Categories for Feature

Shocker: Why Jody Wilson-Raybould was knifed by Justin Trudeau

Is Justin Trudeau’s PMO corrupt?

And did they punish the first female indigenous leader for refusing to go along with a dirty deal for their cronies?

This Globe and Mail story strongly suggests the answer is yes, to both questions. If true, this is corruption at the very highest levels of the federal government.

I’ve known this story was coming, but didn’t know it would be this bad. It’s bad.

It’s now clear that Justin Trudeau knifed Jody Wilson-Raybould because she refused to protect friends of Justin Trudeau. Friends enmeshed in multiple corruption scandals.

This one has it all: racism, cronyism, corruption.  More shocking highlights below. Link here.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office attempted to press Jody Wilson-Raybould when she was justice minister to intervene in the corruption and fraud prosecution of Montreal engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., sources say, but she refused to ask federal prosecutors to make a deal with the company that could prevent a costly trial.

SNC-Lavalin has sought to avoid a criminal trial on fraud and corruption charges stemming from an RCMP investigation into its business dealings in Libya…

Sources say Ms. Wilson-Raybould, who was justice minister and attorney-general until she was shuffled to Veterans Affairs early this year, came under heavy pressure to persuade the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to change its mind.

Sources say officials from Mr. Trudeau’s office, whom they did not identify, had urged Ms. Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister, to press the public prosecution office to abandon the court proceedings.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould trusted the judgment of the public prosecutor and did not believe it was proper for the attorney-general to intervene, especially if there could be any suggestion of political interference, sources say

Since the beginning of 2017, representatives of SNC-Lavalin met with federal government officials and parliamentarians more than 50 times on the topic of “justice” and “law enforcement,” according to the federal lobbyists registry. This includes 14 visits with people in the PMO. Those they met included Gerald Butts, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, and Mathieu Bouchard, Mr. Trudeau’s senior adviser on Quebec – whom they met 12 times. Mr. Trudeau’s senior policy adviser, Elder Marques, also met with company representatives.

This revelation, if true, is a clear violation of section 139(2) of the Criminal Code. Will the Conservatives, who have been lobbied just as aggressively by SNC Lavalin, do the right thing, and shut down Parliament until there is a Mueller-type independent inquiry? Will they, at the very least, swear a complaint with the RCMP? I’m not holding my breath.

If any of you wish to do so, however, you can here.

Our federal leaders need to stay on social media – they constantly remind us why we need better ones

Social media and politicians. Lets do a roundup,shall we?

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, was apparently ‎watching TV before Christmas. A charity thing came on. It was raising money to help teach kids in the Third World. Noble cause.

Justin was in a good mood. He picked up his iPhone, and thumbed out a message to the host of the event, a comedian named Trevor Noah.

“Hey Trevor Noah – thanks for everything you’re doing…Sorry I can’t be with you – but how about Canada pledges $50 Million to support education for women and girls around the world?” Trudeau wrote. “Work for you? Let’s do it!”

Work for you? Not really. Didn’t “work” for many other Canadians, either.

In just a single tweet, Trudeau captured everything Canadian dislike about him, pretty much. You know: a preference for American celebrities over ordinary Canadians. A willingness to toss around other people’s money, in a manner that would shame the drunkest drunken sailor. A glib, cloying, puerile approach that is in no way Prime Ministerial.

Oh, and a false belief that he is the master of all social media. That too.

He isn’t.

In that regard, Justin Trudeau is like his principal antagonist, Andrew Scheer. Andrew thinks he’s good at this Internet stuff, too.

He isn’t.

Take, for instance, the Conservative leader’s apparent belief that Google is run by a gaggle of Bolsheviks in a boiler-room somewhere, maliciously manipulating search results to create the impression that terrorists are military heroes.

Seriously, he believes that. Last week, Andrew did a Google search for “Canadian soldiers.” That returned pictures of actual Canadian military heroes. So far so good.

But then the Google elflords offered up a photo of Omar Khadr. Omar, as you may recall, is the youthful al-Qaeda and Taliban enthusiast who killed a U.S. medic while the medic was tending to wounded people during a battle in Afghanistan.

Andrew was outraged by that. He tweeted his outrage to Google, along with a screencap that helpfully pointed to “Canadian soldiers” and “Omar Khadr.”

Scheer huffed that Omar Khadr “is not a victim, nor ‎should he be portrayed in this way alongside real Canadian heroes.” Conservative trolls and pundits, often interchangeable, were similarly outraged. How dare Google do such a thing!

Except:‎ Google didn’t. Google’s algorithim did.

