““We are treading on dangerous ground here – and I am going to issue my stern warning – because I cannot act in a manner and the prosecution cannot act in a manner that is not objective, that isn’t independent,” she says. “This is the about the integrity of the government. … This is going to look like political interference by the Prime Minister.”” Those are the words of Jody Wilson-Raybould, on tape, which, according to a report in the Globe and Mail, by Stephen Chase and Robert Fife, Ms. Wilson-Raybould recorded on Dec. 19, 2018. The reporters say that “Ms. Wilson-Raybould said she recorded the conversation because she was at home in Vancouver and did not have a staff member on hand to take notes. Transcripts of the audio recording were among 44 pages, including e-mails and text messages, she submitted to the House of Commons justice committee on Friday.” They are part of a “conversation with Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council, in which he told her Mr. Trudeau was in “that kind of mood” and wanted her to shelve the prosecution of the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant.” The take-away is that the prime minister of Canada wanted, Mr Wernick said, to interfere with a prosecution because ““He [Prime Minister Trudeau] is in a pretty firm frame of mind about this .. [and] … he is pretty firm about this. I just saw him a few hours ago, and this is really important to him.” It was “really important to him,” so the rule of law in Canada could be damned because Justin Trudeau said so.
This is what we have come to: “During the 17½ minute telephone conversation,” Messers Chase and Fife report, “Ms. Wilson-Raybould reminded Mr. Wernick that interfering in the SNC-Lavalin case would send the wrong message in the separate breach-of-trust prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and the extradition case of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. executive Meng Wanzhou. In both cases, the Liberals have denied any political interference was involved … [but Jody Wilson-Raybould said] … “We can stand up in the House of Commons on Norman … [or] on extradition and we can talk about the rule of law … [but] …The cases are not dissimilar – the principle or the integrity of how we act.”” But it does not, perhaps cannot matter because when Justin Trudeau wants something then the entire government, which looks more and more like a huge public relations firm, must spring into action to give it to him
In a separate analysis in the Globe and Mail, Campbell Clark writes that “Mr. Trudeau wanted to be able to say that he’d done everything to try to prevent SNC-Lavalin – a “signature company” – from leaving the country or cutting jobs, according to Mr. Wernick. And that meant striking a negotiated deal, called a deferred prosecution agreement, or DPA, instead of prosecuting the company for bribery … [and] … Mr. Wernick kept repeating that he thought the PM was going to find a way to do it, one way or another … [but that’s bad news for Justin Trudeau because] … “in this transcript Mr. Wernick sure makes him sound like the heavy, like a Prime Minister who has decided what should be done, and who expects it to be done. And you can certainly see how Ms. Wilson-Raybould felt there was an “or else” hanging in the air … [and] … There’s another key point about the conversation: Mr. Wernick really did not understand the warnings that Ms. Wilson-Raybould was giving him about political interference … [it appears that] … he understood that Ms. Wilson-Raybould believed that offering SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement would be perceived as political interference … [but] … What he didn’t seem to understand was that she was warning him that the very conversation they were having was political interference – that all of the calls and meetings with the PM and his aides were.“
Campbell Clark says that “Mr. Wernick told Ms. Wilson-Raybould that the PM didn’t want to do anything inappropriate, or to interfere – but the Clerk didn’t comprehend that the attorney-general was telling him that that was already happening … [and, he adds] … Let’s remember what this is all about: it’s the allegation that Mr. Trudeau and several of his aides and officials interfered in a criminal prosecution by putting pressure on Ms. Wilson-Raybould to order prosecutors to halt the bribery prosecution and instead negotiate a DPA.” That seems to be the crux of it; the Clerk was passing on the prime minister’s direction to stop worrying about that pesky little rule of law thing and, instead, just follow Justin Trudeau’s orders. That wasn’t a good defence in 1945 and ’46 and it still isn’t in 2019. We know that Justin Trudeau is used to getting his way and that he doesn’t react well when his way is thwarted so it is not at all unreasonable for Mr Wernick to have assumed that he would want to bend the legal system to his own political will. It appears that neither Prime Minister Trudeau nor Messers Butts and Wernick factored in the idea that Dr Philpott and Ms Wilson-Raybould might take things like ethics and honesty and duty seriously.
Stephen Chase and Robert Fife report that “Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the new material from Ms. Wilson-Raybould offers “concrete evidence that proves Justin Trudeau led a campaign to politically interfere in SNC-Lavalin’s criminal prosecution” … [and] … He said the new material demonstrates how loudly Ms. Wilson-Raybould expressed her concern about political interference to senior levels of government.” I don’t think anyone can doubt that now. But there are, of course, those who doubt Ms Wilson-Raybould’s motives; for those, like former Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps and the CBC‘s Neil Macdonald the timing of this must be troubling … this is starting to sound like an anvil chorus as hammer blow after hammer blow falls on Justin Trudeau. This scandal ~ and that’s what it is ~ is not going away, no matter how hard some Liberals try to change the channel. Of course, it is arrant nonsense to suggest that Jody Wilson-Raybould aims to be prime minister … she is, rather famously, not sufficiently bilingual, but it is not unreasonable to suggest that she and Dr Philpott are sick and tired of the web of deceit that seems, above all else, to characterize the Trudeau regime. Many Canadians, including I suspect, a great many good, honest Liberals want to see the end of Justin Trudeau … and of much of Pierre Trudeau’s legacy, too.
This is just another hammer blow … another reminder that the Trudeau regime lacks integrity and that it needs to be replaced, soon, for the sake of our country. It is, I suspect, not the last blow that will fall. I think the Liberals have made too many excuses, told too many lies … it is too late to go back and tell the truth and admit a mistake. This is not going to go away until either Justin Trudeau or Dr Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould stand down. My sense is that the latter two women are much stronger, in every way, but especially ethically and morally, than is the man-child prime minister of Canada.
This is all about “the integrity of the government” and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has failed himself, his Liberal Party and Canada in that regard,