An opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen by Conservative insider Andrew MacDougall is worth a read in full. Mr MacDougall, a seasoned PMO “big dog” in Stephen Harper’s government comes right out and accuses the PMO (Gerald Butts, Katie Purchase and Katie Telford) of knowingly and dishonestly trotting out “their No. 1 security bureaucrat to try to change the channel. Their shamelessness,” he says “is truly breathtaking.” He explains that “Reporters travelling with Trudeau knew that Mr. Jean has access to absolutely every single piece of intelligence at the government’s disposal. They knew that Mr. Jean had every chapter and verse of Canada’s sordid history with Sikh extremism committed to memory. They knew that Indian governments of varying stripes have been trying to get Canada to clamp down on the Khalistani movement since before 329 lives were snuffed out of thin air in the Air India bombings.” That’s exactly why, he says, “It’s inconceivable Jean would have gone out without the prime minister’s knowledge, if not explicit direction. Indeed, the arch cynics in the Prime Minister’s Office knew the media would be forced to take Jean’s words seriously, such is the power of his position, even if they were unbelievable and delivered from under the cloak of anonymity.“
In short, Andrew MacDougall says, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his most senior political advisors decided to lie to Canadians, through the media, and, in the process, seriously damage Canadian relations with a (formerly) friendly power.
“Unfortunately for Trudeau,” he says, and for Canada he could have added, “the Indian government isn’t treating the matter lightly. Indeed, one wonders what Trudeau will say now that the Indian government has responded to his exchange in the House with a statement that is worth quoting in full: “We have seen the recent exchange in the Parliament of Canada regarding two invitations issued to Jaspal Atwal by the Canadian High Commissioner, for functions hosted in honour of the Canadian Prime Minister in India … [and] … “Let me categorically state,” the Government of India’s official spokesman added “that that the Government of India, including the security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation issued to him for the Canadian High Commissioner’s reception in New Delhi. Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and unacceptable.”“
Baseless and unacceptable are not terms one usually hears tossed about by one government over the remarks of the head of another government. The Government of India just accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of lying.
I, too, am accusing Justin Trudeau of being a liar and, almost as bad, a bloody fool.
I know that nearly 40% of Canadians voted for candidates who ran under Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party banner. To them, to those millions and millions of Canadians, I say: please do not give your heads a shake … the rattling sound made by the dried peas you all must have used for brains would be deafening; the noise would wake the neighbours and violate civic noise by-laws. But please, in 2019, use your heads for something other than hat racks.