It’s amazing, really, that it needs to be said to a guy who could actually become Prime Minister of Canada and all that, but here goes: that’s not how the Internet works, Andrew. There are no youngsters in a dark subterranean lair at Google’s headquarters‎, drinking fizzy pop and giddily coming up with search results designed to outrage the perpetually-outraged.

The Omar Khadr result comes from Wikidata, which came from a Wikipedia entry, which ‎came from a troll who lives in – wait for it! – Russia.

Yes, the man who would be Prime Minister was tricked by an Internet troll named “Ghuron” in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Oh, and those mysterious “algorithms,” Andrew? Despite the presence of his name in that word, they were not invented by Al Gore.)

Scheer’s tweet illustrated, pithily, why so many Canadians believe the dimpled Tory leader is unworthy of high office: he is terrified that his base will disapprove of him, and remove him.

So he comes up with juvenile, frat-boy memes that appeal to his meat-eating base, and no one else at all. He remains focused, laser-like, on the trivial stuff. He can work at Rebel Media or Breitbart when he loses the next election, one supposes.

His fellow Opposition leader Jagmeet Singh is going to lose, too.

Why? Because the mere suggestion that the New Democratic Party leader makes dumb mistakes is no longer news, sadly. It happens a lot. It is accepted truth.

Like Justin and Andrew, Jagmeet’s ‎mistake was captured in cyber-amber for all to see. A little while ago, Jagmeet tweeted that Canada should side with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Here’s what he said: “The question of who is to lead Venezuela should be in the hands of Venezuelans. All countries should be free to make their own democratic decisions through free and fair elections, independent of authoritative pressure.”

All well and good, except for this: Nicolas Maduro is venal, vicious, human-rights-violating thug. He is a monster who has intimidated, persecuted and prosecuted any Venezuelan who dares to criticize him. His election was a fraud.

Independent human rights bodies have accused him of torturing dissidents, and starving his own people. Amnesty International has reported that 75 per cent of Venezuelans suffer from weight loss and malnutrition due to lack of food.

Why would Jagmeet defend such a creep? Why would he say Canada should support a cruel dictator? God knows. But that single tweet, once again, makes clear that Jagmeet Singh lacks judgment, lacks insight, and lacks what it takes to be a Member of Parliament, let alone Prime Minister.

At the end of all this cyber-stupidity, Canadians might reasonably ask: are any of these men fit to be Prime Minister? And why, pray tell, do they all continue to use social media?

Good questions. Canadians themselves will determine who is fit, and who is not, soon enough.

But should they all stop using social media, given how completely – and how regularly – it proves how unworthy they are?

No. We should be grateful to social media.

Better that we know how unfit they all are, so we can choose better when next given the chance.

Column: hate, defeated

The judge didn’t hold back.

He had read their “newspaper,” he said, glaring at the editor and publisher. “It is full of an unrelenting message of hate,” he said, as the two defendants slumped in their seats.

“You both fully intended to foment hatred. I find you both guilty, on both counts.”

It was only a few minutes past ten in the morning, but it had taken that short amount of time for Justice Richard Blouin of the Ontario Court of Justice to make a little bit of history, as Nick Cave put it. For the first time in Canadian history, someone had been found guilty of promoting hatred against an identifiable group – women.

Previously, Jews and gays and people of colour had been regular targets of the haters. Now, women, too.

The accused, Your Ward News editor James Sears and publisher Leroy St. Germaine, stepped outside courtroom 501 to hold a little media scrum. With a straight face, Sears – a former doctor who lost his licence to practice, because he’d pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting patients – likened himself to Jesus Christ. As the verdict was being read, he said to the assembled reporters, he could almost feel the nails going into his wrists.

He actually said that – and, in the pages of his little hate sheet over the past three years, he’d said plenty more, too. Like how feminists are “Satanic whores.” How women are “tri-orificed chattel.” How a woman isn’t “rape worthy” is she’s unattractive.

And: “Most women are irrational, short-sighted, passive-passive-aggressive traitors who cannot be trusted with a vote.”  And: “Women have the emotional maturity of children.” And: women deserve to be “raped or smacked.” And: “In a non-feminized country, no man would ever face criminal charges merely for…raping a woman who cockteased him incessantly.”

It goes on like that, Your Ward News does.  It’s all online, if you have the stomach for it.

Justice Blouin didn’t.  For a couple weeks before Christmas, Blouin listened to expert witnesses confirm what all of us already knew: Your Ward News was among the foulest hate Canada had ever seen.  Worse, even, than the bilge that came out of the neo-Nazi Heritage Front, or the Holocaust deniers like Ernst Zundel and Jim Keegstra.  Worse than them.

