Andrew Coyne: The question of what is Trudeau hiding is not going to go away
The issues involved in the SNC-Lavalin affair are too important to be treated flippantly. This isn’t some question of policy on which people of goodwill can differAnother campaign begun in the shadow of scandal. The first weeks of the 2015 election campaign were dominated by the trial of Sen. Mike Duffy, at much subsequent cost to Stephen Harper’s re-election chances. Whether or not the latest revelations in the SNC-Lavalin affair prove to be as consequential to the current campaign, the implications are deeply troubling. Not only is the RCMP reported to have been inquiring into the affair, in which the prime minister and other government officials attempted to interfere in a criminal prosecution, as a possible case of obstruction of justice, but investigators have apparently been prevented from gathering evidence from key witnesses — obstructed, if you will — by the government’s continuing refusal to release them from the bonds of cabinet confidentiality. No, it’s not yet a formal criminal investigation, and yes, whatever else you want to call it has been “paused” until after the election — a protocol installed after the 2006 campaign, which was knocked sideways by the revelation that the RCMP was investigating the then minister of finance. No doubt that will be of some relief to the Liberal campaign, but it does leave the public in a bind: it would be a hell of a thing to re-elect the government only to have its top officials charged afterward with serious crimes. And the questions — the first from a reporter, immediately after Justin Trudeau’s opening statement: “what is your government trying to hide?” — are not going to go away. Seven months after the scandal first came to light, they boil down to one: why not lift the obligation to keep cabinet conversations secret if it will help police get to the bottom of the matter? This is not, after all, the first time the subject has come up. While the prime minister made a great show of waiving cabinet confidentiality earlier this year with regard to his former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, the waiver applied only to discussions that took place while she was still in the job, and only to those in which she took part. The ethics commissioner reported last month that nine witnesses with evidence relevant to his inquiry had been kept silent by the same restriction. Cabinet confidentiality is an important principle — ministers could not otherwise speak frankly on sensitive matters — that ought not to be taken lightly. But it is not as important as the rule of law. It might be invoked for reasons of state — or, more often, to spare governments political embarrassment — but it cannot be extended to cover discussions of potential crimes. Or at any rate it should not. Maybe Trudeau, as he insists, did nothing wrong, legally or ethically. If so, the witnesses will presumably exonerate him. But if not, all the more reason why they should be allowed to tell police what they know. Certainly it is within his power to do so. The explanation, offered both to the ethics commissioner and the RCMP, that it was a decision of the clerk of the privy council, even if true, will not wash. The clerk works for the prime minister, not the other way around. Whatever power the prime minister chooses to delegate he can also choose to take back. The prime minister, in any event, long ago undermined any principled defence of his position by his readiness to go public with his side of the same conversations. It is no part of the doctrine of cabinet confidentiality that it should be strictly applied to material that might incriminate government officials, but may be relaxed where it shows them in a better light. I say all this in the vain hope that the question will be considered on its merits, and not merely as a matter of optics, or polling, or tactics. We have an unfortunate tendency in our trade to cover the campaign, rather than the election — who’s up, who’s down, how the parties are or should be positioning themselves on a given issue, as opposed to what’s right, what’s wrong, and which party’s position is closest to the truth. Cabinet confidentiality is an important principle. But it is not as important as the rule of law But the issues involved in the SNC-Lavalin affair are too important to be treated so flippantly. This isn’t about whether to raise or lower taxes or some other question of policy on which people of goodwill can differ, but whether we are to have an impartial system of justice, or one in which powerful corporations can wriggle out of prosecution by lobbying the right politicians. It is beyond dispute that, at the very least, the prime minister and his officials pressured the former attorney general to instruct the director of public prosecutions to settle out of court with SNC-Lavalin, a process known as a remediation agreement, rather than prosecute it on charges of fraud and corruption. While it is up to the public to decide how much weight to attach to this in their voting calculus, they should be allowed to do so in possession of all of the facts. If the behaviour in question was not merely a violation, as the ethics commissioner found, of the principle of prosecutorial independence and section 9 of the federal Conflict of Interest Act, but a criminal offence, that is surely relevant information. And if that information has been kept from the public by the spurious invocation of cabinet confidentiality — by, in short, a cover-up — that takes the whole business into darker territory yet. Read more: National Post
But thousands of idiots will still be voting for the corrupt liberal A good interview to add to it. ElbowRiver28 Canadian deserve to know what huge financial reward was in store for Trudeau was worth him risking his reputation and political future over this mess acoyne ”If the behaviour in question was ... a criminal offence, that is surely relevant information. And if [it] has been kept from the public by the spurious invocation of cabinet confidentiality — by, in short, a cover-up — that takes the whole business into darker territory yet.”
