The Globe and Mail‘s editorial board returned to the We Charity fiasco just hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and so will I.
The Globe continues to assert that “For the past four and a half months, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has had one big, overarching, all-consuming job: fight COVID-19. Everything else is a sideshow … [well, maybe, but some of those sideshows are pretty big deals, and] … On balance, the government has earned decent marks for its work, particularly when graded on the curve against the shambolic administration of that country next door.” I continue to disagree. I assert that Justin Trudeau‘s efforts have been a miserable failure. Sure, the US response has been an even more miserable failure ~ but that just supports my assertion that Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump are two sides of the same coin. I said, almost two years ago, that “Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada are just as illiberal, on the progressive end of the illiberal spectrum as President Trump is on the regressive end.” I still affirm that view. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s performance (link above) should be weighed against that of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison rather than Donald Trump. When we do that it is clear that Trudeau has failed Canada: many thousands, not just a few hundred Canadians are dead because our man-child, über-entitled prime minister put partisan politics ahead of sound public policy. He did that because he’s simply not fit for the office he holds.
The Globe and Mail‘s editorial writers explain, correctly, that “Health and public health – testing, contact tracing, protecting vulnerable seniors’ residences and running hospitals – are almost entirely in the hands of the provinces. That’s Confederation … [and in my opinion, Confederation would work even better if the provinces were stringer and the national government intruded less into the daily lives of the people] … As a result, current debates over everything from the wisdom of reopening bars, to rules about masks, to the details of school reopenings are all provincial matters … [thus, for] … these past four and a half months, the Trudeau government has really only been responsible for half the nation’s One Big Job. Its role has been, mostly, to write cheques to Canadians and to lower orders of government … [and] … The Trudeau government deserves at least a passing grade for its performance. But along the way, it got distracted.“
“It’s still not clear,” the Globe‘s editorialists say “how, when, where, why or by whom a plan was created to put the Kielburger brothers in charge of a half-billion-dollar program … [but] … Even putting aside questions about the WE organization, and its financial ties to Mr. Trudeau’s family and Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s family, the Canada Student Service Grant’s hybrid of volunteering and low-wage work should have raised questions … [but] … it was the government’s lack of due diligence, into WE and above all into itself, that has given birth to yet another ethical scandal. The scandal, and the response, reveals some abiding problems.“
Those “abiding problems,” according to the Globe and Mail‘s editorial writers, include refusing to accept responsibility by, as Prime Minister Trudeau did the other day, loading all the blame for anything onto the broad shoulders of the public service. It is an old Liberal tradition. “Remember back in 1984,” the Globe asks, “when an embattled Liberal prime minister, in a sound bite for the ages, defended a slew of malodorous patronage decisions? His immortal words were: “I had no option” … [well] … On Thursday, that was Mr. Trudeau’s line of defence: He and the cabinet had no choice. The public service told him the only organization – the only one – that could run the CSSG program was WE. So Mr. Trudeau and cabinet didn’t choose WE. No, no, no. He simply chose to go ahead with the CSSG, whose existence the public service had decided was 100-per-cent contingent on putting WE in charge.” Does anyone with the brains the gods gave to green peppers ~ anyone except Rosemary Barton and a few other diehard, brain-dead Trudeau–Liberal loyalists ~ believe that? I think not. But the Liberal campaign machine (AKA the PMO) believes that most of the media is not as fussy as the Globe and Mail‘s editorialists and that this will all blow over in time for the Grits to win a slim majority or, at least, another solid minority, which, with the NDP being bought and paid for with a few beads and trinkets, they can treat as a working majority.
The Globe‘s editorial writers conclude that “The set-up of the PM’s appearance before the Parliamentary committee, with opposition MPs given just a few minutes each to ask questions, which Mr. Trudeau was free to answer or ignore, before moving on to obsequious non-questions from his Liberal member-minions, was designed to deliver nothing … Which it did. No wonder the PM was happy to attend … [and] … Mr. Trudeau was not contrite. Instead, he was often combative – outraged, even – as if he were the aggrieved party in this affair. He had, after all, just wanted to help the children. If you dimmed the screen and listened only to the audio, he sounded like one of the Kielburgers” and as one of the Globe and Mail‘s star writers said, just days ago, that was a “rambling, patronizing, entitled performance.“
The Government of Canada, Justin Trudeau’s government had one job. As the editorial says, “the Trudeau government has really only been responsible for half the nation’s One Big Job. Its role has been, mostly, to write cheques to Canadians and to lower orders of government.” Instead, it finds itself embroiled in yet another ethics scandal. Why? Because the Trudeau Liberals think that they are entitled to their entitlements, and we, the lower classes, are not entitled to ask them about how they use our money. There is, as Judge Gomery said when he investigated the sponsorship scandal, a “culture of entitlement” that runs deep in the Liberal Party and no one seems more entitled that the trio of Freeland, Morneau and Trudeau.
But, all that being said, Justin Trudeau had one political job to do on Thursday. As Campbell Clark says, also in the Globe and Mail, “Prime Ministers don’t go before parliamentary committees to be grilled by the opposition on their latest scandal. So when Justin Trudeau did so on Thursday afternoon, it was because he had a job to do … [in this case] … He had to give the country a plausible tale, with some details, that asserted that he wasn’t the person who cooked up the idea of handing a $500-million government program over to WE Charity … [and] .. in roughly 90 minutes of highly unusual testimony, he more or less got the job done. Opposition MPs had howled for him to testify, but it was Mr. Trudeau who achieved his political goals.“
“Why,” Campbell Clark asks “was this testimony a political success for the PM?” The answer he says, and I agree, is “Because it gave him an opportunity to make his most important case about the WE controversy: That he erred, but didn’t sin.” That’s going to be the third leg of the stool: 1. we were trying to rush help out to young people; 2. the civil service made us do it ~ it was WE or nothing they said; and 3. I may have made mistakes, but they were the honest errors of a really busy man who was trying his best to help you. It’s a pretty flimsy leg but my guess is that it will be enough for many and more than enough for a few.
But, Justin Trudeau’s government had one job back when the pandemic started: contain its spread in Canada. It and he failed. Then, having failed to contain the problem Justin Trudeau and his team had one job: get money into the hands of Canadians and lower orders of government. They failed again. Justin Trudeau’s record is a litany of failures.
It’s time for a change.