Steven Chase and Robert Fife, writing in the Globe and Mail, say that “Ethics in government is shaping up as the biggest issue for voters in the approaching federal vote, outdistancing the economy, the environment and trade with the United States, according to a new poll conducted for The Globe and Mail … [and] … A solid majority of 73 per cent of Canadians polled by Nanos Research say that ethics in government will influence their vote in the fall election, slated to take place on Oct. 21 … [we need to note that this follows] … extensive coverage of the SNC-Lavalin controversy, in which the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put pressure on then-attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop the criminal prosecution of the Montreal-based engineering company … [and] … There were also months of attention on charges against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman for allegedly leaking information on a naval supply vessel program. During the trial, which was ultimately aborted, the Liberals faced accusations in the House of Commons that the Prime Minister “interfered in the judicial process” by withholding documents from the defence and by denying Vice-Adm. Norman access to his own documents.“
Nik Nanos says that ““What this speaks to is Canadians want to hear from politicians about ethics, transparency and how our government should run as a top issue“ … [and] … Mr. Nanos said Canadians’ faith in Mr. Trudeau’s government has been shaken.“
The media, especially the Globe and Mail on the SNC-Lavalin/Jody Wilson-Raybould file and the National Post on the Mark Norman story, have done their job. They have exposed the truth. But it is not the media’s job to keep rubbing salt in the Liberals’ wounds … in fact, I will not be surprised when the media reminds us of e.g. Karlheinz Schreiber pushing brown envelopes stuffed with money at Brian Mulroney or of Jack Layton and Olivia Chow living in co-op housing in Toronto to remind Canadians that all politicians of all parties can have ethical lapses, and some do, too. It is now up to the Conservative Party ~ and the NDP and Greens, too ~ to keep the issue on the public;’s mind. And it will be an issue in some ridings, especially in Vancouver-Granville where Jody Wilson-Raybould is running as an Independent and also in Ontario where Dr Philpott will run as an Independent candidate in Markham-Stouffville in the Greater Toronto area.
But Prime Minister Trudeau seems, to me, to have been more prone to ethical lapses than any other politician, including Brian Mulroney, that I can remember … and I can remember Louis St Laurent and every one of the eleven other prime ministers, including Joe Clark, John Turner and Kim Campbell, who followed him. I know Canada has only had a Conflict of Interest Act since 2006, so Diefenbaker, Pearson, Trudeau senior, Chrétien and Harper and the others could not have breached it, but the fact is that we do have one, now, and while Stephen Harper managed, seemingly without difficulty, to avoid breaking the rules, Justin Trudeau did so early in his mandate when he decided to accept a free Christmas vacation at the Aga Khan’s private island in the Caribbean, including a helicopter ride to the island, something that is very clearly spelt out in the rules as being forbidden.
The article explains that “The polling company asked Canadians to rank the top issues that would influence their vote. The survey found that ethics in government ranked highest at 73 per cent; followed by the economy at 66 per cent; carbon tax at 53 per cent; and free trade with the United States and Mexico at 46 per cent.” The poll sampled 1,000 people in Canada and the statistical margin of error for such a random survey is 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
All four issues ~ ethics in government, the economy, the carbon tax and free(er) trade with the US ~ likely favour the Conservatives, anyway, and that they are top of mind for most voters, ranking, it appears, above climate change, health care and even Doug Ford in Ontario, is good news for the CPC. It is, now, necessary for Andrew Scheer and his TEAM …
… to remind Canadians that Justin Trudeau has broken promise after promise on ethics and on the economy and that relations with the USA (and the whole world) are in the tank and that the carbon tax is just a money grab. They also need to persuade Canadians that they, the Scheer Team, can and will do better. The good news is that most Canadians are worried about some important issues … it is time for the Conservatives to get on that message.