This photo, more than any poll, makes me feel that this government is going down.
And this, finally, is why.
This photo, more than any poll, makes me feel that this government is going down.
And this, finally, is why.
It was vintage Justin Trudeau.
There he stood at the prime ministerial podium at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, a battery of Canadian flags behind him, a throng of journalists in front of him. He blinked, all dewy-eyed sincerity.
It was Thursday morning, early. He’d just been asked if he planned to apologize for the metastasizing Lavscam scandal. It wasn’t a crazy question: Trudeau’s own press minions had been leaking that the prime minister was considering doing precisely that.
But, no. Said Trudeau: “I will be making an Inuit apology later today,” he said. Blink, blink.
And so it went. Not the worst press encounter of the week — R. Kelly won that prize, hands down — but close. Made a bad situation way, way worse.
For starters, as noted, the Liberal leader didn’t apologize — for what he had done to Jody Wilson-Raybould. For trying to cook up a sweetheart deal for a rotten Quebec engineering firm. For wiping his feet on the rule of law.
Apologies cost nothing, Justin. If done right, they pay lots of dividends.
That’s not all: The Deflector-in-Chief didn’t take responsibility. Not even a bit.
Even if you don’t apologize, Justin — even if you don’t express the smallest amount of regret, which you didn’t do either — it’s important that you accept that the proverbial buck stops with you. Instead, you whinged (yet again) that it’s all Wilson-Raybould’s fault.
“She didn’t come to me,” you wheezed. (Actually, she did. You just wouldn’t listen.)
The worst of it: Trudeau sounded as sincere as a two-bit carnival barker.
That’s a surprise. Trudeau’s greatest talent, you see, is acting. He is an expert at radiating sincerity and emotion. But at his press conference, he had all the conviction of an al-Qaida hostage reading a statement about the evils of the West. This was a historic moment, and Trudeau needed to convince us. He didn’t.
He didn’t acknowledge the seriousness of this scandal, either. Lavscam is a raging five-alarm fire; Trudeau brought a squirt gun. He said nothing that will extinguish Canadians’ growing belief that Trudeau and his staff may have obstructed justice.
Also: Trudeau didn’t rebut the allegations that have been made against him. In fact, he did the reverse. He confirmed all of Wilson-Raybould’s evidence: That she was pressured to give SNC-Lavalin a judicial high-five. That he and his officials — 11 of them, more than 20 times, over a four-month period in fall 2018 — did what the former attorney general said they did. Guilty as charged, Your Honour.
At one point, Trudeau looked up from his focus-grouped talking points. He looked a bit weepy. Was an apology about to arrive?
Instead, Trudeau gave us every indication that the pressure is getting to him. Without warning, he launched into a bizarre exposition about his dead father. How he and Pierre liked justice. And stuff.
Pro tip, Justin: Hauling dead relatives out of the crypt to buttress your argument isn’t convincing. It’s creepy.
And so it went. Trudeau just didn’t get how bad this is. You know: That, in a functioning democracy, politicians cannot ever, ever tell judges and prosecutors what to do. When that happens enough, you are a democracy no more. You’re a banana republic.
As he departed to “make an Inuit apology,” he was right about one thing, however. An “erosion of trust” had happened, as he said.
But the “erosion of trust” wasn’t between him and Wilson-Raybould.
It’s between him and us.
In today’s Citizen, Andrew Cohen states:
“Critics note that Wilson-Raybould is applauded – perhaps advised – by the perfervid Warren Kinsella and his wife, Lisa; the latter hugged Wilson-Raybould after her testimony to the justice committee. Warren Kinsella, a Liberal and a consultant, despises Trudeau for blocking his nomination in Toronto in 2014.”
I can make the following comments about Cohen’s published statement:
- I do not advise Jody Wilson-Raybould in any manner whatsoever. She is not a client of my firm, paid or otherwise. I have never even met Ms. Wilson-Raybould.
