Tag Archive: Celina Caesar-Chavannes
Ah, The Feminist.
There he was again, last week, sleeves rolled up, tie loosened. All moist-eyed sincerity, all sotto voce.
The Feminist had just athletically jogged down a flight of stairs, and paused to take media questions, en deux langues. The questions were about the total and complete collapse of his planned show trial. You know: the one to destroy Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who had had the temerity to disagree with The Feminist’s desire to hand over a fat military contract to a Liberal Party donor.
The Feminist said that the criminal prosecution of the Vice-Admiral – which The Feminist had coincidentally said was coming, well before charges were even laid – was on the up-and-up.
“The process involved in a public prosecution like this is entirely independent of my office,” he said, and lie detector machines miraculously started to stir to life, all over Central Canada. “We have confidence done in the work done by the director of public prosecutions.”
Well, that’s good to know, because the Director of Public Prosecutions Canada sure doesn’t have much “confidence” in The Feminist. Back in March, on the very morning The Feminist had refused to apologize for destroying the career and reputation of Jody Wilson-Raybould – on the very morning he refused to apologize when he and his senior staff were caught interfering in another criminal prosecution more than twenty times, over a four-month period in 2018 – the public prosecutors did something extraordinary. On Twitter.
Here is what they tweeted, in apparent direct response to The Feminist’s claim to have been “entirely independent” of a public prosecution of another Liberal Party donor. Here is what the prosectors said to the world, capturing the attention of the OECD Anti-Bribery Working Group, among others: “Prosecutorial independence is key to our mandate. Our prosecutors must be objective, independent and dispassionate, as well as free from improper influence—including political influence.”
Sound like an act of defiance? It was.
But as he lingered there, for a moment or two, none of the assembled media asked The Feminist about something else. Something important. Namely, his repeated claim to be a feminist.
It would have been a very relevant question, too. Across town, Mark Norman’s extraordinary lawyer, Marie Henein – with whom my firm has done work, full disclosure – had just held a press conference with her client. And, as things were getting underway, she had eviscerated The Feminist.
“Before we get started,” she’d said, pausing. “I’d just like to introduce the all female team that represented Vice-Admiral Norman.” She emphasized the words “all female.” Then, introductions made, she went on, and no one mistook her meaning.
“Fortunately,” Henein said, “Vice-Admiral Norman didn’t fire the females he hired.”
Did you hear that? That was the sound of a metaphorical shiv, sliding between The Feminist’s ribs, aimed at the spot where his soul is supposed to be. It was Marie Henein, who actually knows a thing or two about feminism, pointing out that The Feminist had destroyed the careers of three women – Jody Wilson-Raybould, Jane Philpott, and Celina Caesar-Chavannes – simply because they talked back to him. Simply because they said “no” to a bunch of men who refused to take no for an answer.
Henein wasn’t done, however.
She next took aim at The Feminist’s months-long effort to deny Mark Norman – and, inferentially, Wilson-Raybould, and Philpott, and Caesar-Chavannes – the most basic courtesies. To deny them natural justice, which is at the root of all our laws. To deny them fairness.
Said Henein: “You should be very concerned when anyone tries to erode the resilience of the justice system or demonstrates a failure to understand why it is so fundamental to the democratic values we hold so dear,” she said, referring to The Feminist’s repeated efforts to interfere in the criminal justice system to reward a supporter (SNC-Lavalin) or to punish a whistleblower (Vice-Admiral Norman).
“There are times you agree with what happens in a court room there are times you don’t. And that’s fine. But what you don’t do is you don’t put your finger and try to weigh in on the scales of justice. That is not what should be happening.”
She could have mentioned, here, that The Feminist had “put his fingers” on a reporter at a beer festival in British Columbia a few years back, and about which he said “the same interactions can be experienced very differently from one person to the next.” Said “interaction” being what is regarded – in other contexts, among lesser people who don’t ride for free on the Aga Khan’s private jets – as “sexual assault.”
