Charter of Shites

Your morning random, contextless links

I used to do this a lot, on the old version of this here web site.  So, herewith and hereupon:

Exclusive in the Sun: JWR speaks!

The truth.

She says it’s true — the actions of the Liberal Prime Minister should be “of great concern for many Canadians, across the country.”

She says, truthfully, that Justin Trudeau has acted in a way that is “questionable.”

She says what happened her is “a wake-up call” — and, while she’s not happy about what Justin Trudeau did to her, she’s running again.

And — when, say, a Prime Minister Andrew Scheer gives her the legal green light to do so — she plans to tell all.

She plans to reveal what really happened “behind the veil” in Trudeau’s Ottawa.

The true story.

She’s Jody Wilson-Raybould, and she’s speaking out.

In an exclusive interview with the Toronto Sun this week, the former Attorney-General of Canada spoke at length about how she’s feeling, the issues she cares about, and what the future holds for the courageous woman who shook Canadian politics to its foundations in 2019.

It’s been quite a ride for Wilson-Raybould, the Member of Parliament who started the year as the most powerful lawyer in the land — and, just 100 days later, was expelled from the federal Liberal caucus.

For being a whistleblower on corruption. For speaking truth to power. For having the guts to say “no” to Justin Trudeau and the men around him, who refused to take “no” for an answer.

The fundamentals in the LavScam scandal, by now, are well-known.

For four months in 2018, Trudeau, the Minister of Finance, and their unelected apparatchiks bullied and threatened Wilson-Raybould, demanding that she rig the system to help a seamy Quebec company — SNC-Lavalin — escape criminal prosecution for corruption charges.

Wilson-Raybould refused to do so.

By the time the whole sordid affair lurched to a close, Wilson-Raybould and her cabinet ally Jane Philpott had been defamed, demeaned, and dumped from the Liberal caucus.

Trudeau had lost his two closest and most powerful advisors — Principal Secretary Gerald Butts and Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick.

And the Liberal Party commenced a truly dramatic slide in the polls.

If an election was held today, in fact, Trudeau’s formerly-invincible party would suffer a humiliating loss to the Conservatives.

With the dust now settled, somewhat, what does Jody Wilson-Raybould think about it all?

“I am still somewhat sad,” she says.

“But, mostly, disappointed over what transpired the last number of months – given how I was removed from caucus through a questionable process and treated for doing what, at the end of the day, was the right thing to do, for the right reasons.”

She adds: “Having said that, I’m embracing my new position as an independent MP for Vancouver Granville and remain inspired by the incredible reception I’ve received from thousands of Canadians and their encouragement for me to stay in politics.”

Are they encouraging her to run again? Will she?

“My time in federal politics is not over,” Wilson-Raybould says, a bit mysteriously. “I will be making a decision shortly. Stay tuned.”

The LavScam scandal — more than the Aga Khan mess, more than the disastrous India trip, more than Trudeau’s policy fumbles on China, NAFTA, pipelines and federal-provincial relations — dealt the deadliest blow to the Liberal leader’s re-election hopes.

Before LavScam, most everyone had seen a second Trudeau majority government as inevitable.

Not now.

Wilson-Raybould agrees.

Says she: “[LavScam] was a wake up call for many – a peek behind the veil of how Ottawa works. I know, like me, many of the class of 2015 who came into federal politics for the first time truly believed there was a different way to do politics. We knew what this was supposed to mean. Unfortunately our experience did not match expectations or the standards we had set ourselves. The last months have led me – and I suspect many of my former colleagues, and I know countless Canadians – to pause and consider the way the system works.”

Can that system ever change? What needs to change? Wilson-Raybould doesn’t hesitate: politics which are “less partisan,” she says.

Freeing MPs to “truly represent their constituents.” And – contrary to what happens in Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa – a Parliament “where truth is expected.”

After all that has happened — after all that she has endured — does Jody Wilson-Raybould still have a truth to tell?

If Justin Trudeau is defeated, and his successor removes the cabinet confidence/solicitor-client privilege gag he’s slapped on her, will Wilson-Raybould finally tell us what happened “behind the veil?”

Jody Wilson-Raybould doesn’t hesitate about that, either.

“I will speak the truth,” she says, adding that she will certainly do so — when she is finally “free to do so.”

