Either a fool or a liar

In an article in the Globe and Mail, Konrad Yakabuski, commenting on the ethics scandal surrounding Prime Minister Trudeau, notes that: “There is a line in the Ethics Commissioner’s report on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s multiple violations of the Conflict of Interest Act that would gobsmack any first-year student of Canadian parliamentary democracy … [it says that] … “Mr. Trudeau views his involvement with the Aga Khan and his Canadian institutions as ceremonial in nature, similar to the interactions he would have with any global leader or any distinguished global citizen,” Mary Dawson writes in her 66-page decision on the Prime Minister’s vacations on the Aga Khan’s private island, weightily titled The Trudeau Report … [and] … While not exactly the Pentagon Papers, Ms. Dawson’s report exposes a major gap between the public image of a modern prime minister leading Canada through a turbulent global era of renewed nationalism and protectionism, and the reality of one detached from the nitty-gritty, who apparently sweats neither the big nor small stuff and views his role as “ceremonial” … [but] … Ceremony, in the constitutional monarchy that is Canada, is the domain of the Governor-General. While the latter does have some real powers, they have rarely, if ever, been truly exercised. That ensures the Queen’s representative remains above the fray. Her role really is a ceremonial one, embodying the Canadian state in all its non-partisan and apolitical glory … [and] … A prime minister, by definition, is never above the fray. He or she is in it up to his or her neck. Nothing a prime minister does is apolitical. Yes, there are certain perfunctory duties, such as the laying of wreaths and planting of trees, that any head of government occasionally performs. But the prime minister is never a ceremonial figure, whether on Canadian soil or abroad.

Based on that he concludes that: “After two years in power, Mr. Trudeau either still does not understand this or shaped his testimony to the Ethics Commissioner to minimize the gravity of his decision to accept free travel and accommodation from a wealthy individual who heads various charitable organizations that have “ongoing official business” with the government of Canada.” Put simply he either “does not understand” which suggests that he’s a fool, who is “just not ready” or he “shaped his testimony” which is a polite way of saying that he lied. He is, at its simplest, either a fool or a liar … no alternative explanation seems to obtain, does it?

Someone,” Mr Yakabuski ends, “needs to write Mr. Trudeau his own mandate letter.” I disagree … “someone” is us, the voters of Canada, and what we need to do is to write Justin Trudeau a whole new job description: either “unremarkable back-bench MP” or, better still “unemployed dilettante.”

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