I prefer to shy away from the political arena.
There are just to many excellent journalists out there to cover the tawdry scandals that infect our government from time to time.
The SNC Lavalin affair has been epic in both theatre and impact on the Trudeau government.
I can think of only one other time in the last couple of decades that I sat in stunned silence, watching my television as a cataclysmic event played out in front of me.
It’s the human side of the story that compels me to weigh in.
The testimony of former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould was nothing short of riveting.
In no less than thirty (30) seconds she completely blew away the Canadian Prime Minister and upwards of eleven (11) of his high-ranking government officials.
“For a period of approximately four months, between September and December of 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada,” Wilson-Raybould said.
She went on to describe receiving what she considered to be “veiled threats” from “non-partisan” Privy Counsel Clerk Michael Wernick.
These were extraordinary revelations.
Her evidence was detailed, dispassionate, articulate and professional.
Unfortunately, for Mr. Trudeau and company, it was supported by detailed, copious notes which included verbatim conversations, phone calls and text messages.
“I strongly maintain, as I have from the beginning, that I and my staff always acted appropriately and professionally. I therefore completely disagree with the former attorney general’s characterization of events.”
He then segued into a discussion about the 9,000 jobs that were at stake and how his government will always stand up for Canadians and Canadian workers.
It didn’t stop here.
Trudeau went on to publicly blame, shame and attack her credibility creating a “he said / she said” scenario.
He’s since relied on the, “She may have experienced the situation differently than I did,” justification used in the Sandra Rose groping scandal.
(I really didn’t think it worked well enough to warrant a repeat performance.)
Trudeau’s cast of supporting characters, including Wernick and former Principal Secretary Gerald Butts, have played the same game – blaming, shaming & attacking the former Attorney Generals’ credibility.
The Trudeau defense has now been all but obliterated.
The assertions made regarding the saving of thousands of jobs has been exposed for the pathetic fraud it truly is.
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) artfully destroyed the false narrative in a fact based eleven (11) thread tweet posted on his Twitter account.
It was brilliant.
There was also the “decision was never final” argument and that “new evidence” should have been considered to reverse the Attorney Generals’ decision on the file.
Poilievre sums it up, “Trudeau’s interference was not about jobs. It was about protecting a Liberal linked, well-connected corporation with an army of lobbyists.”
Of this, there is no longer any reasonable doubt.
It’s all been exposed, laid bare before the Canadian public.
What hasn’t been exposed is the personal & professional harm done to Jody Wilson-Raybould.
I have insight into these matters.
I too lost a job I worked hard for, earned and loved, only to have it stolen away by power drunk corporate despots who didn’t like the fact I was not inclined to play their game.
There are scars left from this kind of back room surgery.
There are feelings involved here, true loss, pain and mourning for something stolen away by people who had no right to punish you for doing your job.
Make no mistake about it, that’s precisely what happened to Jody Wilson-Raybould.
She did her job, and for that she was punished for it.
The impacts with this kind of treachery are many.
- A sense of justice lost – a sense of justice was something once held precious, integrity & trust are important things, trust in others equally important, but all that is gone now.
- A loss of belief – once part of something believed to be good, honest, productive, meaningful – that belief now shattered, so difficult to process.
- Feelings of shame – to be fired is a painful experience for people who excel at their work, are skilled, committed and dedicated. The feelings of shame are difficult to reject or reconcile.
- Feelings of embarrassment – it’s embarrassing to lose your job, people look at you differently, most don’t know the truth, assumptions are made that performance issues were at play, mistakes or misjudgments made.
- Feelings of isolation – being ostracized is a terrible experience, no longer part of the group, isolated, people are afraid to approach or engage, association presents risk, you’ve become a pariah.
- Trajectory altered – you had a plan, a good plan, it was working, the value of your stock was high, the future was bright, all that changed in an instant.
- A legacy altered – people caught in these snares lose the opportunity to realize their rightful legacy, no retirement celebration, no ride off into the sunset. In reality, they may spend much of their lives trying not to be defined as a victim of the conspiracy that ended their careers.
- The blacklist – employment opportunities evaporate, employers see you as a whistleblower, a trouble maker, a risk. (This may be less of an issue for Ms. Raybould-Wilson.)
There are other issues of less consequence, like loss of income, impact on pension and loss of status in the community.
I’m confident, Ms. Wilson-Raybould has experienced many of these painful impacts
Seeming lost on those remaining in the Liberal fold is the fact they had an opportunity, an opportunity seized by but one of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s former colleagues, MP Dr. Jane Philpott.
(MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes also recently broke ranks, has shown support for Wilson-Raybould, and outed Trudeau for being hostile, angry & abusive.)
It was a lost opportunity to demonstrate integrity and to reinforce trust in the electorate.
It was a chance to demonstrate support for Jody Wilson-Raybould and to stand up to the oppressive regime that has clearly abandoned whatever ethics and values it once had.
Whether you work for a small business, a large corporation or in some level of government, these situations present you with an important moment in your life.
A moment, option or opportunity to decide who you really are – a person of integrity, substance and courage – or are you something less than all that.
Jane Philpott triumphed in her moment.
In her resignation letter she said: “There can be a cost to acting on one’s principals, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them.”
The message is a powerful one.
The great Reverend Desmond Tutu provided us with a relevant quote to be cherished in matters such as these;
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that your are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Leaders do not hide in neutrality.
Make no mistake, every single remaining Liberal MP who stands in silence in the face of this injustice is as guilty of the oppression as the oppressor himself.
They should all be ashamed.
The disgust becomes more palpable when Trudeau and his Minister of Finance Bill Morneau gleefully tweet anti-bullying and gender equality messages….on International Women’s Day no less.
Some might call it “tone deaf.”
It does seem a degree of self-awareness might be lacking.
If nothing else, the SNC Lavalin scandal has finally shown all Canadians that their once beloved Emperor, Justin Trudeau, really doth have no clothes.
Let’s not forget, Trudeau excised much political capital from appointing the first female, Indigenous Attorney General in our great Country.
Justin Trudeau pretended to be something he’s proven he’s not.
The value of his political stock is plummeting yet he seems utterly blind to his demise.
He’s sorry, not sorry.
Don Martin of CTV said it better than anyone;
“The Trudeau brand is broken. The unicorn mounted prince lies bleeding on the rainbow, surrounded by dark and stormy clouds.”
I wish I wrote it…