As the SNC Lavalin saga has continued to rage for over two months now, we have come a long way from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s initial robotic and legalistic nothing-to-see-here denial.
But multiple departures from the veritable “who’s who” of elected, political and senior officials at the highest level of his Liberal government, both voluntary and otherwise, suggest that there is in fact very much something to see here after all.
If nothing else, this whole affair has exposed an application of the ethics of convenience by his supporters.
Only a matter of weeks ago, eons in political time, the Liberals were quick to deflect the question of whether or not the pressure Trudeau exerted on former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to SNC Lavalin was ethical, then awkwardly pivoting to suggesting that it wasn’t technically illegal.
To “direct” her would be illegal, but not “pressure” her, you see.
But now those same defenders of the Liberal faith are saying that while recording her conversation with Trudeau’s top bureaucrat, since resigned-in-shame Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, without his knowledge may not have been technically illegal, it wasn’t ethical.
So ethics are not a consideration when their virtuous leader is concerned, but are paramount above the rule of law when his authority is challenged, got it?
Neither are ethics apparently a factor when considering bailing out a Quebec-based Liberal party-donor who has been found guilty of bribery, corruption and campaign financing offences, but suddenly are the decisive factor in determining who maintains the confidence the ruling party caucus.
For however inconsistently applied, this Liberal approach to ethics lead to a lack of Liberal caucus confidence and ultimately Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s removal this week, along with her colleague Dr. Jane Philpott.
So where does Yukon MP Larry Bagnell stand on all of this?
Apparently in the front row, applauding Trudeau’s decision to expel these two uniquely-principled former Liberal cabinet ministers according to media footage of the caucus meeting where it was announced.
This despite the fact that he told local media he was “saddened” by their departure in follow up interviews.
Once again, Mr. Bagnell’s talk doesn’t match the walk.
Yukoners deserve representation in Ottawa that stands up for the rule of law, not leading the standing ovation for the expulsion of two brave women who dared speak truth to power.
Yukoners deserve better.
Jonas J. Smith
2019 Candidate – Yukon
Conservative Party of Canada