My Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

About this bullshit.

Let’s see if they publish it. I’m not holding my breath.

In her June 8, 2018 news story, ‘Between the smiles, mounting tensions between Trudeau and Trump,”  your Catherine Porter goes to considerable lengths to insinuate that a report about Mr. Trudeau “handling” a young reporter in British Columbia in August 2000 only surfaced as part of some ill-defined conspiracy by pro-Trump forces. In this, she is flatly wrong, and I would know.

The article, from the Creston Valley Advance, was sent to me – an author, a former Hillary Clinton volunteer  and a one-time Special Assistant to another Canadian Liberal Prime Minister, Jean Chretien – last Wednesday evening. It was sent to me by a Canadian Member of Parliament who requested anonymity.  I agreed to give it.

I investigated the report. The eighteen-year-old article was authentic. It stated as a fact that that Mr. Trudeau, years before he himself became a Member of Parliament, “handled” a young female reporter at a local festival. The article further stated that Mr. Trudeau had apologized for his conduct, quoting him as saying  he wouldn’t have done it “if I had known you were reporting for a national paper.”

When I published the editorial and my own commentary on my web site – just two monosyllabic words, “Um, what?” – I was not doing so as a tool of Breitbart (as Ms. Porter insinuates) or because I was “a well-known critic of Mr. Trudeau” (as Ms.  Porter states).

I was doing so because I have been very active in promoting the stories of Canadian women who have raised their voices in the #MeToo moment. I did so because, as noted, I considered the notion that our Prime Minister had allegedly sexually assaulted a woman to be, as noted, quite newsworthy.

If your Ms. Porter had bothered to make the merest effort to seek my comment, I would have told her all that. She however made no such effort whatsoever. Instead, she published a misleading and dishonest account.

I have been an active Canadian Liberal and am still a Hillary Clinton supporter. The notion that I would re-publish such a report to further the interests of “the ideological champions of Mr. Trump” is outrageous and flatly wrong.

I published the story because it was authentic and it was news.

Two considerations, clearly, that matter less to your Ms. Porter.


Warren Kinsella, LL.B

Privilege in this communication is not waived.

Off to Ireland

Tweets for you to clip and save:

OLP: the aftermath, and the future

The Wizard, and Wynne, have destroyed the Ontario Liberal Party.

A rump in the Legislature.  A massive party debt.  A terrible, terrible campaign – possibly the worst in Ontario political history.

So where do Ontario Liberals go from here?

I gave many years of my life to the Ontario Liberals.  They were my political home – until Kathleen Wynne arrived, that is.  When she arrived, all of the McGuinty/Chrétien Liberals were driven out.  We were maligned and shunned.  Offers of help were ignored.  Some days, Kathleen refused to even utter Dalton McGuinty’s name.

Now Kathleen and her Wizard – who was reportedly getting $70,000 a month to preside over the worst campaign some of us have ever seen – are gone, or going.  I like Kathleen, as a person, and wish her the best in her future endeavours.  But good riddance to Kathleen the politician, and her Wizard and her Board.

So where do we Ontario Liberals go from here?

Not so long ago, when it became apparent to some of us that a Wynne-led Ontario Liberal Party was headed for disaster, Daisy Group commissioned a poll by a reputable national agency.  We wanted to know what would happen if the OLP was led by the woman who should have won in 2013 – the woman who was knifed in the back after a shady backroom deal involving Messrs. Murray, Hoskins and Sousa.

Below are the key findings, never before seen publicly.  They show three things:

  1. The Ontario Liberals would have won last night, big, with Sandra Pupatello.
  2. The Ontario Liberals would have picked up support in precisely those places where the PCs and the NDP triumphed last night.
  3. The Ontario Liberal brand was strong – but only with Pupatello as leader.

So, you may ask yourself: can Ontario Liberals come back from last night’s disaster?

Yes. But only if Sandra Pupatello is leader.

And, if she wants the job.

Get your Ontario Election coverage right here!

Or, go watch Lisa on CITY-TV. That’s probably a better use of your time.

Tweeted updates right here!

Two tales of #MeToo

The first tale goes back six months.

In January, in the same week that CTV News unleashed its extraordinary story about former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown, a regular reader – one who had asked me to speak at a #MeToo rally in Edmonton – tweeted at me. This is what she tweeted:

I retweeted what she said. Within hours, hundreds of others retweeted or liked it, as well. It went viral.

The next day, as revelations about Patrick Brown‎ were still landing – and revelations about the just-dumped Nova Scotia PC leader, as well – Kent Hehr abruptly cancelled a funding announcement in Toronto. Shortly afterwards, Hehr was no longer in cabinet.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kept him in caucus, however.  Which was odd, given that he had kicked out other Liberal MPs for similar offences.  An ostensibly arms-length investigation commenced into the various allegations against Hehr.

This week, that investigation – whose report the Prime Minister is keeping secret – concluded.  Kent Hehr would not be returning to cabinet.  Last night, however, Hehr started doing the media circuit, insisting that his actions were “clearly not” misconduct.  But his pitiful rationalizations didn’t matter: he was out of cabinet, for good.  My friend Kristin Raworth – because she has become a friend, and I am frankly in awe of her courage and strength – had been vindicated.

So that’s one #MeToo tale.  Here’s the other one.

The second one landed last night.  I was rushing to band practice and saw something had appeared in my inbox.  It was a newspaper clipping, from the Creston Valley Advance in B.C.  An editorial, dated August 14, 2000.

Here is the most important part:

Justin Trudeau “handled” a female reporter, and had apologized.  He wouldn’t have done it “if I had known you were reporting for a national paper.”  The newspaper editorialized about how he was wrong to have done what he did.

The former reporter’s name is known.  She still lives out West and is married now.  As far as I know, she doesn’t want to talk about what happened.

And that’s as it should be.  Kristin Raworth bravely chose to come forward in the Kent Hehr case, while the other female complainant chose to remain anonymous.  It’s their choice.  Same with the young reporter who Justin Trudeau “handled.”  They get to decide when and if to tell their story, not someone else.

But the two tales are related, aren’t they?  Certainly, one broke six months ago, and is about sexual harassment from a decade before that.  The other broke last night, and is about sexual harassment from 18 years earlier.  One case in Alberta, one in B.C.

But. But the two tales, appearing on the same day in June 2018, are connected.

If what Kent Hehr did resulted in him being considered unfit for cabinet, is Justin Trudeau similarly unfit?

Now, Justin Trudeau is busy at the G7, preoccupied with the utter failure of his Trump charm offensive – and, perhaps, the utter collapse of his political base in Ontario.  But when he gets back to Ottawa, you can reasonably expect he will be asked:

Why aren’t you facing the same fate Kent Hehr did?