Promise to give Jody Wilson-Raybould the freedom to speak her truth, Andrew Scheer.

Put it in your election platform.

The truth, as they say, will set you free.

It may get you elected Prime Minister, too.

No apologies

Justin Trudeau likes apologies.

He does. According to the BBC, the Liberal leader has issued quite a few formal apologies since he became Prime Minister in 2015.

The first one happened a few months after his big election win. Trudeau apologized to the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren – and the great-great-grandchildren – of the S.S. Komagata Maru. That Japanese vessel was carrying nearly 400 Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu passengers who were denied entry into Canada, more than a Century ago, because of their racial origins.  

When they returned to India, the Punjabis were shot or imprisoned. Trudeau called the incident “a stain on Canada’s past,” which was true. It was.

In 2017, Trudeau made a tearful apology to the Innu, Inuit and NunatuKavut people of Newfoundland and Labrador who had been forced into residential schools. “Saying that we are sorry today is not enough. It will not undo the harm that was done to you,” Trudeau told the descendants of indigenous victims – not too long before he and his PMO would go on to energetically “do harm” to the indigenous leader named Jody Wilson-Raybould.  

Defaming her, demeaning her, kicking her out of his political party. Because she wouldn’t do what he told her to do.

But never mind. There were other apologies to be made.

Trudeau again got teary-eyed in 2017, when he apologized to LGBT people for what he called “state-sponsored, systematic oppression and rejection.” Members of the federal public service, its foreign service and members of both the military and RCMP were all discriminated against – and which Trudeau called “nothing short of a witch-hunt.” It was, it was.

In 2018, Trudeau apologized for Canada’s shameful treatment of nearly 1,000 Jews aboard the M.S. St. Louis. The Jews had been attempting to escape the Holocaust, but Prime Minister Mackenzie King refused to permit them entry. The St. Louis was forced to return to Europe, where 254 of the passengers were slaughtered in the Holocaust.  

“We are sorry for the callousness of Canada’s response,” Trudeau said, and he was right to express regret. “We are sorry for not apologizing sooner.”

Another one came in March of this year, when the Prime Minister apologized for what he called the “colonial” and “purposeful” mistreatment of Inuit people with tuberculosis. That statement came in the same week that Trudeau adamantly refused to apologize to Canadians for something else – for obstructing justice in the LavScam affair.

And so on and so on. Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, regularly refused to make such apologies when he was Prime Minister. In 1984, when pressed by Brian Mulroney to apologize to Japanese-Canadians who had been interned during World War Two, Pierre Trudeau refused. “I do not think the purpose of a government is to right the past,” Trudeau told Mulroney. “It cannot rewrite history. It is our purpose to be just in our time.”

He could have added another reason, one that would have later had particular relevance to his eldest son: when you apologize a lot, people will expect you to continue to issue apologies – and particularly when it is right and just to do so.

But, this week, Justin Trudeau wouldn’t. He refused.

The occasion was the proposed apology to Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, whose life and career had been effectively destroyed by the aforementioned Justin Trudeau and Trudeau PMO.  

Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt, supported by the New Democrats, rose in the House to ask that Members of Parliament “recognize Vice-Admiral Mark Norman for his decades of loyal service to Canada, express regret for the personal and professional hardships he endured as a result of his failed prosecution and apologize to him and his family for what they experienced during their legal conflict with government.”

Everyone was in favour of Raitt’s motion. Every Liberal MP voted for it.

But not Justin Trudeau. He had slipped out of the Commons chamber mere moments before the vote. And he didn’t come back to support the apology to Mark Norman, either. He had a prior commitment in Hamilton, his staff claimed – even though he still had several hours to get there. Was he driving himself? Who knows.

What we do know, however, is that Justin Trudeau is quite fond of apologies when he is not the wrongdoer. When the apology relates to the long-ago sins of other Canadian leaders – even his own father – Justin Trudeau is the most apologetic guy around.

But when it comes to his own sins – for his shameful treatment of Jody Wilson-Raybould, or Jane Philpott, or Celina Caesar-Chavannes, or Mark Norman – well, with those people, Justin Trudeau isn’t as forthcoming.

As we all teach our kids, apologies don’t work if they’re conditional. They don’t work if they’re insincere. And they don’t work if the sinner isn’t confessing his own sin.

And, in Justin Trudeau’s case, that happens a lot.