Today, readers are responding to a Globe report that former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould told federal cabinet ministers she believed it was improper for officials in the Prime Minister’s Office to press her to help SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. out of its legal difficulties.
Keep digging into this, Bob Fife and Steven Chase. Overwhelming circumstantial evidence indicates attempts were made at the highest levels to "convince" attorney general Wilson-Raybould to countermand the decision by the head of public prosecutions to have SNC-Lavalin proceed to criminal trial. And her refusal was openly punished as a signal to the other ministers and MPs to disobey the ruling clique. With a more compliant and less principled attorney general, the company would have received their get out of jail card and Canada under this government would have been no different than any other administration which gives lip service to judicial independence, the rule of law and equal treatment for all but in reality practices the Animal Farm rule of law in which all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. So kudos to Jody Wilson-Raybould and to Fife and Chase for ensuring that while nobody was there at the time it is noted this tree did indeed fall in the forest. The former minister and these intrepid reporters give new life to the Globe's watchword "The subject who is truly loyal to the chief magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures."
I get that the PMO can give an opinion to the justice minister on the issue without obstructing justice. But what about the demotion? Could the demotion not be seen as obstruction of justice if the PMO wanted to get her out of the way and replace her with someone who would do what they want?
I think it’s time for Trudeau to resign. It appears that not only did Trudeau and the PMO pressure Ms Wilson-Raybould, they have been lying about it for 2 weeks. This makes Butts resignation much more logical. Better to resign than face criminal charges for obstruction of justice. As to those caucus members who voted to override a judicial inquiry, I hope they are looking for new jobs because any MP who doesn’t feel this needs to be investigated is ethically challenged and should not be in parliament.
I have tried to withhold judgment, but I agree, the facts are extremely damning. I think this whole government deserves to go down, and my only hope is that the Liberal brand is not so tarnished that it does not live to fight another day, in the hands of far better and ethical people. As for Butts, I don't see how resignation would affect whether or not he faces criminal charges. The question would be what he did, not whether he is still in the role.
Trudeau is getting really bad advice. He needs to admit he did a horribly improper (possibly illegal) thing, tell the public the whole story, and apologize and throw himself on the mercy of the Canadian public that he has learned from his errors and will try to hold himself to a more acceptable ethical standard. Telling lies and half truths and having the drip-drip of more information that exposes more lies and half truths and keeps this story at the top of the news cycle is not a good PR strategy. Right now everyone but the more loyal liberal party hacks think he is guilty and are about ready to get the pitchforks out, mostly because of the lies and that this goes directly against his virtue-signalling holier than thou persona he has created.
I would like to clear up the misconception that paying bribes in countries like Libya are part of doing business. This is absolutely not true. I have worked for many years for large EPCM (Engineering Project Management) companies that never resort to bribes. What they do instead is offer something for the public good of the country they are working in, such as schools, hospitals and roads. This is the approach encouraged by the World Bank, and is done with full transparency. Even highly corrupt governments typically accept these public contributions, and the projects move forward in this way with much social benefit.
Res ipsa loquitor in response:
You are kidding right? Instead of cash you give them a school, hospital or road? That is still a bribe. It may do a public good but if you have to offer something in exchange for getting a job, and if another company not making that offer but equally or better qualified cannot get the job, that is a bribe.
Readers are also responding to John Ibbitson’s column, Liberals’ hopes of containing SNC-Lavalin scandal fail, as Trudeau becomes focus\
Watching the entire side Opposite stand to give Jody Wilson-Raybould a standing ovation after she requested the freedom to speak her truth was an astounding moment that felt like a chasm had opened and swallowed the rest of the Liberal Party. Jody Wilson-Raybould is a strong woman. Canadians want her to have the freedom to speak. If the Liberals keep blocking that, they cannot be trusted to lead.
Yes, hubris. As Mr. Ibbitson has indicated, this scandal is not going away anytime soon. The fact that it involves potential obstruction of justice on the part of persons in the highest elected and unelected offices in the land will guarantee that. In this case it might mean the Prime Minister himself. If it was ‘just’ a cabinet member, they could perhaps have cauterized this quite quickly and had time to mend their reputations before the election in the fall. But Mr. Trudeau can’t be cast aside without seismic consequences. Bad enough that his principal secretary Gerald Butts has already resigned, setting off the firestorm of controversy we witnessed a few days ago. Politicians never seem to learn from past scandals, but they always see it first as a “public relations” exercise that can be managed. That was certainly Mr. Butts’ entire approach to politics, and explains why they floundered many times over the past three years. So yes hubris, and there is no shortage of it at the top of the Liberal Party. Thanks to Mr. Ibbitson for continuing to push this important story.
Scheer was effective in Question Period Wednesday, sounding like a prosecuting attorney with Trudeau in the dock. The questions were precise and direct, the answers embarrassingly off-topic. Listening to the Prime Minister, one could not but feel despair for the current condition of parliamentary democracy in Canada.
Why despair? The Parliamentary system worked the way it is supposed to. Two adversaries, two sword lengths apart, jousted with words. The electorate gets to decide who to believe. "A poor system except for all the others." - Winston Churchill.
Quite a mess, and the Prime Minister looked worn out and unsure how to proceed. At times like this a Prime Minister has to look and speak like a leader, not look like someone who has been put through the wringer.
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