John Ibbitson, writing in the Globe and Mail, says that “Mr. Morneau said he was stepping down, both as finance minister and as an MP, because he had never intended to serve more than two terms, and because he was putting his name forward to be secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development … [to which John Ibbitson reacts by saying] … Baloney … [because, he explains] … No finance minister would abandon their post during the greatest financial crisis of our lifetime, unless they were pushed or felt they had no choice … [and] … even if Mr. Morneau did want the OECD job so eagerly, there was no reason to immediately resign his seat, forcing a by-election … [thus] … There can only be two reasons to flee Ottawa so suddenly: Either he no longer enjoyed the Prime Minister’s full confidence, or the Prime Minister no longer enjoyed his.“
My guess is that it is the latter … I suspect that he is just the latest high profile Liberal to follow the likes of Leona Alleslev, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Andrew Leslie and Jane Philpott out of the caucus, out of the party and even out of politics because they cannot abide the Trudeau effect on Canada, on politics and on themselves, as honest, honourable individuals. Team Trudeau recruited many high profile candidates in 2014-15 because they promised them a chance to change Canada in ways that those “stars” thought were needed, but they found, as Mr Ibbitson says, the same old “Liberal Party at its very worst: a cabal of political and financial elites squabbling among themselves when they should be serving the people,” and they discovered that the whole raison d’être of the modern (post-Pearson) Liberal Party of Canada is to get their insiders to the public, political trough.
Some of those stars were made of better stuff, but Bill Morneau was a key part of Team Trudeau for five years. He brought down budget after budget that ignored the explicit Liberal promise to run a few small deficits and have a balanced budget by 2019:
(Source: the Liberal “Red Book, 2015,” page 75)
John Ibbitson says that “The overwhelming impression is that public support for the federal government’s handling of the pandemic left the Liberals so confident of being re-elected that they fell to fighting amongst themselves over the post-pandemic agenda and who should implement it … [but] … The political fallout will be massive. This Liberal government faces a motion of confidence when Parliament returns, brought by the Bloc Québécois over the WE controversy, which has been given considerably more oxygen by this resignation. It is now virtually unthinkable for the Tories to support the Grits. If the WE affair and the resignation of the finance minister during a financial crisis don’t shake the confidence of the Official Opposition in the government, what would?” He wonders is the hapless Jagmeet Singh and the NDP will prop up the Liberals because they fear being decimated if an election is held this year. It’s a dilemma for them; Mr Singh seems intent on trying to pry more money out of the Trudeau government for some of the NDP‘s pet projects. Can his party be bought that easily?
John Ibbitson says that “In some ways, this is like a return to old times, when Pierre Trudeau’s finance minister, John Turner, resigned because he disagreed with the prime minister’s economic priorities in 1975. Forty years of Liberal civil war followed. Trudeau versus Turner. Turner versus Chrétien. Chrétien versus Martin. Dion versus Ignatieff. Ignatieff versus Rae … [but it’s 2020 now and ] … Mr. Trudeau does not appear to brook opposition, or even contrary voices. His determination to intervene in the prosecution of the engineering firm SNC-Lavalin cost him two cabinet ministers, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott. And now he has lost his finance minister, prompting the most important question of all … which is, he concludes] … Why have so many of this government’s most powerful and independent voices been silenced? Could Mr. Trudeau not work with them? Or could they not work with him?“
I already answered his question, above. I believe it is Liberals abandoning Trudeau, but not because they cannot work with him ~ Bill Morneau and Mark Garneau and Chrystia Freeland all prove that Liberals will hold their noses and work with anyone as long as they can keep their snouts in the trough. The problem, I think, is Justin Trudeau’s juvenile authoritarianism and his inability to accept any responsibility for his own actions. My guess is that Bill Morneau saw himself, not Bardish Chaggar, being set up as the latest fall guy and decided to jump before he was pushed.
It says a lot about Justin Trudeau as a person and as a leader, doesn’t it?
Dear readers and friends, especially my Liberal friends, the Liberal baloney metre has gone off the scale …
… no thinking person, no sensible Canadian voter, can believe anything Trudeau, Morneau, Freeland or any other Liberal says.
It’s time for a change …. a real change.