Some of us – my wife Lisa and me, assisted by former Canadian Jewish Congress leader Bernie Farber, Ottawa human rights activist Richard Warman, plus Toronto lawyers Leo Adler and Mark Freeman – have been battling Your Ward News for years.  The reason?  It was published in our part of Toronto, and delivered right to our mailbox.

Holocaust denial, rape advocacy, vile racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and – over and over and over – hatred of women.  Delivered to our homes, unbidden.  When we objected to that in the media, Sears wrote that Lisa and I deserved to be “bludgeoned to death.”  (Another Toronto judge, Dan Moore, concluded that wasn’t a threat.  Seriously.)

We launched a successful advertising boycott against Your Ward News – but it kept publishing.  We persuaded Canada Post to stop delivering it door-to-door – but it kept showing up, from London to Kingston.  And, finally, we persuaded Ontario’s former Attorney General, Yasir Naqvi, to allow charges to be laid against Sears and St. Germaine.  For promoting hatred against Jews.  And women.

Donald Trump is Your Ward News’ hero, and it is easy to see why.  A man who admits to “grabbing [women] by the pussy” gets elevated to the office of the President of the United States – and the women-haters cannot believe their good fortune.  They’d loathed women for years, seething away in a basement somewhere, firing off anonymous threats on Twitter.  But now?  Now, the most powerful man on Earth was like them.  Just like them.

Trump’s 2016 election spurred an explosion in hate, said the Southern Poverty Law Centre.  Against Jews, against Muslims, against gays and lesbians, against people of colour, against women.  In the Trump era, if you were to create a Venn diagram of white supremacists and neo-Nazis on one side – and women-haters and misogynists on the other side – the overlap would be this: 100 per cent.  These days, you cannot find a racist or an anti-Semite who does not also confess (or profess, like Sears and St. Germaine) a feral hatred of women.

But on Thursday of last week, in courtroom 501, it was a good day.  It was day for some justice, at long last.  It was a day that finally recognized that women are an identifiable group, under section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada.  And therefore deserving of protection from expressions of vile hate.

The fight goes on.  There will be more haters to take the place of Sears and St. Germaine.  There will be other court cases.

But, on one day last week, at least, Canadian women can draw some comfort from those words of Justice Richard Blouin: when you represent women as “immoral, inferior and not human,” you publish hate.

And you will answer for it.

Column: Trudeau turns his back on women and indigenous people

Justin Trudeau said he’d support indigenous leaders.

He didn’t.

Justin Trudeau said he’s a feminist.

He isn’t.

Justin Trudeau is a terrific actor, however. There he was, after his latest cabinet shuffle, and butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. He almost sounded offended.

Demoting a competent, smart, inspiring indigenous woman like Jody Wilson-Raybould – as the Liberal leader had literally done, just minutes before inside Rideau Hall – wasn’t a demotion at all, he huffed. There can be no greater honour than working with Canada’s veterans, he insisted.

And if some other Prime Minister had said it, it’d be partly true: it is an honour assisting the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces. But under Trudeau, it was a lie. Under him, Veteran’s Affairs has become a political landfill. Under him, veterans have been disregarded, disrespected, and litigated against in the courts.

So, everyone recognized Trudeau’s claim for what it was, which was unadulterated bullshit.

This was the truth: Jody Wilson-Raybould was demoted – as she effectively later confirmed herself, in her own words, with an extraordinary statement to the constituents who first elected her in 2015. She’d been dumped. She’d been rendered PNG – persona non grata, to appropriate a phrase from The PMO Kid’s fave TV show, The Americans.

Why? Because she threatened them.

Leaving aside her gender, leaving aside her indigenous heritage, Wilson-Raybould was simply the most effective Minister of Justice in a long, long time. And she was insufficiently deferential to Justin Trudeau and the grievance-nurturing children who comprise his entourage. Or, as a Maclean’s writer memorably called them, “a tiny cadre of out-of-their-league staffers operating out of the Building Formerly Known as Langevin.”

Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke truth to power, as she herself said. She didn’t suffer fools gladly, as was well-known. She was impatient for change – for women, for the forgotten, for First Nations people.

But Justin Trudeau and his oxymoronic brain trust – who always regard dissent as treason, and who always see themselves alone as the stewards of all that is good and true and Canadian – didn’t like that. They didn’t like that at all.

As “feminists,” as those who claim to empower all women, their most revealing moment came last Summer, when it was confirmed that Justin Trudeau had groped a female reporter at a long-ago festival in B.C. Trudeau’s response?

