Tag Archive: Gerald Butts
The video is grainy. It’s blurry, and it’s hard to make out who is in it.
But we don’t have to guess. The Liberal Party of Canada has confirmed to Global News – which released the video on Thursday morning – that it depicts Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party and the Prime Minister of Canada.
Acting like an ape.
In the video, he’s covered (again) in blackface. He really worked at it, too: he made certain to smear dark make-up on his face, neck, ears, arms. Even his legs. We can see through the holes in his jeans that he did that.
There are three photographs, now, of Trudeau in blackface. One from his high school days in Montreal, and two from a party at the high school he taught at in Vancouver. With his hand on an unidentified young woman’s chest.
He was about thirty in that last photo. He was someone who taught kids – who was supposed to be setting an example for kids.
But we digress. Back to the video.
In the video, Justin Trudeau is seen for only a few fleeting seconds. There’s no sound. But it is unmistakable what the future Prime Minister of Canada and his pals are doing.
Trudeau’s acting like an ape. Sticking out his tongue, waving around his arms, shuffling around like a simian would, in a zoo or a jungle or something.
I showed the video to my shocked colleagues when they came into the office. Two of them are card-carrying Liberals. They agree with me: Justin Trudeau was in blackface, acting like an ape.
Now, why would he do that?
Brent Staples is a member of the editorial board of the New York Times. Around the time Roseanne Barr called an advisor to Barack Obama the progeny of an ape, Staples wrote an extensive study about that. About how racists like to depict black people as apes.
Like Justin Trudeau did.
Here’s Staples: “[It’s] one of the oldest and most profoundly racist slanders in American history…This depiction — promoted by slave traders, historians and practitioners of “scientific” racism — was used to justify slavery, lynching and the creation of the Jim Crow state…[It’s] the ape caricature.”
Throwing bananas at black public figures. Making noises like apes at public events. Calling Michelle Obama “an ape in heels.” It’s all aimed at one simple, incontrovertible message: that black people are animals. That they are less than whites. That they belong in cages.
At this point – and with the Trudeau in blackface leading newscasts around the planet – the evidence cannot be rebutted: the Prime Minister of Canada, as man and not just a boy, traded in the foulest racist stereotypes. He thought it was funny. He thought he could get away with it.
So, that’s him: he’s the scum of the Earth. He doesn’t deserve to be elected dogcatcher, let alone a Prime Minister of a G7 country.
Oddly, the issue isn’t him. It’s now the members of the Liberal Party. It’s us.
Will Liberal MPs now publicly condemn their “leader,” as I counselled two distressed Grit MPs to do this morning? They must.
And, Canadians, too, have a decision to make. Will we let him get away with it? Trudeau and his loathsome coterie are laying low, clearly believing this all will blow over in time. And it might, you know.
It is up to us – Canadians – to say: not good enough. Not on. Not this time.
Justin Trudeau – the goddamned Prime Minister of Canada – is on a video, this morning, joking that black people are, you know, apes.
This man is unfit. We, Canadians, must line up on October 21 and reject him and his ways.
It’s from 2003, I’m told – more recent than the photos from last night. In it, he acts like an ape – which leaves to wonder if that’s what he thinks black people are like.
It leaves no other option: he must resign.
I think there a few factors at work here:
- Doug Ford decided to lay low for the Summer and the federal campaign, and it’s helping Andrew Scheer in seat-rich Ontario
- Scheer is offering stuff (pocketbook-related), as is May (climate-related) and so is Singh (anti-corporate-related) – but Justin Trudeau just isn’t
- It’s incredible, but Trudeau is running the same sort of disastrous policy-free “Land is Strong” campaign his Dad embraced in 1972, after his first term – and with likely the same outcome
- As John Moore said to me on Newstalk 1010 this morning, Twitter is not where the campaign is happening – and Scheer, who has more money and a bigger organizational reach than Trudeau, is focussing on the real world, with aggressive voter ID and GOTV
Interesting. Suggests what I’ve heard is true: Ontario is edging away from @JustinTrudeau, and @AndrewScheer – with his relentless pocketbook focus – is the main beneficiary. #elxn43 #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/fenJetsRAZ
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) September 18, 2019
Get ready for Team Trudeau to go neg, big time.
Former justice minister and attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould met with RCMP investigators this week to discuss political interference in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., and is calling on the Trudeau government to waive cabinet confidentiality for her and all other witnesses to allow a thorough probe into potential obstruction of justice.
Ms. Wilson-Raybould told The Globe and Mail on Wednesday that RCMP officers from the national division in Ottawa, which handles sensitive political matters, had a formal interview with her in Vancouver on Tuesday.