- My wife Lisa, who can certainly speak for herself, will equally tell you that she does not advise Ms. Wilson-Raybould in way, shape or form. Lisa has lobbied Ms. Wilson-Raybould in her previous ministerial capacity, and is friendly with her. That is all. Her email is attached; you can contact her. Cohen certainly did not even attempt to do so.
- Cohen’s statement that we “perhaps advise” Ms. Wilson-Raybould is dishonest, innuendo, and, as noted, false. We could have easily so advised this erstwhile professor of journalism had he bothered to pick up the phone, or written to us. We are easily found. It would have taken mere moments.
- Equally, Cohen’s statement that I “despise” Justin Trudeau is something he cannot hope to know without first making an effort to contact me. He did not do so, not once.
- I did not have a nomination “blocked” by Justin Trudeau in 2014 or any other relevant year. In fact, I did not even submit the requisite paperwork for a Liberal nomination. Cohen’s error here, too, is significant and could have been easily avoided. It does a disservice to Citizen readers.
- I am not a member of the Liberal Party or any other party. That, too, requires a correction.
I will resist noting that even a first-year Carleton journalism student would have not made these errors of fact. I will say, however, that I insist upon a correction statement in respect of the above-noted. I expect that it will be published sooner than later.
I look forward to hearing from you.
UPDATE: Without providing us with the courtesy of a response, they’ve posted this below Cohen’s column:
Not good enough.
I’ve written to them again:
I have received no reply from you but have noted this below Cohen’s column:
Correction: An earlier version of this column mischaracterized the relationship between Jody Wilson-Raybould and Lisa Kinsella, and misstated Warren Kinsella’s party status.
- There has been no correction of the false innuendo that I, Warren Kinsella, represent or “perhaps advise” Ms. Wilson-Raybould.
- There has been no correction made in respect of the completely false statement about (a) my views regarding the Prime Minister and (b) “blocking my nomination.”
I again insist that the correction address the above-noted.
I’ll let you know what happens next.
How bad was Justin Trudeau’s early-morning LavScam press conference?
So bad CTV Your Morning’s Ben Mulroney asked aloud if the Liberal Prime Minister had made things worse for himself.
So bad Bell Media radio host Evan Solomon called Trudeau’s statement “a word salad.”
So bad I played a tape of Trudeau’s press conference for students in my University of Calgary Faculty of Law crisis communications course – as a sterling example of how not to do crisis communications.
Trudeau made many mistakes in Parliament’s press theatre. Here are ten.
1. He didn’t apologize. After Trudeau’s office leaked that the beleaguered Liberal leader was deliberating about an apology for the SNC-Lavalin scandal, we all kind of expected one. We didn’t get one. And when Trudeau was asked why, he blinked and stammered and looked offended. Dumb. Apologies cost nothing, Petit Justin. But if done right, they pay many dividends.
2. He didn’t take responsibility. Even if you don’t apologize – even if you don’t express the smallest amount of regret, which Trudeau didn’t do either – it’s important that you accept that the proverbial buck stops with you. Trudeau (again) said that it’s all Jody Wilson-Raybould’s fault. “She didn’t come to me,” he wheezed. Well, actually, she did. You just wouldn’t listen.
3. He didn’t sound sincere. Justin Trudeau’s greatest strength is his acting ability. He is an expert at radiating wet-eyed sincerity and emotion – kind of like our Labrador retrievers, when we come home and discover they’ve eaten an entire living room sofa. At his press conference, Trudeau had all the conviction of an ISIS hostage reading a statement prepared by his captors. This was a truly historic moment, and Trudeau needed to convince us. He didn’t.
4. He didn’t acknowledge the seriousness of this scandal. LavScam is a raging five-alarm fire; Trudeau brought a squirt gun to the blaze. He did and said nothing that will extinguish Canadians’ growing belief that Trudeau and his staff may have obstructed justice.
