Thursday, March 07, 2019

About that Prosecution Service Tweet

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada fired a shot across Justin Trudeau's bow when it took to twitter today.

Prosecutorial independence is key to our mandate. Our prosecutors must be objective, independent and dispassionate, as well as free from improper influence—including political influence.
The PPSC was created by Stephen Harper in 2006.

Despite the timing, PPSC denied the tweet had anything to do with Justin Trudeau's remarks today or Gerald Butts' testimony yesterday.
The spokesperson said the tweet is not related to the SNC-Lavalin controversy and there is no pressing concern about the independence of prosecution in Canada.
Bullshit, bullshit and more bullshit.

If there was no pressing concern about prosecutorial independence and the tweet was not related to SNC-L, then why tweet it today or, for that matter, at all?

If prosecutors want to be free from political influence, as they fatuously claim, a good first step is to steer clear of the political controversy which is what they did not do today with that tweet.

The independence and integrity of the PPSC takes me back to the prosecution of senator Mike Duffy.  The then prime minister and his chief of staff knew Duffy's weaknesses - he was a spendthrift and he was in lousy health. Duffy was told to quit the Senate or they would bury him in criminal litigation.

Without the slightest bit of political interference prosecutors invented the "immaculate bribery" charge. Duffy was accused of accepting a bribe that no one had given, sort of, in an odd way. And then, the political interference free prosecutors ladled on another 32 charges, making 33 in all. When was the last time you heard of anyone having to defend himself on 33 criminal charges?

A prosecutor free of political interference would have chosen three, five, maybe six good charges to prosecute. 33 charges - it does indeed sound like someone is out to bury somebody who might have a wonky heart and be low on pocket change.

Now that might be an unfair smear on the prosecutorial service except for one thing. At trial, a seasoned and highly-respected judge saw straight through it. He dismissed the charges, all 33 of them. It was Duffy 33, Crown no score.

When a defendant is acquitted of all charges, something is wrong. When a defendant is acquitted of all 33 charges - ten, twenty, thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three, something is way beyond wrong.

Worse still for the totally interference-free prosecutors was Vaillancourt's finding that they had adduced plenty of evidence of criminal activity only the Crown had not charged the real criminals. Oh, my, swallow hard - that's gonna hurt.

And what was the fallout of that? Nothing. Vaillancourt all but spelled out the names of the real criminals. Nothing. The RCMP? Nothing. The prosecution service - you're kidding, right?

So you can believe the PPSC that today's tweet had nothing to do with SCN-L and you can believe that the PPSC is not interfering in the political realm where they have no business meddling, but I'm not buying it. Not for a minute.


Anonymous said...

It does "smell" a bit doesn't it. Anyong

Willy said...

Good post Mos. Unfortunately we continue to live with the stench of Harper. His sycophants have spread across the country. In Ontario we are living under a Neanderthal that is controlled by Harperites. Hell there's even one on Progessive Bloggerd that spiels shit all day long.

The Mound of Sound said...

All day long, Willy, all day long. This whole thing is so ginned up I have trouble making sense of it. The fact is I've had it to the tits with the lot of them. I'm no fan of Trudeau but I'm no fan of Jody either and Scheer, he makes me feel like puking just a little bit.

I've delivered my views on the integrity of the prosecution service and I hold the rest of these misfits in much lower regard.

JT has done one thing. He has removed any residual idea I might have had that he's fit for this job. The tag team bungling of Trudeau and Butts showed both of them wanting.

I know how elitist this will sound but when you look at Canada's best prime ministers how many have been lawyers? Pierre was a lawyer - just society, wrestled separatists to the ground, patriated the Constitution and gave us the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Justin? School marm and damn but it shows.

John B. said...

I went back and read what you said about that case on 4 May 15 and 23 Apr 16. Google brought up each on page 2 of separate searches. Tripping over he old blogs was accidental.



"stephen harper"+paulson+duffy

Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I'd not put two and two together on the PPS from the Duffy case in context with now. Oh, so it's THOSE people ...

Perhaps the tweet is agency infighting, since Team Trudeau had hauled out a geriatric public service warbler name of Wernick, Clerk of something or other important, biggest dick in the Public Service, to expostulate at the Commons Justice Committee hearings about how honest he was. And to add a few heartfelt homilies for downhome Canucks. Twice - I felt so much better the second time around when it was over.

Butts and Justin, what a pair of big old galoots!


The Mound of Sound said...

"Galoots" - you put a smile on my face with that, BM. Many thanks.

The Mound of Sound said...

John, you're very welcome. As one gets older, memory can fade a bit. I now sometimes search this blog to refresh my memory on issues that have been kicking around for several years. It can really help with context and detail.

Anonymous said...

Let’s see. I remember the Duffy affair. Charge him with receiving a bribe but no charge for the person giving a bribe. Meanwhile, the briber leaves town.


The Mound of Sound said...

That sums it up pretty neatly, UU. You left out ...and the band played on.

Steve K said...

The Duffy affair was nothing compared to this present breach of rule of law by Trudeau and henchmen

rumleyfips said...

The persecution service is not doing well against SNCL executives in court. Out of seven charged two cases were abandoned before trial and the rest were thrown out over poor RCMP behaviour. Once case remains but may die of old age as the reasonable time threshold approaches. One wonders if there is a " reasonable chance of conviction " given the weakness of these settled cases. ?

As I read the Duffy liveblogs, I was struck by the lack of conviction of the prosecutors. It seemed they were not pleased to have their overlords saddle then with a case they knew was a loser from the start. A very lawyerly protest.

rumleyfips said...


Harper and his PMO ( Nowack et al ) were trying to drive Duffy into bankruptcy .

Trudeau and his PMO Butts et al ) were trying to prevent a bankruptcy

One was malicious one was not.