Tag Archive: corruption

#LavScam latest: Canada’s top bureaucrat assassinates his reputation – and Trudeau’s, too

A must-read Tom Brodbeck column here.

Key bits:

“The most mind-boggling thing Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick said Thursday didn’t occur during his testimony at the House of Commons justice committee.

Granted, the federal government’s top bureaucrat said some pretty shocking things there, including his bizarre comments about how Canada is essentially going to hell in a hand basket and that someone may even get shot in the next federal election.

But more to the point of what the committee was trying to examine – whether former Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or any senior federal officials tried to interfere in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin – Wernick’s most outrageous comment came during a scrum with reporters following his testimony.

The privy council clerk admitted at committee that not only was he in a meeting with Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau on Sept. 17 when the three discussed the SNC-Lavalin case – even though a decision to prosecute had already been made – but that Wernick also contacted Wilson-Raybould three months later on Dec. 18 to discuss whether giving SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution was “still an option.”

Wernick was asked by reporters following his testimony why he would contact the attorney general over three months after a decision had been made on the SNC-Lavalin case.

“Because the decision had not already been made,” Wernick said.

The decision had not already been made? Pardon?

The director of public prosecutions Kathleen Roussel made the decision on Sept. 4.”

This is shocking. It means one of two things.

  1. Wernick was as bizarre following his testimony as he was during his testimony – and he got some big facts wrong.
  2. Wernick told the truth – he and the Prime Minister plainly did attempt to push for a sweetheart deal for a huge Liberal Party donor facing a criminal trial.

Did anyone at PMO review tho guy’s speech before he gave it? Did they not think it was a good idea to take out the stuff where Wernick seems to suggest that critics of Justin Trudeau are vomitous murderers?

And did they not realize that the Clerk of the Privy Council planned to confirm the key allegation against Trudeau et al. – that they obstructed justice to benefit SNC-Lavalin?

Pro tip, Justin: when in a hole, stop digging.

Dear Puglaas

Dear Puglaas:

That’s the name you use on Twitter, and the name you got when you were born: Puglaas.  In the Kwak’wala language, it means “woman born to noble people.”

And noble – in the traditional sense of the word – you certainly are. Daughter of a fearless British Columbia hereditary chief.  Chief Commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission.  We Wai Kai Councillor. Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. Lawyer, former Crown Attorney.  (Where, incidentally, you learned quite a bit about what “solicitor-client privilege” means.)

The dictionaries define noble as “having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.”  And, with each passing day, you have shown all of Canada that you certainly possess fine personal qualities.  High morals and principles and ideals, too.

You have done that in a way that no other politician ever has, really.  You have done that by remaining silent.  You have done that by saying nothing, and by waiting for your moment. 

It is coming.

Your adversaries, meanwhile, have made lots of noise.  They’ve bleated and screeched, like swine being herded onto a slaughterhouse truck.  The analogy is apt.

And, sadly, you do have adversaries, now. People who lied to your face and once told you they are your friends.  They aren’t. They’re liars.  They’re cowards.  Some of them may be actively involved in covering up an obstruction of justice – which, ironically, is an obstruction of justice itself. (Ask James Comey.)

The cowards, last week, included the House of Commons committee that professes to be all about “justice and human rights,” but doesn’t espouse either.  Last week, the Liberal members of that committee actually voted to deny you the opportunity to testify about what you know in the metastasizing SNC-Lavalin obstruction of justice scandal.  They did that, right out in the open. They voted, instead, to shield their political masters in Justin Trudeau’s office, and convene secret meetings.

These are their names: Anthony Housefather, the weakling who leads the committee.  Ali Ehsassi, who is said to be a lawyer, and said this of the alleged obstruction of justice: “there is nothing to be concerned about.”  Colin Fraser, who is thankfully quitting politics, and who also claims to have once practiced criminal law.  A nonentity named Ron McKinnon, who actually said the committee shouldn’t invite any “random people” from PMO to testify – even though the Opposition had a decidedly non-random list, ready to go.

Oh, and Randy Boissonnault and Iqra Khalid.  Those two, in particular, distinguished themselves as Nixonian exemplars.  When this sordid, sickening affair grinds to its inevitable end, in a courtroom somewhere, it is Boissonnault and Khalid who will receive special commendations for unalloyed dishonesty.  Boissonnault, for saying out loud – like Donald Trump, who says it all the time and in what lawyers call “similar fact-situations” – that the whole affair is “a witch hunt.”  He said that, with a straight face.

The disgust this writer feels for Khalid, meanwhile, is somewhat personal.  Some months ago, she and I attended an anti-racism event in East Toronto.  Several racists and Islamophobes showed up, and things got out of hand.  They started moving towards Khalid, so former Liberal MPP Arthur Potts and I stood between her and the racists – to physically protect her, if need be.  To allow her to speak her truth.

But there Khalid was, last week, doing her utmost to prevent you from speaking your truth, Puglaas.  Gagging you, almost literally. Insisting that the committee’s role isn’t to “investigate.” She said that.