“I have had a meeting and I have been interviewed by the RCMP, and that meeting happened yesterday [Tuesday], and I am not going to comment any further on the nature of those conversations,” she said. “Of course I am concerned about the government’s decision to deny [the RCMP’s] request for access to other witnesses. As a matter of principle, the RCMP should be able to conduct thorough and necessary investigations.”
Ms. Wilson-Raybould said the meeting was at the request of the RCMP after several telephone conversations with her following the release of a report from Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion in August.
Mr. Dion said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act when he and senior officials improperly pressed Ms. Wilson-Raybould to order the Public Prosecution Service to settle a fraud and bribery case against the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant…
The government says Privy Council Clerk Ian Shugart, who reports to Mr. Trudeau, will not waive cabinet confidentiality to allow the national police force to speak to witnesses and obtain cabinet documents relating to SNC-Lavalin.
The Liberal Leader rejected a call from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on Wednesday to allow anyone with knowledge of the SNC-Lavalin matter to discuss it freely with the RCMP.
In it for you.
It’s the New Democrats – now a sad shadow of their former selves – who, ironically, came up with the best slogan for the 2019 federal election campaign: in it for you.
That’s what just about every election campaign is about, this one included. Which party best understands the lives of everyday Canadians. Which leader actually has the best understanding of the struggles your family faces every single day.
Justin Trudeau is at a big disadvantage, here. That’s because Justin wasn’t simply born with silver spoon in his mouth.
It was more like a silver shovel.
Trudeau is the guy who likes to talk about the middle class, a lot. But he has never, ever actually experienced the middle class. Trudeau has never had to worry about paying the rent, or coming up with the next mortgage statement.
He has never wondered where he’ll get the dough to pay a hydro bill. He has never wanted for anything. His life has been one of mansions, private jets, and hanging out with celebrities like the Aga Khan.
Against Andrew Scheer – who grew up in a big immigrant Catholic family, and whose family didn’t have the wealth Trudeau did – the Liberal leader will likely appear privileged and out-of-touch. Scheer worked as a waiter and a salesman.
Trudeau, meanwhile, wears a $15,000 IWC Portuguese Regulateur watch and drives a Mercedes-Benz 300SL he got from his Dad. (Which, apparently, can sell for millions.)
Who is in it for me – who best understands my life?
If the 2019 election ballot question becomes that question, Justin Trudeau is deep, deep trouble. Smart Liberals know this. That’s why Trudeau rolls up his sleeves, and loosens his tie, and rarely wears a suit when on the campaign hustings. That’s why he talks about the middle class all the time.
But not all Liberals are smart.
Last week, some less-than-smart Grits revealed a big poster of Finance Minister Bill Morneau wearing an expensive, tailor-made bespoke suit, tugging at what looked like French cuffs and pricey cufflinks. It didn’t exactly scream “middle class.”
By this week, Liberals had pasted over that unhelpful image with campaign posters.
But the deeply-dumb Liberals weren’t done yet. Shortly afterwards, some of them actually cooked up a hashtag to mock Andrew Scheer’s comparatively-humble beginnings. One of them, a Liberal MP – the heretofore unknown Gagan Sikand, soon to be the former MP for Mississauga-Streetsville – actually tweeted this: “Scheer Was So Poor he had to buy his Conservative Values second-hand from Stephen Harper.”
Sikand, a lawyer, actually wrote that. He actually tweeted that. It was the 2019 campaign’s Beer-and-Popcorn moment: people with more, making fun of people who have less.
Lots of other Liberals went online, too, giddily promoting the “Scheer Was So Poor” hashtag.
It recalled late 2005, when this writer was huddled on a cold bench at a hockey rink somewhere, waiting out a son’s early-morning practice. A revelation hit me: the Liberals were Starbucks, and the Conservatives were Tim Horton’s. The Tories were going to win with a campaign that was aimed at the Tim’s crowd, not the latte-sipping elites who frequent Starbucks. And win they did.
No one should ever underestimate Justin Trudeau’s retail political skills. No one should ever discount his party’s organizational chops.
But if this race truly becomes who is really “in it for you?”
Then Justin Trudeau is going to lose it.
Joseph Nye Welch: remember that name.
He was an American lawyer, and chief counsel to the US Army. He died long ago. But even from the grave, even after so many years have gone by, Welch has something to important to say about the sordid, seamy scandal known as LavScam.
The Ethics Commissioner had something to say, too, as it turned out. And this week, he said it: “The authority of the Prime Minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. [Jody] Wilson-Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer.”
That sentence – and the commissioner’s finding that Justin Trudeau and his thugs did, indeed, conspire to stop the criminal prosecution of a Québec-based donor to his party, SNC-Lavalin – has myriad implications for many people. Here are just a few.
