Twitter is a joke

I reported this to ⁦‪Twitter‬⁩. They said it isn’t a violation of their end user agreement. Guess I’ve got to sue them again.




#LavScam latest: Trudeau wants to give these creeps a sweetheart deal

An excellent Lavscam investigative report by CBC, no less.  And it’s a doozy.

Millions of dollars in a safe to facilitate bribes.  Massive fraud.  And Justin Trudeau’s favourite engineering firm still up to its ears in slime.  The same firm which, also this morning, we are hearing in the indispensable Hill Times that what I reported weeks ago is true: they are going to get the deferred prosecution sweetheart deal that Jody Wilson-Raybould fought, and was martyred over.

Some of the CBC yarn below.  Full story here.

If called to testify at an SNC-Lavalin trial, he could expose who else in the senior ranks may have known about $47.7 million in bribes and $130 million in fraud tied to projects in Libya — crimes the RCMP alleges were committed by the company between 2001 and 2011.

SNC-Lavalin has been lobbying hard behind the scenes to secure what’s called a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) to avoid going to trial. The company, as well as its supporters in government, argue thousands of jobs are at risk if it is convicted and barred from bidding on federal contracts.

But a CBC News investigation reveals why 12 top directors who left the company years ago also have plenty at stake if the case goes to trial. SNC-Lavalin’s former board is an influential who’s who of the corporate elite that includes former senators, banking executives and members of the Order of Canada. They will all likely face close — and very public — scrutiny if called to testify about whether they knew of any corruption happening on their watch.

By piecing together public records, including past testimony, exhibits, depositions and separate civil suits involving the company, CBC News has uncovered a string of instances where those board members were allegedly told of financial irregularities — including a $10-million stash of cash kept in an office safe in Libya.

…if the claims and allegations are true, it means the company, despite red flags, continued its lavish spending to win contracts from Libya’s Gadhafi regime.

In 2008, SNC-Lavalin played host to Saadi Gadhafi. The playboy son of the Libyan dictator spent three months in Canada, visiting Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in a trip arranged by Ben Aïssa.

Outside auditors raised concerns about the bills totalling $1.9 million.

RCMP forensic accountants have since scoured 44,000 pages of company records. At the 2017 preliminary hearing for bribery charges against an SNC-Lavalin financial controller, Stéphane Roy, investigators testified that they uncovered bills for private security and hospitality that included:

  • $30,000 for escorts.

  • $180,000 for a stay at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto.

  • $193,501.81 for limousine rides.

  • Cash advances of up to $15,000.


Lisa Kinsella on the Ford budget – and indigenous people

OPINION: Ford government’s budget lacks commitment to Indigenous peoples

BY LISA KINSELLA

“There’s some positives to it and there’s some negatives and there are a few things that just don’t make any sense,” said Joel Abram, the Grand Chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians.

That pretty much sums up the Ford government’s budget commitments to Indigenous peoples.

Surprisingly, funding to Indigenous Affairs has been cut despite new initiatives announced in the budget.

And let’s not forget that the Ford government eliminated a stand-alone Indigenous Affairs ministry when it announced its first Cabinet last year, a move that many saw as the government signaling a weakening commitment to First Nations in this province.

Chiefs across Ontario met Ford’s budget with skepticism.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said: “The first budget by the Ford government makes many commitments…but is lacking in specifics… We are concerned with the funding reduction for the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and the impact that it will have on the delivery of programs and services to our First Nations.”

This big ideas, smaller budget approach is indeed an odd way to manage Indigenous Affairs.

A consistent issue with this budget specifically, and the government more broadly, is that it states there are opportunities to ensure Indigenous communities benefit from the resource sector, but there are no details yet on how.

Following Thursday’s budget, Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald said: “There will be a continued need and opportunity to support First Nations through more substantial investments, to not only prevent inter-generational tragedy, but strengthen the success and well-being of First Nations communities and people.”

She could not be more right. This government needs to go further in its engagement with First Nations communities.

Since the federal Liberal Party of Canada formed government in 2015, there is greater awareness among Canadians about the issues many Indigenous communities face: housing, poverty, lack of clean drinking water and inter-generational trauma.

Canadians are now more aware of the effects of residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, as well as missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls — and a great many of us believe that we must right these wrongs.

Over recent weeks, we witnessed the removal from the federal Liberal caucus of two women who had been working tirelessly to do just that — Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott.

Wilson-Raybould, herself Indigenous, a lawyer and a former British Columbia regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, has become one of the most talked — and written — about people in the country.

The subsequent drop in support for the Liberal Party of Canada and a renewed spotlight on reconciliation and Indigenous priorities should be a big lesson to Conservatives — both those in government and those who wish to form government.

It’s time to do better. It’s time to embrace reconciliation in a real and meaningful way. It’s time for all parties to make this issue a priority and not just a talking point.

This budget demonstrates that the Ford government hasn’t fully committed to First Nations and reconciliation. Not only is that a huge step backwards, it’s a lost opportunity to do the right thing.

— Lisa Kinsella is the managing partner of the Daisy consulting group and runs its Indigenous practice

On Twitter: @lisakinsella


#LavScam by the numbers: Trudeau is losing – badly

Wow.

The Toronto Star, of all media organizations, commissioned a poll after Justin Trudeau martyred Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott. And, according to the most Liberal-friendly paper of all, he’s in a free fall.

Story here, key facts below:

A new poll suggests Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives continue to have the most support among decided and leaning voters, while a majority of respondents to the survey said they disapprove of Justin Trudeau’s performance as prime minister. 