Believe women when they come forward. Just, you know, don’t believe that woman. Support women who are victimized by men.

Just not that one.

Jody Wilson-Raybould has achieved plenty in her career, as a wildly-successful lawyer, as a Crown Attorney, as the leader of the B.C. Treaty Commission, as the Grand Chief of her home province. She knows Trudeau’s type, one suspects. All capable women do.

Justin Trudeau – who was the beneficiary of the most inept Conservative and New Democratic election campaigns in a generation – is entirely that type. He was born to immense wealth, was elected due to his surname, and never held a Parliamentary position more senior than the youth critic for the third party in the House of Commons.

But as an actor – as the willing receptacle for bland, beige talking points, wheedled out of a focus group somewhere – he is without equal. He is indisputably the Phoney-in-Chief, and he is exceptionally good at it.

Will female voters be offended by Trudeau’s ritual knifing of Jody Wilson-Raybould? It’s unlikely, for now. With Andrew Scheer’s social media still churning out frat boy bumpersticker stuff – and with Jagmeet Singh continuing his downward descent into irrelevance – female voters, historically reliably liberal, will keep their powder dry.

Will indigenous leaders turn against Trudeau for what he did to Jody Wilson-Raybould? That seems more likely. Across Canada, indigenous leaders are increasingly muttering to each other that, at least with Stephen Harper, he was always truthful about his disinterest in their issues. Justin Trudeau, they say, cheerily says one thing to them, and then does another.

And what of Jody Wilson-Raybould? She should resist the temptation to quit – because that’s what Trudeau and his acolytes want her to do. She should do her new job well, bide her time, and wait for her moment.

Her leadership moment. It is coming.

And, she should always remember this: smart, capable women are used to dealing with insecure boy-men who have more power than brains.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is just the latest.

With Justin Trudeau, she won’t be the last.

Make America White Again

It’s the hat.

The initial coverage of the Kentucky Catholic kid and the Indigenous veteran decidedly favoured the latter over the former.  A short video of the pair was everywhere, and the outrage was everywhere, too: the kid in the Make America Great Again hat had treated the Indian – that’s what Americans still call Indigenous people – with disrespect, or worse.  The fact that it involved fourteen and fifteen-year-olds didn’t matter.

Anyway.  A longer video has emerged, and I believe it tells a somewhat different story.  You can see it here.

The kid has defended himself, too, on the record.  That’s here. (A lawyer undoubtedly wrote it for him, and he was a rude little bastard but, still.)

I don’t know which narrative will end up dominating.  Like Charles Adler, Keith Baldrey (and other journalists I respect) have said, this mess doesn’t look as clear-cut to me, now.  It’s harder to assign blame. Which then raises a key question: why did so many – me included – immediately believe the kid was the bad guy?

Because of the hat, that’s why.

He’s a kid, and I don’t expect him to be as sophisticated about politics and culture as the readers of this web site are. But the kid’s parents?  And the D.C. field trip’s chaperons? And his teachers, at that private, all-boys, mostly-white private school in Kentucky?  They have no excuse.  None.

Letting hundreds of boys run around Washington wearing MAGA hats is profoundly, deeply stupid.  It’s making a political statement, and every one of them knows it.

In the past two years – because, yes, it has been two years since that white supremacist cheated his way into the White House with the assistance of the similarly-racist Russians – that hat has become as distinctive as a Klansman’s white robes or a neo-Nazi’s stiff-arm fascist salute.  It is much more than a hat, now.

Ask a neo-Nazi.  Ask a committed racist.  They’ll tell you: it means Make America White Again.

It’s the “again” that changes the meaning.  Studies have been written about it.  If Trump had said “Make America Great,” he would’ve sounded like any other politician.  It’s the addition of that final word – plus Trump’s personal history of racism, because other, decent Republicans have used the phrase, too – that suggests going back to an earlier time. When things were whiter.  When things were Christian.  When fathers ran America.

As one writer put it:

To what specific period of American greatness are you wanting us to return? When black folk suffered segregation after slavery? When women had no right to vote or control their own bodies? When gay brothers and lesbian sisters felt ceaseless hate? When we stole land from the Native Americans? When we sent Japanese families to internment camps? When America lynched Mexicans?

Perhaps the kid didn’t actually mean to intimidate that indigenous veteran. Perhaps the veteran was a bit wrong in his assessment of the situation. Perhaps the media got it wrong.

Perhaps, perhaps. About that hat, however, there can be no doubt anymore: it means something.

And what it means, now, is hate.