• Andrew Scheer: When the LavScam story broke in the Globe and Mail, the Conservative Party leader was criticized by some in his own party for demanding Justin Trudeau’s resignation. It is clear, now, he was right to do so. It’s also equally clear that Scheer need not worry himself about Trudeau’s puerile threat to sue him for defamation. Truth, after all, is an absolute defence to a libel claim.
• Jody Wilson-Raybould: Everything that the former Attorney-General said – and Trudeau petulantly refused to let her say all she had to say – was also true. All of it. She was, in fact, pressured by Trudeau and ten of his minions (including his Minister of Finance) to cut a sweetheart deal for SNC-Lavalin on 22 separate occasions over a four-month period. She spoke the truth. And, in so doing, Wilson-Raybould revealed more integrity and courage than Trudeau could ever hope to possess in ten lifetimes.
• Trudeau’s Office: His most-powerful aide, Gerald Butts, resigned at the height of the LavScam scandal. At the time, it was unclear why. Not now. Butts should tender his resignation again – as should Katie Telford, Ben Chin, Mathieu Bouchard, Elder Marques and others in PMO. Bouchard and Marques, both lawyers, additionally deserve the scrutiny of the relevant law societies for their role in LavScam.
• The Mounties: It is known that the RCMP seized Butts’ government-issue laptop and cell phone when he first resigned. It is also known that Butts, Telford and the others “lawyered up,” and retained counsel for an anticipated criminal probe. And then…nothing. While Scheer and others demanded a criminal investigation, the RCMP gave every indication they were having an extended, collective nap. The Ethics Commissioner’s extraordinary report will force them awake. Or should.
• The Media: For various sycophantic media voices – most notably the Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt and HuffPo’s Althing Raj – the SNC-Lavalin affair has been a trifling matter, and Wilson-Raybould deserved to be exiled by Trudeau and his lackeys. The damning Ethic Commissioner’s report should oblige Delacourt, Raj and other Trudeau-flatterers to radically revise that assessment.
But what, one might ask, of Joseph Nye Welch? How is LavScam relevant to him, and vice-versa?
Watching Justin Trudeau simultaneously accept the Ethics Commissioner’s report – and then condemn it, all dewy-eyed sincerity – Welch might have said what he famously said to Joseph McCarthy, during the Democratic Senator’s hunt for communists and subversives.
“Until this moment, I think I have never really gauged your recklessness,” Welch might’ve said to Trudeau. “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
Justin Trudeau, at long last, does not.
After seizing Gerald Butts’ government-issue laptop and cell phone – after all of the senior PMO staff lawyered up – one would’ve thought the criminal probe was already underway.
At least they have now confirmed that it is.
How helpful is it that your party and your leader are the target of a major criminal investigation during an election? Not very.
Could they lose the election because of this? They could.
Do they deserve to lose because of LavScam?
Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Here’s the official statement from the Mounties:
I just did a Sun hit on this very issue. I’ll post it as soon as it is available.
Dief’s jowls jiggled. His brows bristled.
“I’ve always been fond of dogs,” the Conservative leader declared, and the assembled media throng — the ones who had just informed him that Gallup had him losing, badly, to the Liberals — leaned ever closer.
“And they are the one animal that knows the proper treatment to give to poles.”
The ink-stained wretches burst out laughing, and scribbled away in their notebooks. Dief the Chief had conjured a political quote for the ages.
He was sort-of right, too, about the polls (and poles). Diefenbaker would go on to win, big time, shocking the pollsters and the pundits alike. And 1957 would become one of the biggest upsets in Canadian political history, with the Tories ending nearly a quarter-century of Grit rule.
In the intervening years, plenty of politicos have repeated Dief’s quotable quote, or offered up a variation on it: “The only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.”
And both bromides are true: some pollsters get it wrong. Often. Nowadays, with voters getting harder and harder to reach — because many of them use only cellphones, and cellphone numbers aren’t readily found in directories, like landlines used to be — pollsters are making mistakes. Sometimes big ones.
Remember that 2012 National Post headline, declaring: “PQ headed to comfortable majority,” based on Forum’s numbers? The one just before voting day? It was wrong.
Remember BC in 2013, when pollsters said the NDP was nearly ten points ahead of the BC Liberals? Well, they weren’t. On election night, the BC Liberals were five points ahead of their rivals — and won.
How about the time the Angus Reid Group issued a news release flatly stating the fledgling Wildrose Party would form a majority government in 2014? Remember that? Well, they didn’t. The Alberta PCs did. Handily.
And so on, and so on. Brexit: no one really saw it coming. Trump: ditto. Prime Minister Tom Mulcair, what happened?
