Thursday, February 28, 2019
I'm Sorry But the Dauphin Screwed Up
The Trudeau brand has taken a few hits since Justin became prime minister but this latest fiasco involving ex-Justice Minister Jody is an ugly, possibly even indelible stain on that once legendary name.
Justin screwed up, big time, and it's hard to see how he can steer the Liberal government back out of the ditch he drove it into in time for the October elections.
How many Canadians who have watched this unfold can doubt that this prime minister was ready to bend the rules when that became in his and SNC-Lavalin's mutual interests.
The calculus was simple. If SNC-L was criminally convicted of its overseas bribes it would be unable to bid on government contracts for a decade. Facing a similar, 10-year ban from bidding on World Bank contracts, this could cost Quebec several thousand jobs just in time for the federal elections. For the sake of Liberal fortunes in October, SNC-L had to be taken off the hook. Jody wouldn't go along and so she was removed as A.G., presumably to make way for a more compliant successor.
Everyone smelled a rat, an odour that only worsened when Trudeau's principal secretary, Gerry Butts, abruptly took his leave.
The opposition, as is their job, went for it. Trudeau had no choice but to let Jody testify before a Commons committee and take his chances. That backfired on the prime minister and, so, here we are.
Trudeau's acolytes assure each other that this is a lot of nothing, it was only politics. Whether even they believe that it's apparent few Canadians agree.
There are calls for the prime minister to resign - in disgrace - and even a few calling for a criminal investigation.
If Trudeau has some plan to pull his fat out of the fire, he'd better not waste time and it had better be good. Meanwhile the party should start looking for new talent, someone a lot better than the last three.