My latest: the Process Prime Minister


That’s what lawyers always say to judges: The solution to process, Your Honour, is even more process.

Now, Justin Trudeau is no lawyer, as everyone knows. His mauling of the Rule of Law during the SNC-Lavalin scandal — his obstruction of justice therein — made that pretty crystal-clear. But he sure has a lawyer’s enthusiasm for process, doesn’t he?

Actual results? Nope. Not his thing. Trudeau prefers to over-promise and under-deliver. Always. It’s stamped on his DNA.

Proof of this is found in Canada’s blossoming vaccination fiasco. At every turn, on every day, the Liberal leader’s response to the growing vaccination crisis has been to offer up sunny bromides about things that don’t matter. Process stuff.

So, Trudeau wheezes we don’t have a domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity (false). He shrugs, and says we should be comforted by the fact that we’ve purchased — but not actually received — lots of vaccine doses (also false). He says the big problem is the provinces being slow on coronavirus testing (false, false).

The actual problem is really simple: we don’t have vaccines, and the rest of the developed (and undeveloped) world mostly do. Canadians have noticed, too.

An Angus Reid survey released Friday said this: “Fifty-seven per cent of Canadians now say the government has done a poor job of securing COVID-19 doses for the population. This represents a near tripling from the number who said the same thing in early December (23 per cent).”

Among other things, that means we aren’t going to have a Spring election in the country. Good. But it also raises a rather important question: with his approval numbers in a free-fall, why does Justin Trudeau insist on prattling on about process, instead of actual results?

The New York Times, of all newspapers, came up with an answer last week. Self-appointed progressives, the Times wrote, always prefer process. It’s their emotional support animal.

Here’s what the Times wrote. It’s worth quoting.

“Early in the pandemic, countries with populist, right-wing governments were suffering some of the worst outbreaks. Their problems all stemmed partly from leaders who rejected scientific expertise. More progressive and technocratic countries (like Canada) were doing a better job containing the pandemic. Politicians who believed in the ability of bureaucracies to accomplish complex jobs were succeeding at precisely that.”

Then something weird happened, noted the Times.

“But over the last few weeks, as vaccination has become a top priority, the pattern has changed. Progressive leaders in much of the world are now struggling to distribute coronavirus vaccines quickly and efficiently.”

The European Union vaccination effort has “descended into chaos,” said the Times. Democratic states “are below the national average.” And Justin Trudeau’s Canada is “far behind” the United States, the Times stated.

“Far behind” is right: the National Post published an extraordinary front page this week, listing the number of countries ahead of us on vaccines, in headline-sized fonts: 37 of them. THIRTY-SEVEN.

The reason, suggested the previously-Trudeau-fans at the New York Times? Process.

“Why?” queried the Times. “A common problem seems to be a focus on process rather than on getting shots into arms. Some progressive leaders are effectively sacrificing efficiency for what they consider to be equity.”

And therein lies the best explanation of all: Justin Trudeau is just being who he is. He prefers process over results. Talking over doing. Sizzle over steak. Always.

Missing from The New York Times‘ sober assessment of our vaccination failure? A pithy summary of Canada’s situation. So here it is, gratis.

We are so, so screwed.

[Warren Kinsella is a lawyer and a former Chief of Staff to a federal Liberal Minister of Health.]


Check this out. One of my antiques guys in Brighton saved them for me: a collection of Kennedy-related books owned by none other than the Rt. Hon. Roland (“Roly”) Michener. Love the note his bookseller friend added. What a find!


Took a day off from all things Internet-related. Good therapy.

Thanks to all of you for the kind notes and messages, public and private.

Back into the breach.

The truth

Happy birthday, Dad

Many guys will understand what I mean when I say this: your father is both a bit of light, and a bit of shadow, over your path through life.

Mine, T. Douglas Kinsella, MD, OC, would have been 89 years old today. So many years after we lost him, he remains a constant in our lives. He still illuminates some of the path. Without even being here, he still quietly persuades me to examine the choices I have made.

Me? I have made bad choices. I have been reckless and cruel with too many. I have not lived by the single rule he left us.

“Love people, and be honest,” he said to us, and I often feel I have done neither.

He saved many lives as a physician, and he won accolades, and he was a member of the Order of Canada. But for us – my brothers, my nephew he raised, my closest friends – he was the man we aspired to be. Not for the distinctions he received, but for how he was, in his heart.

He was unfailingly honest; he was kind to everyone he met. He married his high school sweetheart, and was with her every single day for 50 years, and my God how they loved each other. We would sit there at the kitchen table in Calgary or Kingston or Montreal, and we would listen to him. He’d listen to us, too, and persuade us to try and figure things out. There were some great times, around that table.

The best thing is having a father like that. The harder thing is knowing that you will never be like him.

I had a dream that he died in 9/11; I don’t know why, but I did. I woke up weeping, and remembered that I wasn’t a boy anymore, and that he has been gone for more than a decade. I don’t think he would like what his son has become. I mostly don’t.

So I put on my pants and shoes, and went out into the day, looking for what’s left of the path.

Happy birthday. I miss you.