Forty-two per cent of decided and leaning voters said they support the Conservative Party. That compares with 29 per cent who intend to vote for the governing Liberals, and 12 per cent who support the New Democratic Party.

At the same time, 60 per cent of respondents to the latest poll said they disapprove of Trudeau’s job performance as prime minister, while more than half — 57 per cent — said Canada is either “much worse” or “a bit worse” than in 2015, when the Liberal government came to power.


Logan’s run

Our amazing, smart, strategic, dedicated Logan Ross is leaving us.  And we’re sad and happy at the same time.

Sad to lose her, natch.  But happy to see that she is throwing her proverbial hat in the proverbial ring – and seeking the Conservative Party nomination in the riding of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Midonte!

Logan grew up in both North Barrie and Springwater, and knows the riding like the back of her hand.  Her folks are small business owners in the area, and Logan worked for both.  Along with excelling at Daisy, she has also helped to manager her family’s flourishing real estate biz.

Logan, I can tell you, understands politics big time.  She’s had senior leadership roles in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and Ontario PC Party – and she’s managed a project that raised over $16 million for the provincial Tories.

She knows how to win, too.  She was a winning campaign guru in a bunch of campaigns in recent years.  And she is what we need more of in public life – smart, sensible, strategic women.  Her website is at www.loganross.ca.  We are sad to see her go – but we know she will be a Hell of an MP!


#LavScam lesson

I teach crisis communications to lawyers-to-be at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law, my alma mater.

My students, as always, are terrific. And, for the whole term, we’ve been focussing on just one topic: LavScam.

It makes sense. LavScam is the perfect fusion of a communications crisis and the law. It has all the requisite elements. Possible obstruction of justice, possible breach of trust – and, indisputably, a raging dumpster fire of a comms crisis.

In every class, we’ve analyzed the latest LavScam controversies. We’ve watched, and re-watched, Justin Trudeau’s now-infamous press conference. “Why didn’t he apologize?” asked several of my students, bewildered. (Good question.)

We analyzed Jody Wilson-Raybould’s evidence as she testified at the clown show that masquerades as a Justice Committee. “She should be Prime Minister,” several of my students said of her, with something approaching reverence. (Agreed.)

We developed communication strategies, early on, to extricate the Liberal Party from the ethical quagmire that – pollsters say – is rendering them a one-term government.

Those strategies, with minor variations, all involved sincere and public apologies to Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott; an admission that SNC-Lavalin is not, and never was, entitled to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA); a dismissal of every staff person who was attempting to pervert the course of justice; and – as Jean Chretien did in the sponsorship scandal – calling in the RCMP to investigate.

Like I say: I have smart students.

Now, Professor Kinsella is writing this before the final class of the term, which was on Friday. At that one, we will almost certainly discuss the big news of the week – which, as the civilized world knows, was Justin Trudeau’s corrupt, cowardly, craven decision to expel Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus. Because, you know, they objected when Trudeau and his senior staff tried to interfere in a criminal case to help out a donor.

Still in Trudeau’s caucus, however, is Kent Hehr – the Calgary Liberal MP who was found guilty of sexually harassing women. I don’t know if one of my students will raise that unequal application of justice, but I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s an interesting legal distinction, after all: two women who gave up everything to uphold the Rule of Law, and who were defamed, demeaned and destroyed for their efforts.

And, a man who sexually harassed two other women, kept in the family. Kept as a Liberal candidate.

“Not the actions of a feminist,” one of my students might say. And they’d be right, of course.

Also newsworthy, at that final class of Law 599: Gerald Butts’ saturnalian decision to submit text messages and emails and notes to the aforementioned clown show.

A January conversation between Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould, provided by Butts as a verbatim transcript, stood out.

Wilson-Raybould: “I love being Minister of Justice and Attorney General. I’m not going to lie. Indigenous Services is not my dream job. I’m not going to lie about that.”

Trudeau: “I know it is not your dream job, but it is core to this government, to maintain a legacy. And, to be crass about it, our political legacy.”

Wilson-Raybould: “I feel I’m being shifted out of Justice for other reasons.”

Trudeau: “We would not be doing this if it weren’t for Scott [Brison]’s decision.”

Wilson-Raybould: “I don’t agree. This is not how we change peoples lives.”

Trudeau: “After an election, everything is fresh again.”

Now, my students, who are exceptionally bright, will likely know that Gerald Butts and Justin Trudeau made three critical errors in submitting that transcript.

One, it’s a transcript. Unless Gerald Butts has enhanced shorthand skills no one knew about, it is highly likely that someone taped that conversation. Which, as any sharp-eyed law student will know, is the very pretext Trudeau used to expel Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus: a secret taping.

Two, Wilson-Raybould was not aware Butts was listening in. That’s not breaking a law, per se, but it’s certainly not ethical sunny ways, either.

Thirdly – and most ominously, because my students all know who Marie Heinen is – Gerald Butts submitted many notes. When, in the pre-trial manoeuvrings in the trial Heinen’s client, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, PMO and PCO solemnly swore that those sorts of notes simply don’t exist. Uh-oh.

If Messrs. Trudeau and Butts don’t think Canada’s best criminal lawyer didn’t spot that error, they’re dumber than dirt found at an SNC-Lavalin job site. She did. And she will be cross-examining them about it starting in August, mere weeks before the election is scheduled to kick off.

There’s a lot more of that sort of thing, but you get the point. In the final minutes of my final lecture, I therefore intend to tell my amazing students this: “In your future legal practice, remember what Justin Trudeau’s party did in LavScam in the year 2019,” I’ll say. “And, if you want to win, always just do this:

“The opposite.”