Two stories caught my eye the other day:
First, in the Globe and Mail, Robert Fife and Steven Chase reported that “Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson was warned as far back as September that Finance Minister Bill Morneau could be in a conflict of interest over a bill he was spearheading that benefits his family firm, but the federal watchdog didn’t launch a formal examination until November when controversy over the matter had dominated the House of Commons for weeks … [earlier] … A group representing retired Canada Post workers hand-delivered a letter to Ms. Dawson’s office on Sept. 18, outlining its concern about the Finance Minister’s shares in Morneau Shepell and his involvement in drafting legislation to rewrite federal pension law … [because] … Bill C-27, sponsored by Mr. Morneau, opens the door for Crown corporations and federally regulated employers, including airlines, banks and telecommunication firms, to convert secure defined-benefit pension plans into less-secure target-benefit plans (TBPs) … [and] … The Canada Post Pension Advisory Council told Ms. Dawson that Mr. Morneau was receiving dividends and income from his shares in his family’s human-resources and pension-planning firm when he introduced the bill, which would shift the retirement savings risk to employees;” and
Second, in the Hill Times, Abbas Rana writes that “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should take proactive action to deal with the ethical issues involving Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his chief fundraiser Stephen Bronfman because it could slowly erode the Grits’ political capital and goodwill with voters and become a major credibility problem in the 2019 election, say some Liberals … [and] … “It’s going to be a little slow growing cancer that starts to eat away at people’s impressions of what you are, and who you are, and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of that when people make a choice,” said one Liberal MP last week in an interview with The Hill Times who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution … [further] … Three Liberal MPs and two former senior Liberals told The Hill Times that it’s critical Mr. Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) take concrete actions to prove to Canadians that his government and party’s conduct is “beyond reproach” … [and] … All agreed the issues are hurting the Liberal Party’s brand and said the opposition parties will capitalize on the controversies over the next four weeks in House.“
Even Liberals ~ and a lot more than just the five “who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution
,” I’ll wager ~ know
that the prime minister and Finance Minister Morneau are skating on ethically thin ice, and they understand that the prime minister’s ham fisted attempts to shield Bill Morneau from honest, legitimate questions makes many Canadians suspect that both have something more to hide. Monique Scotti, with input from David Akin, suggests, on the Global News site
, that “If the government can’t find a way to change the channel, the ministers or prime minister could eventually turn to a public apology or — in an extreme case — a resignation.
Further, as Andrew Coyne says, in a recent article in the National Post
, maybe voters are starting to
realize that the Liberal government’s policies don’t have much to do with Canada’s current (but maybe transitory
) economic success … it may, in fact, have been a combination of Conservative
policies and global forces that led to the current economic surge and Liberal
policies may put Canada into a deep, long term economic hole.
The Liberals won a lot of seats in 2015 because the NDP vote collapsed, especially in Quebec, after the death if Jack Layton, and they were able to capture almost all of the young, progressive vote, and to their credit, bring out millions of new, mostly young, voters with a brilliant campaign. Many of those seats ~ dozens of them ~ are in ethnically diverse suburbs
that, in 2011, voted Conservative or, at least, allowed the Conservatives to come up through the middle when the Liberals and NDP split the progressive vote. More on that in just a few days …
Canadians may be beginning to understand that when they vote Liberal they appoint or anoint the Laurentian Elites
to run Canada for their own, personal benefit. The Liberal Party of Canada
long ago (on the 20th of April 1968 to be exact, albeit with a brief return to policy oriented politics in 2003 to 2005) lost interest in seeking policies that might benefit
all Canadians and focused, instead on the most crass sort of retail politics and a sort of “cult of personality” that quite explicitly said that policy and personal gravitas no longer mattered: celebrity was all that really counted. Too many Canadians bought it … it, being, as I have often said
, the “sizzle,” which was all that was one offer because there has been no “steak,” no substance to the Liberal
programme for almost 50 years.