Marie Henein could have said that, but she didn’t say that.
Instead, she used the occasion of her client’s exoneration to point out something important about The Feminist.
He isn’t one.
One hundred days.
A lot can happen in 100 days. Because, per the saying, a week can be a lifetime in politics.
One hundred or so days ago, Justin Trudeau fired Jody Wilson-Raybould. One hundred days ago, the Liberal leader – the one who claimed to be feminist, the one who declared himself the champion of indigenous causes, and the ethical epitome – terminated Wilson-Raybould because she refused to do what he wanted her to.
Because she – a proud, smart, courageous indigenous woman – refused to interfere in the criminal prosecution of a sleazy Quebec company facing innumerable corruption charges. Because she had the guts and the principles to say “no” to a bunch of men who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
In the 100 days that have gone by since January 14, 2019, everything has changed. The guaranteed second Trudeau majority? Gone. Polls now say Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are ahead – or way ahead. Trudeau, meanwhile, is viscerally disliked pretty much everywhere outside of Quebec.
Hell, in Prince Edward Island’s just-finished election, Liberals told Trudeau to stay away, because his very name was dragging them down. The PEI Grits still finished a distant third, a rump, behind the Tories – and the Greens!
Out in Alberta, most observers agree that Jason Kenney won a majority – and Rachel Notley lost a majority – because the latter leader had gotten too close to Trudeau. And because the former leader had done all he could to associate Notley with Trudeau. (It worked.)
In the hundred days since Justin Trudeau politically lynched Jody Wilson-Raybould, plenty of other things have happened, too.
- The Globe and Mail published a series of stories detailing Trudeau’s apparent efforts to obstruct justice to help out SBC-Lavalin. Trudeau called the stories fake. But all of the Globe’s stories turned out to be true. Every word.
- Trudeau insisted he didn’t fire Wilson-Raybould from the job she loved – from the job she was great at. He said her continued presence in cabinet was proof. A day later, Wilson-Raybould quit his cabinet.
- The clowns on the Justice Committee refused to let Wilson-Raybould testify about LavScam. After a tsunami of political blowback, they reversed themselves.
- But the committee’s Liberal trained seals – and Trudeau – refused to let Wilson-Raybould testify about what Trudeau said and did after that fateful cabinet shuffle. When, sources tell me, Trudeau threatened recriminations, and promised rewards, when he spoke to his former Minister of Justice.
- Trudeau’s best friend and principal secretary – and the Clerk of his Privy Council – are both implicated in the metastasizing LavScam scandal. Both insisted they did nothing wrong. But both abruptly resigned.
- The Liberals defeated each and every Opposition attempt to get the truth. At the Ethics Committee, in the Justice Committee, in the House of Commons: in vote after vote, the panicked Grits continued to coverup. They continued to stonewall.
- PMO trotted out obscure Liberal backbenchers and banshees to defame and demean Jody Wilson-Raybould and her ally, Jane Philpott – who had resigned cabinet because she could no longer go along with the Trudeaupian sleaze. One PMO attack poodle, Sheila Copps, actually calls Wilson-Raybould and Philpott pus-filled “boils.”
And on, and on. A hundred days later – a hundred days after he made the insane decision to martyr Jody Wilson-Raybould – pollsters say Justin Trudeau is heading towards inevitable defeat.
Of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott? The other parties are trying convince the pair to run for them.
Jody, polls say, is believed and supported by the vast majority of Canadians.
And, one hundred fateful days later, Justin just isn’t.
KINSELLACAST 58: PMO’S lousy comms strategy! Warren’s Dear Liberals letter! Spin Twins on Trudeau’s libel chill!
This is an open letter to all of you. I want to start it by telling you why I became a lawyer.
It was a movie, called The Oxbow Incident. It was a Western, released some 75 years ago, and it starred Henry Fonda. It was about how a mob hanged a man. The wrong man.
