Sometimes, you need a post that has a little bit of everything, and that’s what we are here to illustrate today. This post will have it and I’m listing it all here for you so you know what to expect:
- Post text
- Featured image x 1
- Inline images x 2
- Embedded Brightcove video
- Embedded Youtube video via the custom_content_id plugin (which is not the right way and we will work on changing that)
- Read More link
- More from this Author list
It all seemed so unpromising as a narrative when the Globe and Mail broke the story five days ago. Attorney general resists pressure (“from whom?” an editor’s red grease pencil should have scrawled in the margin) to put pressure on obscure public agency, to use obscure provision in the Criminal Code, to forestall trial in a stale case of fraud and bribery. In Libya. In Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya.
Well…sure, I guess. In the absence of anything spicier in the dead of this deep-freeze winter, it would do. I mean, nobody should pressure the attorney general. Bribery may be the done thing in a formally designated rogue state, but it is unpleasant and should be avoided. But the whole affair seemed a little too complex for the payoff. All setup and no punchline.
Times have changed. Quickly. On Tuesday Jody Wilson-Raybould, already demoted from her position as minister of justice and attorney general to minister of veterans’ affairs before our story began, announced her resignation from Justin Trudeau’s cabinet altogether. She has hired a former Supreme Court justice, Thomas Cromwell, to advise her on what she can say next. Which suggests she’s inclined to say something. Which will be fun when it happens.
Justin Trudeau, whose position is that he has not contributed to the debate over SNC and the Public Prosecution Service at any point, spent half a day in seclusion, figuring out how to claim nothing much had happened. It was all reminiscent of the report from a previous ethics commissioner on one of Trudeau’s Christmas vacations, in which she was at pains to emphasize that a conversation with this Prime Minister is not, in the sense any normal person attaches to the term, a conversation, in that there is no decision made and, when you think about it, no actual public official present. Somewhere along the line we managed to make a Cheshire cat our head of government.
Everyone’s understandably focussing on Trudeau’s remark from Monday, when he said Wilson-Raybould’s continued presence in the cabinet should speak for itself. And as long as I can take that statement along with its corollary, I like it too.
But I find myself dwelling on another part of the same scrum, when he reported that, having checked with her, he could confirm he had given her no instructions on the SNC file. One assumes there’ll be more reporting on this matter from our Globe friends, but pending further information I have to say the claim is plausible. Faced with a Prime Minister who is reluctant to say anything in public, we have to concede that by Occam’s Razor, he may simply be saying nothing anywhere. And sometimes that’s even the right thing to say.
Now it’s time for a Gallery