  • Andrew Coyne, National Post: “WHY FIGHT CRIMINAL CHARGES IN COURT WHEN YOU CAN LOBBY? SNC-Lavalin chose to fight the charges in government, rather than court. They did so, we may conclude, because they were given reason to believe it would work…At last the Liberal government has that outside legal opinion it was seeking. A federal court judge has ruled the director of public prosecutions’ decision to bring SNC-Lavalin to trial on charges of fraud and corruption, rather than to negotiate a “remediation agreement” as the company preferred, was a proper exercise of her prosecutorial discretion. By extension she has endorsed the former attorney general’s refusal to overrule that decision. For the flipside of prosecutorial discretion is prosecutorial independence, hallowed by centuries of common law and, as the judge wrote, “essential and fundamental to the criminal justice system.”
  • Colby Cosh, Post: “As we all dissect the Liberals’ SNC-Lavalin scandal, it is hard to even keep track of the multiple injuries to the Liberal party’s image and to Justin Trudeau’s. I am seeing a lot of remarks and jokes about Trudeau’s performative commitment to equality of the sexes, or about how serious evidence-based policy-making takes a back seat so quickly to a contrived panic about jobs….if you compound enough hypocrisy, shovel it into a big enough pile, it just becomes ordinary evil, doesn’t it?”
  • Andrew Coyne, Post: “The prime minister’s people seem to have reached down even further into the prosecutorial ranks. Bouchard allegedly told her chief of staff he understood “that the individual Crown prosecutor wants to negotiate an agreement, but the director does not.” As Wilson-Raybould mused to the committee, “I can’t help but wonder why he would bring that up. How he would know that. How he garnered that information.”
  • Christie Blatchford, Post: “A month to the day that the scandal first broke, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has managed the improbable — both confirming key details of the deposed attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testimony (i.e., she was telling the truth) and revealing his own shallow grasp of what constitutes improper interference with the justice system and its highest officers…The justice system depends upon a criminal case — every criminal case, from sexual assault to burglary to home invasion to corporate wrongdoing — being decided by someone who takes into account only what is legally appropriate. That’s what JWR’s director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, did, and it was for JWR alone to decide if she should interfere with that decision. The PM’s insistence, in the face of this simple proposition, that what really mattered were the jobs of SNC workers, pensioners and suppliers shows his failure to grasp the meaning of prosecutorial independence and the proper separation of powers.”
  • Globe and Mail editorial board: “If members of a government are free to approach an attorney-general on other criminal cases – not to lobby, but just to, you know, share their thoughts – we are no longer living in a rule-of-law country. Repeatedly providing the attorney-general with “information” and “context” about a how to resolve a case is highly problematic, especially when that “context” is coming from the Prime Ministers’ Office…If the government encouraged the attorney-general to intervene in the case of SNC-Lavalin, then any misunderstanding that resulted was not because of Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s state of mind, but rather the government’s misunderstanding of the law.”
  • Lorne Gunter, Sun: “Trudeau is a fake feminist. When push comes to shove, Trudeau’s feminist behaviour disappears. Before the recent resignations from his cabinet of two of its most prominent female ministers – Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott – the most famous example of Trudeau’s superficial feminism surrounded his “Kokanee Grope.” Back in 2000, long before he entered politics, Trudeau was attending a music festival in the B.C. Interior and being interviewed by a female reporter who he “inappropriately handled.” When this incident resurfaced last summer, Trudeau’s feminist piety abandoned him. Women never lie about sexual assault (a common feminist mantra) became, for Trudeau, “the same interactions can be experienced very differently” by men and women. This was the same political leader who had Canada’s sexual assault laws changed to severely restrict the ability of an accused man to defend himself in court because Trudeau didn’t like the outcome of the Jian Ghomeshi trial and said his government was going to stand with the victims and their stories. But not, apparently, when that standard applied to him.”
  • Toronto Sun editorial board: “On Thursday, the PM gave a press conference that was expected to be something of an apology. It was not. It was the defiant golden boy digging in his heels, insistent he had done no wrong. Like Gerald Butts and Michael Wernick before him, he threw Jody Wilson-Raybould under the bus. The fault? An “erosion of trust.” And he made it clear the fault for this erosion was hers. Nobody was buying it. Not the reporters on hand. Not the public, weighing in with frustration on social media. Perhaps not even the PM himself – although he did manage to keep a straight face while uttering some of his less believable remarks.”