At the end, the lynch mob all gather in a bar, and Henry Fonda reads a letter the dead man wrote to his wife. Here is some of it.
“Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It’s everything people ever have found out about justice and what’s right and wrong,” Fonda says, reading the dead man’s letter. “It’s the very conscience of humanity. There can’t be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody’s conscience, except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived?”
That speech is why I became a lawyer. What Henry Fonda said, in a long-ago Western. What he said about justice, and how it is the thing that makes us human.
Jody Wilson-Raybould, who I have never met – and Jane Philpott, who I have – remind me a little bit of Henry Fonda, reading that dead man’s letter. They seem to believe, as I do, that if we do not have justice, we have not much left. They proudly gave up everything for it, after all.
After what you Liberals did, I suppose you are expecting me to liken you to a lynch mob. And, it is true: you were a bit like that.
Hell, you expelled Jody Wilson-Raybould on the pretext of a making a tape on which a powerful man threatens her. When, a few days later, the Prime Minister of Canada spoke to Wilson-Raybould about why she’d been demoted – and he didn’t bother to tell her his Principal Secretary was secretly listening in. Keeping a record of what was said.
To use against her.
But, still, I will not call you a lynch mob. What you are, more accurately, is a group of people who belong to a cult. It is not a political party anymore. It is a cult.
It’s kind of understandable, although not ever forgivable. Justin Trudeau, to most of you, is the Liberal Party. He lifted the party from third place to first, and he propelled most of you into power. He made three big promises.
He said he’d be a feminist. He said he’d reconcile with indigenous people. And he said he’d bring back ethical government.
Well, he lied. His willingness to brutalize Wilson-Raybould, Philpott and Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes – and to cut a sweetheart deal for a sleazy donor – showed him to be none of those things. It showed him to be what this newspaper memorably called him this week: the fake feminist.
But still you follow him. Still you belong to his cult. Even when you know he has done wrong.
And so, you will end like all cults do: you will go down with your leader. You will perish with him, and you all richly deserve it.
Because voters understand – as they did at the end of The Oxbow Incident – that justice is all that keeps us from devolving into a lynch mob.
Which, as I say, you all resemble quite a bit.
And for which you will all pay.
From Butts’ notes. This does nothing but confirm every damn word JWR has said.
(And – PS – how does Butts have verbatim quotes? Did they tape her?)
There was a moment, during Justin Trudeau’s saturnalian March 7 LavScam press conference, where the Prime Minister waxed poetic.
He grew misty-eyed. He looked up from his notes. He sounded wistful.
He loved Justice, he said. He really did. He and his Dad both did. “The files that were closest to his heart are also for me. And one is the justice file.”
Justice – which Justin Trudeau hadn’t mentioned all that often during his three-and-a-half-years in the big chair – was now super-duper important. It was everything. It was a “file” that “has always been one of particular importance and interest to me. It’s always been very close to my heart.”
His heart! The mind reels, at such times. Our souls swoon.
So, stay with me, here. Just for a minute.
At that moment, justice was a baseball, kind of, but in a good way. In an instant, we were collectively whisked back to the Nineties, to that iconic scene in Field of Dreams – the one where Kevin Costner asks his deceased Dad if he wants to play catch, and every grown man in the theatre starts to sniffle. Except, in Justin’s case, the baseball was justice – stamped Rule of Law, so we don’t miss the point – and he and Pierre were lobbing it back and forth, so great was their love of justice.
That’s what the young Trudeau was after, anyway. That’s what he wanted to evoke. Justice, Dad, better times.
Except, you know: nobody believes it. Nobody believes him, either. Two-thirds of Canadians, say the pollsters, are like those folks in Field of Dreams who keep showing up at Kevin Costner’s farm and they don’t see a damn thing. They don’t see anything magical or wonderful or poetic. They just see what is really there.