The Liberal MPs on the committee were awful.  They were pitiful.  And, in the end, they were only aping the Coward-in-Chief, Justin Trudeau – who, last week in Vancouver, said for the first time that he met with you last Fall to discuss SNC-Lavalin’s desire to escape criminal prosecution.  And who, the very next day in Winnipeg – the next day! – did a whiplash-inducing about-face, and said that he was “perplexed” and “bewildered” you didn’t speak to him about it all.

When he had said, just 24 hours before, that you had.

That makes Justin Trudeau a liar, not a Prime Minister.  That makes his Liberals on the inaptly-named Justice Committee weaklings.  And that makes the spineless factotums in his office – who let you others attack you, anonymously, for being a woman who” is difficult to work with” and “a thorn in the side of cabinet” – even worse. For being an indigenous person who, you know, is a bit too uppity with her betters.

This, from the ones who claimed to be feminists.  This, from the ones who claimed to be on the side of indigenous people.  This, from the ones who promised to bring back ethics and accountability.

Know this, Puglaas. You are beating them – simply by being silent, and by maintaining your dignity, and by waiting for your moment.  You are showing all of the country who you truly are.

What you are, truly, is noble.  And them?

They’re cowards and liars, for whom the end is edging ever-closer.




What #LavScam means, in five points

It’s been going on for more than a week, now, and the outlines of it are already seen.  Five ways in which it is leaving, and will leave, an impact:

  1.  Indigenous people.  I am the proud father to an amazing indigenous young woman; I work with First Nations across Canada.  I am disgusted by what Justin Trudeau did, and is doing, to the amazing indigenous leader named Jody Wilson-Raybould.  Indigenous people do not trust Trudeau, now, and they’re saying so.
  2. Women.  The sexist and condescending way in which Jody has been treated – and still continues to be, as seen in this morning’s Star, and last week in the Canadian Press and Global News – is repellant.  It is noteworthy that the Liberals who are paying tribute to Jody are almost all women – include ones in Trudeau’s cabinet.
  3. The Liberal Party.  This web site attracts four million visitors a year.  On social media, like Twitter, I get about a half-million “impressions” daily.  That’s a fair number of people – and I can tell you that many of my readers are Liberals.  They are telling me they are disgusted by Trudeau and his PMO – and shocked by how badly they have handled this mess (eg. sending out the clueless Justice Committee chair to say Jody didn’t deserve to be in cabinet because she didn’t speak French – which will be a big hit in English Canada).
  4. The Conservatives.  Andrew Scheer knows this is his moment, and he has seized it.  The Tory leader hasn’t looked this determined, this focussed – and frankly this Prime Ministerial – since he became his party’s leader.  Gone is the smirk, and there’s an undeniable gravitas to the guy, now.  For his party, PMO’s attempts to destroy Jody Wilson-Raybould represents an opportunity, too – it allows them to address the allegation that they are indifferent to women and indigenous people.
  5. The New Democrats.  Jagmeet Singh is going to win that by-election in B.C. – because B.C. is sickened by what has been done to Jody.  Meanwhile, his colleague Nathan Cullen has been simply extraordinary in prosecuting the case against the Liberal government – and it will reveal itself in the polls, soon enough. And a rise in NDP fortunes means a drop in Liberal support, always.

Will Justin Trudeau lose the election? It’s too soon to tell.  But the poll I’ve heard about suggests strongly the answer is this:



#LavScam shocker coming

Hearing a poll is coming.

Hearing that the pollster started fielding before #LavScam erupted.

Hearing the pollster was also in the field for two days afterwards – and caught plenty of the negative reactions Canadians are feeling.

Hearing that there has been a significant shift – and not in a good way for Justin Trudeau.

At all.

#LavScam Toronto Star scoop: Trudeau’s cover-up begins

If Justin Trudeau won’t relieve Jody Wilson-Raybould of her lawyer’s obligation to maintain confidentiality – and if he plans to fight any inquiry into the #LavScam obstruction of justice scandal – we all know what that means.

It means the Nixonian coverup has started.

The Star has the story today, and they’re leading with it.  It’s important.  And it calls to mind what Howard Baker said about Watergate-style cover-ups, and he’d know: “It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event that causes trouble.”

Here’s the Star story:

OTTAWA—The Liberal government appears likely to block opposition efforts to probe allegations of political interference in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, while insisting that discussions on the matter with former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould were above board.

Justin Trudeau’s government will not yet waive solicitor-client privilege, which would give Wilson-Raybould latitude to speak about the allegation, nor will it permit a parliamentary committee to proceed with its own investigation, the Star has learned.

Wilson-Raybould has remained silent since the Globe and Mail reported Thursday that senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office pressed her to seek mediation instead of pursuing criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin.

The former justice minister — who was moved from her post in January — has refused to confirm or deny the allegations, saying she is bound by solicitor-client privilege.

A senior government official, speaking to the Star on the condition they not be named, said Saturday that the government will not waive the privilege — as demanded by opposition MPs — because SNC-Lavalin’s potential criminal trial remains before the courts. A second government source confirmed that the potential criminal trial, as well as SNC-Lavalin’s appeal of prosecutors’ denial of a mediation deal, makes waiving privilege unlikely.

Nor will the government agree to demands by the Conservatives and New Democrats for an emergency meeting of the Commons justice committee to summon Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau’s top political aides to testify publicly on the affair, the senior source said.