Not his intelligence.😂 The Conservatives can't run on their economic or ethic record, and Trudeau's record is much better, so all they have is trying to make a mountain out of the SNC molehill. We're tired of hearing about it. Aside from the SNC CORRUPTION SCANDAL. He hides everything. He’s hiding something dark and sinister. There’s no other explanation for it.
If you vote in the next election, please ChooseForward. This will ensure the survival of the manilla envelope species as they migrate under numerous tables (filled with your tax dollars) from one Liberal elitist to another. Manilla envelopes need your support. Your 100% right
10/3 podcast: John Ivison explains why Andrew Scheer needs a JFK momentPrime Minister Justin Trudeau is almost at the end of his four-year mandate.And as Canadians get set to head to the polls, there are lots of unanswered questions about how this… How did the past JFK “moments” work out? Who comes up with terrible ideas? Andrew Scheer and JFK should never be in the same sentence.
This Trudeau dude looks demonic. acoyne “Nothing to see here”. - Christy Clark acoyne great article. The difference is with Duffy (whose 'crime' was minor in comparison yet fully investigated) the MSM was all over it every day. For JT possible obstruction of justice, a very serious issue, you are one of the few who raise it. Most are more concerned with abortion.
Please move on to important matters for Canadians.. This story is not it.. cdnpoli Hiding something or is this just not an issue? Something the Conservatives and people like you keep alive. I cannot find a thing wrong with the situation except that someone wasn't doing her job! reicurran he's hiding his corruption. SNCLavalinScandal ObstructionOfJustice CanadaVotes cdnpoli
This whole subject has become nothing but petty. Can Canada's media please grow up and leave petty aside? We have really important issues to talk about and think about and we'd better damn well do it quickly. Justin can speak to it tonight at the debate in Toronto 0H Wait Trudeau's empty chair acoyne Great article. It would behoove the rest of the media to read and inwardly digest. CBCKatie RosieBarton VassyKapelos mercedes DonMartinCTV
Don’t count out Andrew Yang, the populist technocrat who wants to be president - Macleans.caYang and his outsized ideas have electrified the Democrats’ presidential nomination race, making him the X-factor in a fast-narrowing field I really enjoyed this piece. The author is fair and has a way with words that I aspire to. Creative, entertaining, my brain was engaged the whole time. Yang across the ballot!
We have seen this show before with the same two actors in GMButts and Katie Telford puppeteering McGuinty in the Ont gas plant scandal.. Deny Deny Deny. Finally the police close in and they wipe clean harddrives. You cannot trust Trudeau and those crooks. onpoli cdnpoli acoyne This is disquieting. The govt’s actions on this file have always struck me as the normal workings of government, neither wrong nor unlawful. The AG’s conduct has always appeared bizarre. But seemingly arbitrary barriers to the RCMP’s examination cast a shadow on it all.
JustinTrudeau took a page straight out of realDonaldTrump ‘s playbook and then took it a step further. Who’s “trump lite” now? TrumpliteTrudeau TrumplikeTrudeau TeflonTrudeau TrudeauCorruption TrudeauMustGo WhatsTrudeauHiding LavScam SNCLavalinScandal blocked cdnpoli Free the nine ! The ethics commissioner reported last month that nine witnesses with evidence relevant to his inquiry had been kept silent by the same restriction.
an amoral crime and then the coverup..evil And the question of who you are trying to knock down is being answered by your inability to hide your bias. Great journalism? Yawn. Blah blah blah acoyne TarekFatah
With Parliament, the Ethics Commissioner and now the RCMP frustrated, Wilson-Raybould and Philpott must speak their truthWe have to know what Justin Trudeau is hiding from Parliament, the Ethics Commissioner, the police and us – we have to know whether we can trust him. globepolitics Old news. Tell us about how JWR wasted $145,000 in travel on her lobbyist husband. globepolitics Yawn globepolitics They should have been loyal to the Liberal Party of Canada and respected the people who allowed them the opportunity to serve them. These politicians are not heroes.