5. He didn’t rebut the allegations that have been made against him. In fact, he did the precise reverse. Trudeau confirmed all of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s evidence: that she was pressured to give a sleazy Quebec company a sweetheart deal. That he and his officials – 11 of them, more than 20 times, over a four-month period in Fall 2018 – did what the former Attorney-General said they did. Guilty as charged.
6. He didn’t make us feel he understands it. In fact, Trudeau gave us every indication that the pressure is getting to him. At one point, the Deflector-in-Chief looked up from his focus-grouped talking points and launched into a bizarre exposition about his dead father. Pro tip: hauling dead relatives out of the crypt to buttress your argument isn’t convincing. It’s creepy.
7. He didn’t provide a compelling narrative. People get bombarded by millions of words and images every day. It’s data smog; it’s hard to keep up. So, it’s critical that you provide a narrative – a story. (Because while facts tell, stories sell.) At the conclusion of Trudeau’s windy word salad, we still didn’t know why he fired Jody Wilson-Raybould. Because she didn’t speak French? Because she was “difficult”? Because Scott Brison? We don’t know.
8. He didn’t sound like a Prime Minister. Sure, he used an official-looking podium. Sure, there was a battery of Canadian flags arrayed behind him. Sure, he can wear a pricey suit. But, with the sound off, Trudeau looked like he was irritated that he was being forced to answer tricky questions from the wretches in the Press Gallery. He looked like he was pissed off. Not penitent.
9. He didn’t get it. The seriousness of it all, that is. Over and over, Trudeau gave us every indication that the whole mess was simply a case of broken telephone. When, in fact, it was about how he and his senior staff – not one of them a lawyer – repeatedly tried to tell the lawyers what to do. The decision was all Wilson-Raybould’s, he said – as long as, you know, she made the decision he wanted her to make.
10. He didn’t remember the cardinal comms rule. Which is: don’t repeat the main allegation against you. Instead, Justin Trudeau acknowledged, over and over, that there had been “an erosion of trust” between him and his former Attorney-General. He said it so much, even the New York Times put it in a big headline.
No, Justin, the “erosion of trust” wasn’t between you and Jody Wilson-Raybould.
The erosion of trust is between you and us.
Our friends at Campaign Research are out with a national omnibus today, too, I believe. I suspect they are going to show the same thing (if not worse).
Poll, methodology, etc. here.
Well, actually, they would be that stupid. They are that stupid.
Spotted by my sharp-eyed pal Sean Craig: PMO told female Liberal MPs to post personal messages about what a swell feminist he is – presumably to offset this growing controversy. Except a couple of the MPs just did a cut and paste. Oops!
The next thing you know, they’ll be lining up all kinds of people to write op-eds!
That’s a female Liberal MP talking about Justin Trudeau.
The Globe and Mail just broke this incredible story. And, on International Women’s Day – on any day – it’s not a good look for the self-professed “feminist.”
I guess he could again say that we should believe women when they come forward. And then he could dismiss them. Again.
He’s done that a lot, hasn’t he?
The Globe story, here.
Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes says she was met with hostility and anger from Justin Trudeau when she told him she was leaving politics, prompting her to speak out about the Prime Minister’s behaviour.
A source with the Prime Minister’s Office who was not authorized to discuss details on the record said Mr. Trudeau was concerned that her decision would be associated with the SNC-Lavalin affair, but did not raise any concerns about race.
Ms. Caesar-Chavannes said she told him that she hoped he could one day understand the impact that political life has had on her family. She said threats to her safety have been made against her in the past.
“He was yelling. He was yelling that I didn’t appreciate him, that he’d given me so much,” Ms. Caesar-Chavannes said.
A week later after a caucus meeting, Ms. Caesar-Chavannes said she approached Mr. Trudeau to talk about their last interaction.
“I went to him, I said, ‘Look I know our last conversation wasn’t the greatest but …’ And at that point I stopped talking because I realized he was angry,” she said.
“Again, I was met with hostility. This stare-down … then him stomping out of the room without a word.”
The Imposter’s non-apology apology didn’t go so well. A summary of the commentariat, below: