OK, OK……. I admit it. I’m wearing my slightly partisan joker’s hat this morning. But I just can’t help myself.
It’s all because I read two articles this morning from two different publications, and all I could do was laugh while trying not to choke on my coffee. And while trying not to choke, I kept asking myself “The Liberals really aren’t this stupid, are they?” But it appears, my gosh, yes, they are, and SNC-Lavalin is the very gracious gift that keeps on giving to (the upcoming electoral fortunes of) the Liberal Party of Canada.
Well, first I should point out that on Wednesday of this week, the person who is none other than Neil Bruce, SNC-Lavalin’s Chief Executive Officer, went on a media tour (frenzy) with major media outlets across Canada. His very innocent intention was to “correct some misunderstandings” about first, his good company; second, the Liberal Party of Canada and third; the recent major change to the Criminal Code that would allow companies such as SNC-Lavalin to escape criminal prosecution for non-violent crimes such as bribery of foreign officials.
As we all know by now, of course, this last major change to our criminal justice system was slipped into the last section of the 2018 Federal Budget, because, duhhh, where else would you make a major change to the Criminal Code of Canada if not in the last section of a finance Bill where everyone would surely read it? And we’re not really talking about “crime” here, you know, because this is, after all, a Quebec company, and how else are we going to keep our Quebec cousins happy within our Canadian family if we don’t let them do “business as usual, Quebec style?” But I digress, again…………..
Mind you, this is the same SNC-Lavalin that was investigated by Elections Canada and other Ottawa Agencies for their illegal $100,000 contributions to the Liberal Party of Canada for which, in a very Canadian way, they – SNC – were fined and the Federal Liberals were ordered to pay back mistakenly gotten funds. Might I remind you that we Canadians are up here, freezing our arses off but cheering on the US justice system for putting Trump’s friends in jail for doing exactly this same kind of crap, but we are, after all, talking about the Liberal Party here, and our Boy King does take a nice picture, and he does wear some funkier socks, and the world out there that doesn’t give a hoot about Canada….. Please stop Ron, you’re starting to sound down right Presidential. Maybe its time I take my meds and calm down a little, because this is a good story that is making my Conservative friends laugh, which has to be a good thing because Canadian Conservatives now-a-days don’t have much to laugh about.
Ok. I’m calm now. Meds have kicked in and back to my story.
This is also the same SNC-Lavalin that wore a track in the carpet at the Prime Minister’s Office lobbying for that major change to the Criminal Code that showed up in the 2018 Budget. Again, nothing unusual here folks. SNC lobbies all the time. Ottawa is not all that different from Washington. SNC is a big concern in Quebec, we employ a lot of people and we are a major player.
And oh, by the way says Mr. Bruce. SNC-Lavalin never, and I mean never, ever once told anyone in the Prime Minister’s Office that the company would move its head offices to London if we did not get the changes to the Criminal Code that the company so desperately wanted. Nor did SNC ever say that 9,000 jobs in Quebec were at stake.
Now, using political language here folks, but this is called “GOING OFF MESSAGE”. Our Boy King has been telling all who will listen that he did what he did to “Jody” because SNC was going to pull up stakes and move to London if he didn’t cave to SNC demands, and 9,000 jobs would be lost. And for Liberals, its all about jobs because Liberals will do whatever it takes to protect and create jobs. Opps. Sorry Alberta. That just slipped out.
And this was all done within 48 hours of the release of the 2019 Federal Budget, that Electoral masterpiece specifically designed to bribe Canadian voters with not even their own dollars, but with deficit dollars that we don’t presently have but are going to spend anyways for no other reason that voting Liberal in October is THE RIGHT THING TO DO. After all, those Conservatives are right wing lunatics, and we can’t let them win again, can we? I mean, they were in power from 2006-2015, nine whole years, and surely, they destroyed every social program we have, didn’t they? Well, maybe not, but that doesn’t matter. We’re all sure that if we left them in power long enough, they would have gotten around to destroying those social programs eventually. We don’t trust them anyway. Oh my, here I go again, more meds required!
My question here is who is running the Liberal’s communication show? Surely the Liberals must have about 10 different communications specialists leading the charge here, because there are about 10 different messages going in 10 different directions, and its surely looking like a circus.
Let’s fast forward to this morning, and me almost choking on my coffee. I open my Saturday copy of the National Post, and as is my custom, I read my paper starting at the back, in the section called ISSUES & IDEAS. And before you start calling me names here, be advised that this is where my good Newfoundland friend Rex Murphy appears most weekends. So, its not all Right-wing lunatics in print.