Which, in the LavScam case, is a seething, stinking dumpster overflowing with lies, and cover-ups, and smears. And, standing beside it all, is a Prime Minister who doesn’t seem so cool and hip anymore. He just looks like another grasping, grimy politician, one who will say and do anything to save his hide.
Because he’s losing. An Angus Reid poll, released Thursday, suggested he now may be as many as ten percentage points behind Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives nationally. And, as my smart NDP pal Karl Belanger reminded me, Trudeau’s personal approval numbers now lag behind another politician: Donald Trump.
And it is all because of justice.
Distilled down to its base elements, you see, LavScam is about justice. Not 9,000 jobs that SNC-Lavalin’s CEO says were never in jeopardy. Not Article Five of the OECD anti-bribery convention, which Trudeau’s government has violated. Not anything else: justice.
In our system of justice, no one – not even a Prime Minister – is allowed to ring up a judge or prosecutor and tell them what to do. That is against the law. It is obstruction of justice. It is the absence of justice.
Also unjust: the decision of someone on Team Trudeau to violate the sacrosanct judicial nomination process, simply to get back at former Attorney-General Jody Wilson Raybould. To do this, one of Trudeau’s faceless factotums leaked secret information about a Supreme Court of Canada nominee to compliant reporters at the Canadian Press and CTV News.
The nominee, who Wilson-Raybould reportedly preferred, was a social conservative, the leaker hissed. And Jody Wilson-Raybould favoured him – and Justin Trudeau opposed him, because he was insufficiently progressive, said the leaker.
Except: it wasn’t true. It was a lie. The judge was a moderate. And he wasn’t dropped from Justin Trudeau’s list – he removed himself from it, to care for a wife suffering from breast cancer.
So, is that justice? Is that just? Is it acceptable to further wound a family battling cancer – just to defame an indigenous woman who got a little too uppity?
But Jody Wilson-Raybould isn’t the only indigenous woman Justin Trudeau holds in contempt. No, there are others, as it turns out.
This week, the mask slipped yet again, and we saw Justin Trudeau mocking a young indigenous woman at a Liberal Party event in Toronto.
As his audience of well-to-do white men laughed, Justin Trudeau jeered an indigenous female protestor, saying “thanks for your donation” as she was hustled away by his hulking bodyguards.
She was there to protest the mercury poisoning of her people at Grassy Narrows, which Justin Trudeau had solemnly promised to remedy. And about which he has done precious little.
“Thanks for your donation.” Is that the “real change” Justin Trudeau said he’d give Canadians in 2015? Is that his promised reconciliation with indigenous people? Is that in any way just, or justice?
You know the answer already.
And you also know that Justin Trudeau wouldn’t know “justice” if it bit him on his privileged white ass.
As we enter the week in which Justin Trudeau will almost certainly expel two women who stood up for the principle of prosecutorial independence, here is what the prosecutors themselves had to say about that – and on the very day Trudeau refused to apologize for #LavScam.
They did not issue that tweet by accident. They were not unaware of the impact it would have, coming – as it did – a couple hours after Justin Trudeau angrily refused to apologize for possibly obstructing justice.
It was Canada’s Public Prosecution Service sending up a flare. It was a warning, from those who would know, that something critically important is at risk.
And that is this: the constitutional principle that our criminal justice system needs to be free and fair. The notion that serious cases of corporate corruption, as SNC-Lavalin is, needs to be fought in open court, with lawyers – not in backrooms, with lobbyists.
“Free from political influence.” That is what motivated Jody Wilson-Raybould to do what she did – and, later, for Jane Philpott and Celina Caesar-Chavannes, to do what they did. They lost their careers to that. They have been defamed and demeaned for that.
We must have a criminal justice system that is free from political influence. We must ensure that justice is free and fair, and not for sale to the wealthy.
That is what this scandal is all about. And that is how history will tell it, too.
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.”