JWR is playing chess, and she always wins

The other side play checkers – and always lose.  Because she’s smarter than they are.

Oh, and to mix my metaphors, and like I always say: the truth is like water. It finds a way out.

From CBC:

Jody Wilson-Raybould says she will provide a written statement and copies of text messages and emails to the Commons justice committee that shut down its probe into the SNC-Lavalin affair.

This week, the Liberal members, which have a majority on the committee, voted to close down the inquiry without recalling the former attorney general to testify a second time in order to respond to other witnesses.

In a letter to the committee chair, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, Wilson-Raybould, former justice minister and attorney general, said she would respond to a request to provide copies of texts and emails she referenced in her Feb. 27 testimony at the committee.

“Related to these requests, I also have relevant facts and evidence in my possession that further clarify statements I made and elucidate the accuracy and nature of statements by witnesses in testimony that came after my committee appearance,” she wrote.

“As such, in response to these requests, and consistent with the standard practice of the committee of receiving written submissions, I will be providing a written submission to the committee in relation to matters within the confines of the waiver of cabinet confidence and solicitor-client privilege.”


Violate the law – because it’s 2019! (updated)

Hate to sound like a guy who teaches at a law school and all that, but I am and I do.  And so, Judy Sgro, John McKay, Susan Delacourt and Trudeau patronage recipient Bob Rae et al.: stay in your lane, please.  Violating a cabinet oath is a serious offence.  Violating solicitor-client privilege will get a lawyer disbarred, too.

Get with it, folks.  Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott have both said they want to talk, and they have things to say.

Justin Trudeau, our Feminist-in-Chief, just won’t let them.

UPDATE: My smart lawyer friend Ed Prutschi suggests Sgro, McKay, Rae et al. may be counselling an indictable offence, here.


The Jane Philpott interview: this is extraordinary

Paul Wells and Maclean’s have got the first interview with Jane Philpott – former Minister of Health, former Treasury Board President, former Minister of Indigenous Services – and it is incredible.

From the very first time I met Jane, and spoke at her riding association many years ago, I believed her to be principled and brilliant.  And the kind of person we need in public life.

Reading some of the snippets below, I am reminded of how principled and brilliant she truly is.  And I convinced, more than ever, that the true is like water.

It will find a way out.

**

Q: When you left cabinet, did you have a strategic goal in mind? What was the point of resigning?

A: I resigned because I could not maintain solidarity with cabinet on the specific issue of the management of the SNC-Lavalin issue. I felt that there was evidence of an attempt to politically interfere with the justice system in its work on the criminal trial that has been described by some as the most important and serious prosecution of corporate corruption in modern Canadian history.

A: No. There’s much more to the story that should be told.

Q: What sort of stuff?

A: I believe the former attorney general has further points to make. I believe that I have further issues of concern that I’m not free to share. There was a reference by Gerry Butts in his testimony of the fact that I spoke to the Prime Minister on January the 6th about SNC-Lavalin’s desire to have a DPA [deferred prosecution agreement]. This was more than a month before the story became public. And I ordinarily would have not been allowed to share that information. But of course it’s already on the public record from the Justice Committee. I think Canadians might want to know why I would have raised that with the Prime Minister a month before the public knew about it. Why would I have felt that there was a reason why former Minister Wilson-Raybould should not be shuffled?

Q: In what forum would you like to discuss all of this?

A: My sense is that Canadians would like to know the whole story. I believe we actually owe it to Canadians as politicians to ensure that they have the truth. They need to have confidence in the very basic constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system.

Q: Mr. Butts said, essentially, ‘Come on, this doesn’t rise to the level of harassment, or bugging, or even sustained engagement. It’s 20 interactions over four months. It’s two phone calls and two meetings per month.’

A: The constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system is such that the attorney general of our country should not be subjected to political interference in any way. Whether there is one attempt to interfere or whether there are 20 attempts to interfere, that crosses ethical and constitutional lines.

Q: Now there’s an Ethics Commissioner investigation. Michael Wernick seemed to have a lot of confidence in the Ethics Commissioner. Do you think that can capture everything that needs capturing?

A: My sense is that they will not have the appropriate tools to be able to get at all of this.

Q: What’s missing?

A: If nothing wrong took place, then why don’t we waive privilege on the whole issue and let those who have something to say on it speak their minds and share their stories?

Q: The Finance Minister [Bill Morneau] said your resignation from cabinet was an expression of personal friendship with Jody Wilson-Raybould. What do you make of that?

A: I think that’s an insult.

Q: How so?

A: I don’t make decisions on any policy — and definitely not on a matter of principle — based on friendship. I made the very difficult decision to step down because my conscience demanded it.

 


Haters share one thing

…they love guns. White supremacists, neo-Nazis, homophobes, Holocaust deniers, Islamophobes, committed racists all share one thing: they are gun nuts. Back when the Heritage Front was the largest and most active hate group on the planet, they made holding a valid Canadian Firearms Acquisition Certificate a condition of membership.

So, what New Zealand has done here, in less than a week, is a big and positive step. The gun nuts will say that it won’t eliminate illegal guns, and they’re right, but they’re fundamentally dishonest, too. They know it will mean fewer assault weapons – weapons that are simply designed to hunt humans – getting into the wrong hands.

So, kudos, Kiwis. Your Prime Minister is pretty amazing, I’d say.

(CNN) — All military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in New Zealand following the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” Ardern said at a press conference in the capital Wellington.

The announcement came after the country’s cabinet agreed to overhaul the law and ban military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles 72 hours after the Christchurch attacks. 

“Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned,” Ardern continued, adding that she hoped the law would be in place by April 11. “This legislation will be drafted and introduced in urgency.”


In A Dark Time

Roethke has always been my favourite poet.

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood—
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is—
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.


Because it’s 2019

Good on her. She’s got guts and integrity to spare.

We haven’t heard the last from Celina.

Whitby, Ont. MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes has quit the Liberal caucus and will sit as an independent.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision after the weekly caucus meeting.

“I have just been notified by my office that Celina Caesar-Chavannes has decided to sit as an independent. I want to thank her for her service to the Liberal Party and to her constituents, and wish her the best in her continued service to her constituents,” he said.

Caesar-Chavannes already had announced she will not seek re-election in the October election.

She told the Globe and Mail that when she first told Trudeau about her plan not to run, he became hostile towards her.

“He was yelling. He was yelling that I didn’t appreciate him, that he’d given me so much,” Caesar-Chavannes told the newspaper.

The Prime Minister’s Office insisted that Trudeau displayed “absolutely no hostility” in the exchange.