Until yesterday I had never heard of Taleeb Noormohamed, a 42 year old "tech entrepreneur" the Liberals have chosen to run against Jody Wilson-Raybould in the Vancouver Granville riding.
I don't know what Taleeb or the Liberal riding association thought their odds were yesterday but they're probably a good deal less optimistic today with the release of a report from Canada's ethics commissioner that slammed Trudeau for trying to strongarm Wilson-Raybould on behalf of SNC-Lavalin.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by trying to influence then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to overrule a decision to not grant a deferred prosecution agreement to Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has found.
"The evidence showed there were many ways in which Mr. Trudeau, either directly or through the actions of those under his direction, sought to influence the Attorney General," Dion wrote, in his report released Wednesday.
"The Prime Minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson‑Raybould. 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. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown's chief law officer," Dion said.
Dion found Trudeau contravened Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act through a series of "flagrant attempts to influence" Wilson‑Raybould to reach an agreement with SNC-Lavalin to avoid criminal prosecution. That section of the code prohibits any official responsible for high level decision-making in government from seeking to influence the decision of another person to "improperly further another person's private interests."This must come as shocking news to Trudeau's fan club who have been dismissing the whole business as a 'fake scandal.' Apparently it's a very real scandal, not fake at all.
Let's hope the ethics commissioner's report also works in favour of former Liberal cabinet minister, Jane Philpott, who resigned from cabinet and was ingloriously turfed out of the Liberal caucus for standing with Wilson-Raybould.
In standing up to Trudeau, Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott did the right thing. Justin Trudeau and his underlings did the wrong thing and then made Wilson-Raybould and Philpott pay for it.
As for Taleeb, I wonder if this is time for him to take another powder.