14 Comments

  1. Daphne says:

    Norm Spector has links to three pretty devastating editorials in Le Journal de Montreal.

    https://twitter.com/nspector4/status/1104394373700083714?s=20

    • Vancouverois says:

      I was just reading those!

      Evidently the SNC-Lavalin issue isn’t the winner in Quebec that Trudeau thought it was. He may well even lose votes over it. Imagine that.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Vancouverois,

        Right now, I’m good at what I do. But you’re only as good as your long term track record, so we’ll see how I pan out.

  2. Walter says:

    If the topic is “prosecutorial independence”, should we re-visit the decision to pay Omar Khadr $10M and to pay the other 3 terrorist $30M.

    Was that decision made independently, or did the PMO interfere on those ones too. We know there was interference in the Vice Admiral Mark Norman case.

  3. FatLady says:

    When the Toronto Star turns against you, when you cannot remove a member of your caucus who has publicly stated that she has lost confidence in you, it’s all but over.

    How do the Liberals go into a general election campaign with Trudeau? The Conservatives are going to run attack ads featuring the words of JWR and JP. How do you recover from that?

  4. Christian says:

    Meanwhile the leader of the opposition, who may end up being PM come October, openly condones ‘pizzagate’. Our politics really are a shambles (along with everyone else’s). Is it any wonder people have given up?

    • Max says:

      Get outta here with that silly US political BS. Really, that’s what you bring to this discourse?

    • Vancouverois says:

      Whatever his sins, Scheer did NOT openly condone “pizzagate”. That’s slanderous garbage.

      Stop crying wolf.

      • Fred from BC says:

        Not a big fan of Scheer myself, but you’re right, he did nothing of the kind. His problem seems to be that he wants to be liked by everyone and therefore avoids confrontation whenever he can, He *should* have said something like, “well, I wouldn’t go that far, but..” or “that one was proven to be fake, but I get your point, and…” . Anything but pretend he just didn’t hear it.

  5. HarryR says:

    A bizarre Punch and Jody show!
    “That’s (not) the way to do it!”

  6. Bill Malcolm says:

    The PPSC managed to somehow be persuaded to go to court on 31 odd charges against Mike Duffy in 2015. Every single charge was tossed out.

    “Justice Charles Vaillancourt, right, dismissed all 31 criminal charges against Senator Mike Duffy and condemned members of the Prime Minister’s Office for their actions throughout the whole affair. ”
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mike-duffy-trial-vaillancourt-best-lines-1.3547416

    Now, was that gross PPSC prosecutorial incompetence to charge Duffy on 31 baseless charges, or a legacy case where the grossness of harper’s PMO had been used to influence the “independent” service to go to trial in the first place?

    Considering the judge’s acid remarks in his verdict, I am of a mind to believe that the harper PMO was behind it all. 31 baseless charge thrown out. And a stern lecture delivered by Judge Vaillancourt on the Con PMO’s behaviour. Still, no tweets about “independence” from the PPSC at the time, so one presumes they went along with it all and were staffed by incompetents if 31 charges were thrown out. Not a one stuck. What were they thinking?

    Scheer must have a short and unfilled memory. The very behaviour he is on his high horse about, blaming Trudeau and the PMO in particular, was apparently happily performed by his Con pals just three to four short years ago. And carried to completion if a show trial was what they wanted. But of course, we never get to hear anything about that charade today from Scheer or Raitt. Good Lord, no, it wouldn’t fit the narrative. No, the Cons have metamorphosed in their own minds into blameless wunderkind, blemish-free. As if.

    You’ll excuse me if I barf over both Liberals and Conservatives. Got no time for either party, and for my personal purposes both can go hang.

    • Walter says:

      “Considering the judge’s acid remarks in his verdict, I am of a mind to believe that the Harper PMO was behind it all.”

      So Harper planned to have a criminal trial going during the election campaign.

      Looking at the testimony of Mr. Wernick, I suspect those 2015 charges where more related to the lack of neutrality of the supposedly independent, PPSC .

  7. Allan Blair says:

    Interesting how the Liberalanos can try to deflect the heat blowing hard about Duffy. How can you even compare that to the defence of a company that solicitated a third world dictator and his son through prostitutes, booze drugs and monetary embezzlement. All allegedly of course…wink, wink, nod, nod. There will be no jobs lost here, only the money of Trudeau and his friends because as the onion is peeled the bugs inside can’t hide.

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