As a matter of fact, this morning none other than Anthony Housefather, the Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal (that most elevated (haha, Mount Royal, get it?) of all Montreal, Quebec ridings) and esteemed Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, wrote what we political hacks call an OP/ED piece. For the uneducated and/or uninterested observer, that means an Opinion Editorial, meaning not the newspaper’s opinion but that of a guest contributor. I’m tempted to say “ghost contributor” here, because Liberals would rather eat rat poison than to be seen in print in the National Post. Kind of like Democrats in the US appearing on Fox News, you know?
Mr. Housefather felt the need to tell Canadians, again, once again, and yet one more time, why there is nothing left to see or hear from Ms. Jody Wilson-Raybould regarding the unacceptable political pressure Ms. Wilson-Raybould was subjected to before, during and after her resignation from Cabinet.
And again, oh, by the way, we really do have to take a serious look at separating the roles of Attorney General and Minister of Justice says Mr. Housefather. Not to worry says Mr. Housefather because the Prime Minister has taken care of that. Our Boy King – he of the selfie and funkier socks – has just appointed Anne McLellan, the former Liberal Cabinet Minister who held both roles (that of Attorney General and Minister of Justice) in previous Liberal Governments, to study the matter and report in due course. She will, however, have to cancel her appointments as Guest Speaker at several Liberal Party of Canada fundraisers if she is going to dedicate her time to this very important matter. (I’m not kidding here. Check it out folks. True story.) She does not want to create the appearance of a conflict of interest.
So, says Mr. Housefather, we shut down Conservative attempts to keep this story going, but my Committee on Justice and Human Rights is satisfied that there is nothing to see or hear here. It doesn’t matter that Ms. Jodi Wilson-Raybould has resigned. It doesn’t matter that the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary and best friend, Gerry Butts, has resigned. It doesn’t matter that Michael Wernick, the Clerk of the Privy Council and Canada’s most senior civil servant has resigned. And it doesn’t matter that Jane Philpott, a senior Cabinet Minister who wasn’t even directly involved in this whole mess, has resigned in protest, citing her inability to show confidence in the Prime Minister and Cabinet as reasons for her resignation. The House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights has spent a whole 17 hours on this nonsense. Four resignations at the highest reaches of the Government of Canada! Nothing to see here folks. Let’s just all move on, says Mr. Housefather. Mr. McLellan, without conflict of interest because she will not be doing those Liberal fundraisers, will guide us to the light.
But hold on here! What else is on the page titled Issues & Ideas? Why, it’s a column by Matt Gurney titled Philpott Has Something To Say, Canada. Philpott gave an interview to McLeans Magazine, published Thursday of this week, where she candidly described her displeasure with the Prime Minister for shutting down Mr. Housefather’s committee and for allowing things to continue on as if everyone is indeed participating in a cover up.
And this is where we get serious. In the minds of all but the most jaded of partisan Liberals, and using Mr. Gurney’s words here, not mine, “shutting down the committee’s work unavoidably raises the spectre of a coverup”. Appointing Ms. McLennan as a Special Advisor with no legal standing is also being seen by the public as a blatant political move, although an amateurish one, to make the government appear as if it is doing something.
I will not drill down too deeply into Ms. Philpott’s McLeans interview here, but I would encourage you to seek it out and give it a read. In my opinion, Jane Philpott is of the same caliber as Jody Wilson-Raybould – an intelligent, very articulate, very experienced and principled woman who entered politics with the ambition of doing things differently. Like Wilson-Raybould, however, Philpott is finding out the realities of Ottawa are much different than the egalitarian utopia promised by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal propaganda machine that Canadians bought lock, stock and barrel in 2015.
So where does this leave us? From a communications perspective, this week has proved disastrous for the Liberals. After all is said and done, and after all has been read and studied, what are the chattering masses talking about? Well, we’re still talking about SNC-Lavalin, we’re still talking about Jody Wilson-Raybould, we’re still talking about four resignations at the highest reaches of the Canadian Government, and now Jane Philpott has moved centre stage.
We are not talking about Trudeau’s Election Budget. No doubt the Liberals will tour and promote the 2019 Budget as best they can, but this SNC-Lavalin thing has legs folks. It is not going away.
But not to worry folks. My meds are available to them if needed.