Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rejected the official oppositions request to resign while an RCMP investigation occurs into the government’s alleged pressuring of the former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.
That decision selfishly taken by the PM is a serious problem for our democracy, our faith in our institutions, and our standing on the world stage.
According to the statement released by Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer:
“The testimony Canadians have just heard from the former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould tells the story of a Prime Minister who has lost the moral authority to govern. A Prime Minister who allows his partisan political motivations to overrule his duty to uphold the rule of law. A Prime Minister who doesn’t know where the Liberal Party ends and where the Government of Canada begins. And a Prime Minister who has allowed a systemic culture of corruption to take root in his office and those of his most senior cabinet and public service colleagues.Andrew Scheer
“Before Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, Canadians knew Justin Trudeau had engineered an unwanted, sustained, and co-ordinated attempt to get Ms. Wilson-Raybould to change her mind and stop the criminal trial of SNC-Lavalin. Today, thanks to Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, we now know just how intense those efforts were: ten meetings and ten phone calls involving eleven senior government officials relentlessly targeting Ms. Wilson-Raybould over a four month period – with the sole objective of bullying her into bending the law to benefit a well-connected corporation.Andrew Scheer
The NDP leader has been more lukewarm, but he too has
Perhaps most interesting though, according to Jody Wilson-Raybould, much like the Saturday Night Massacre which led to the downfall of Nixon, the Liberals here were incentivized by the need to protect their re-election chances in key Quebec ridings, such as the riding of the Prime Minister in Montreal.
The allegations of multiple incidents of pressure from the PMO, the PM, and finance minister to protect a Liberal connected firm which in the past has broken election laws to donate to the Liberal party from criminal prosecution is outrageous.
It is therefore not surprising that five former Attorney Generals have signed a letter urging an RCMP investigation into the matter, whil citizens have begun to call for a resignation.
Andrew Coyne perhaps broke down the sentiment felt by many best in his article for the National Post, “for those in power to enable law-breaking by others is every bit as much of an assault on the rule of law as if they had broken the laws themselves.”
That is just the beginning.
The idea that this pressure was done to protect the Liberal government’s re-election in Quebec is nation-shattering. Of course, it now makes sense why more Albertans want to separate than Quebecors, the PM appears to be willing to potentially break the law to keep 3000 jobs in Quebec(9000 nationally) but does nothing when B.C. stands in the way of pipeline development.
Even if the B.C. governments stance make largely no sense when put into perspective the other projects they do support such as the carbon producing LNG project as well as the potentially environmentally damaging B.C ferries. In the case of SNC a company which spent $30,000 on prostitutes for for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son? It is worth manipulating the media and losing an Attorney General over.
I can’t help but imagine many in Canada are currently wondering to themselves, if the Prime Minister represents the national interest, or if instead, he has decided to become the Prime Minister of Quebec. The one province to have magically been provided with a reduced immigration rate, even as the Trudeau government campaigns on the competitive advantages of expanded immigration for every other region.
All of that is extremely worrying, not just for Canadian news outlets, but now even in the global press. The New York Post published the following as Editorial, Canada’s ‘anti-Trump’ doesn’t look so pretty anymore, while the Washington Post published, Canada is not the world’s ‘moral leader.’ Just look at our newest scandal.
The potential blow-back does not stop there. The allegations against the Trudeau government directly place them in sight of China for having a politicized judicial system, precisely when the nation faces serious diplomatic strain in its relationship with the nation due to the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
China has according to the CBC, already invoked the “SNC-Lavalin controversy to advocate for Huawei exec’s release.”
Looks like Canada’s back on the world stage!
While pundits, politicians, and news sites are an important part of the discussion, the most important are the Canadian people.
Their engagement level and over-all reactions are the
For the most part, only a caucus push forced by grass roots members will force a quick response.
How do Canadians feel about the SNC-Lavalin Affair?
While there has been no legitimate and verified polling has been done on how Canadians feel about a potential Trudeau resignation, there are a few interesting points of data available.
Firstly, the overall support for the Liberal party has significantly dipped poll after poll during the SNC affair.
According to a recent Angus Poll. the Liberals have fallen to a low of 31% while the Conservatives have edged towards 38%.
That kind of shift has not been seen(outside of outlier polls) since the days before Mr. Trudeau’s nomination victory. Secondly, we can look at online polls done on large non-partisan websites.
One of these is the following Yahoo News poll which found out of 26,000 online voters 70% wanted the PM to resign. Yahoo News is by no means a polling organization, but the views of their readership could be relative to the country. Lastly, we can look at the closest official polling which exists around the SNC-Lavalin topic. According to a Forum Research poll, a majority (57%) of individuals who have heard about the SNC-Lavalin affair had a worsened outlook on the PM. Interestingly to 36% of voters it had no affect.
It would not be strange to see these kinds numbers considering that Conservatives and NDP members overwhelmingly oppose the scandal, while most Liberals continue to blindingly support their leader.
Now here is the good news for the Liberal party. If the Prime Minister resigns it could still very well be possible for another Liberal MP such as Jody Wilson-Raybould to win the 2019 election.
The 2015 Sunny Ways coalition may be bruised, but it is still the largest group of active voters within the country.
With the right potentially split, and the NDP literally a hollow shell of itself, a Liberal party led by someone other than the PM could very well still win. But only if the Prime Minister does the right thing and resigns providing enough time for a new leader to salvage this government and fight in a free and fair election.
For that to happen though, the PM must make a hard but needed choice.
For the good of his party, our institutions, and the nation’s global standing the Prime Minister should resign. If not this,
Canadians should not be governed by those who have lost the confidence of the electorate.
What do you think? Could this scandal end the Trudeau government?
Join the conversation by commenting below!