The definition of insanity, goes the cliche, is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. And here we all go again, with the commentariat eyeballing the polling entrails, and declaring that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are in a so-called dead heat, with Scheer slightly ahead. No party is likely to form a majority in 2019, sayeth the punditocracy.
But are they really in a dead heat? And is a majority truly out of reach?
This writer is not so sure. As much as it pains me to say so, a Trudeau win — minority and maybe even majority — presently seems likely. Here’s why: it’s math.
Even though Trudeau may be behind Scheer by a few points — and even though he’s far less popular than he was in 2015, and he has both the Greens and the NDP working busily to steal away votes — Trudeau remains relatively popular where it counts most: seat-rich Central Canada.
Aggregates of several recent polls indicate Trudeau is comfortably in the lead in Ontario and Québec. Based upon those two provinces alone, the Grits may claim as many as 120 seats. Add in Atlantic Canada, where Trudeau has been dominant for months, and the Grit seat count could easily grow to 145 seats.
Could Trudeau win 10 seats in British Columbia? He certainly could. That gets him to 155. Throw in a few territorial and prairie seats — say, eight — and he’s at 163 seats. That’s short of the 170 he’d need to form a majority, true.
But with Green Party leader Elizabeth May openly admitting that she’d be willing to prop up a second Trudeau government, the Liberals may well get all that they need. At that point, all of Andrew Scheer’s dominance in the West won’t matter — because the places where Scheer dominates simply have fewer seats.
If John Diefenbaker was still here, he’d likely admit that polls do, in fact, sometimes matter. But campaigns matter way more.
In ’57, Dief simply campaigned better in those final days. And that’s why he won big.
Polls or no poles.
Here’s a little-known fact: The “kick me” sign — which is usually affixed to some hapless soul’s back or behind, for laughs — was apparently devised by merry-making Scots during the 16th Century.
They did it to celebrate April Fool’s. “Kick me” thereafter became so popular, it spread to the British Isles and then rest of the world.
And so, this week, the Liberal Party of Canada stuck a “kick me” sign to its collective keester, and invited all of us to do precisely that.
The occasion? Not April Fool’s, although it certainly felt like it could be. No, the “kick me” moment heralded the inauspicious return of Justin Trudeau’s former principal secretary, and his forever-BFF, Gerald Butts.
Butts showed up for some Liberal campaign meeting. People noticed.
Yes, that Gerald Butts. He of the SNC-Lavalin meta-scandal — the one who helped propel #LavScam into hashtag hagiography.
He — the one who told us a million times that he’s a coal miner’s son. Him, the one who also told the chief of staff to the Attorney-General of Canada that Trudeau’s cabal wanted to short-circuit the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a Liberal Party donor.
Him, “Gerry,” who famously said of interfering in the coming corruption trial of SNC-Lavalin that “there is no solution here that does not involve some interference.”
Him. Gerald Butts. He’s back.
Now, before everyone starts reaching for the smelling salts, there is a passable pretext to justify the return of Butts. For one thing, he’s smarter than all of PMO put together. And, the wheels started to come off PMO the moment Butts left.
The Liberal Party commenced sliding precipitously in the polls. Patronage scandals sprouted up like weeds. And, of course, there was this stirring bit of oratory, which ranks up there with the Gettysburg Address: “We have recently switched to drinking water bottles out of water, when we have water bottles out of a plastic sorry away from plastic towards paper-like drink-box, water-bottle sorta things.”
So, on the one hand, it makes a bit of sense that Butts is back. But, on the other, it doesn’t at all.
One, Butts — fairly or not — became the face of LavScam. And not in a good way. Former ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott came to embody decency, honesty and a belief in the independence of our prosecutorial system.
Butts, meanwhile, came to be seen as a guy who may have done something wrong. Why would he have resigned if that were not so?
LavScam hammered the Liberal Party in public opinion. It shredded Justin Trudeau’s promise of sunny ways. And it left his oft-made claims to be a feminist — to be the indigenous reconciler, to be the guy who’d bring back ethical government — in tatters after he expelled Wilson-Raybould and Philpott for having the temerity to speak up for the rule of law.
There’s a second reason why Gerald Butts’ return is dumb, dumb, dumb. And it’s that hoary old chestnut, Liberal arrogance.
“Liberal arrogance” has recurred so many times in Canadian politics, it practically deserves its own entry in Mel Hurtig’s Canadian Encyclopedia series. Liberal arrogance — that Grit belief that they alone know what is best for Canada, and are in fact synonymous with all that is good in Canada — is deadly.
Liberal arrogance has felled many a Liberal government. It is the greatest Grit weakness. And the return of Gerald Butts signals its unfortunate return, in marquee lights.
Butts is back. LavScam is back. Liberal arrogance is back.
Kick them: they deserve it.