Get rid of Trudeau. He is a self centred piece of marde. Canadians must not vote for this creep with their feet again cat least Scheer has integrity.. not like Trudeau who never had a shred ...selfish to the core. DUMP THE LIBERALS...! JukeBoxHearo So much for open transparency. Had this election promise been kept, the gov't wouldn't have taken the path it did. Now it'll live under the shadow of conspiracy forever.
Mr. Emperor's New Clothes. acoyne Nor should it. Surely Canadians don't want to do the dumb as dump trucks amerikan thing & knowingly elect a lying sociopathic criminal con man twice! TarekFatah Call me a dreamer, but maybe it’s some ethics.🤞🏽 Right wing acoyne - smelly old man - has been flogging this dead horse for a while. I suspect he has Alzheimer’s.
This guy can only run for so long. Certainly explains his reluctance to attend the debates. He will be crucified before they even get to talking policy. TrudeauMustGoToJail cdnpoli PPC2019 PPC MaximeBernier LetMaxSpeak acoyne I say Newsworld should make this their first ever game show: 'What Is Trudeau Hiding Now?'
acoyne because my masters told me to make it not go away, despite it being utterly DONE as a story
Tuxedo Royale closing during 'financial restructuring'Ont.-based formalwear retailer Tuxedo Royale is closing ‘indefinitely’ and will not issue refunds as it goes through a financial restructuring, a spokesperson said. So we were supposed to received 6 suits from TuxedoRoyale tonight. For my wedding that is in THREE DAYS. Our wedding is in a month. The groomsmen lost their deposits and two of them paid in full and lost all their money. We had to rush out to Moores to place a last minute order. Garbage company should be ashamed of themselves. Myself and my partner are one of the unfortunate customers this affected. We spoke to their head office yesterday confirming everything and telling us to come in today for final fitting. We have paid for all suits lost the money and are getting married this weekend.
Because you’re hoping to hide the fact that Scheer is hiding his actual plan and motives You can start by leading by example... You’ve made too many excuses for and have deflected to often for JustinTrudeau and the LPC on CBCTheNational powerpanel... You have followed the rest of your peers in targeting AndrewScheer disappointed
Says the newspaper proclaiming it is right wing bias forgoing its commitment to journalism. Pretty sure we're not going to vote for Scheer, though. Voters seem not to care about ethics anymore, unless the candidate is not Conservative. acoyne When you read a real newspaper like globeandmail people get informed. I will roughly quote what the former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson said. There is not a damn thing the RCMP can do about it. So suck it up.
Says the newspaper proclaiming that it has a right wing bias forgoing its commitment to journalism. charlesadler Says the newspaper that has proclaimed that it has a right wing bias forgoing any commitment to journalism whatsoever. acoyne I think an under-appreciated part of this story is that it is a slippery slope to interfere in a prosecution to end it but what is worse is interfering to get someone prosecuted. Arguably that is what PMJT did in Adm Nornan's case. That is really dangerous.
‘Not a good mix’: Taber, Alberta, debates allowing horses downtown. Decides it isn’t the best idea‘Are you really going to ride your horse through a downtown street to the Tim Hortons to get your coffee? No, probably not’ Lol, we even allow them TimHortons drive thru in TownofCochrane. westernheritage
I am certainly not going to forget and my vote is the only one I have any control over He's obviously guilty. Anyone who constantly wears brown shoes no matter the suit colour is suspect. This whole thing sucks. I think it is driven by the ridiculous levels of arrogance that all (almost all) public officials now seem to possess. That, and the lack of ethics which is again demonstrated by almost all politicians these days./1
Wanna bet Are you angry that the RCMP are not using force including arresting any party to gain all documentation they need for their investigation into SCN? rcmpgrcpolice (Retweet for more accurate response) charlesadler How about what the Cons are not touting
Canadian federal election officially underway, voters head to polls on Oct. 21 Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie paid a visit to the Governor General as the 2019 federal election campaign formally kicks off. elxn43 cdnpoli READ MORE: to Fingers crossed that this Will be Trudeau's Last visit to the Governor General in the Capacity of Leader of Canada... 680CJOB 1 Month RCMP TeamJackwagon 🤡 BecauseIts a GongShow SNCNormanEthicsAtwalKhadrBoyleISISIran TrudeauJr PeterPanPM Sockboy UsefulIdiot2TheWorld PeopleKind MagicKingdom Kinda like a walk of shame.