Mar. 13, 2021

The cancer of elitist privilege starts at the top

Murray Brewster of CBC News reports that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged Wednesday his office was made aware three years ago of misconduct allegations against the country's former top military commander that were raised by then-ombudsman Gary Walbourne.

     Trudeau also told the House of Commons he was not personally aware of them until they were raised in the media last month. Full Report.


The PMO ignoring allegations of misconduct is consistent with the series of scandals that have branded Trudeau and his government as amoral and unethical.
A conscientious government would have ordered investigators to verify the complaint or report that it was not substantiated. For decades, people in power have operated on the basis that if those under their command do not step up and file formal complaints, there is nothing to investigate. The same people have treated complainants as undesirable whiners and ended their careers in the civil service, military or police. That creates toxic work environments where bullies and sexual predators flourish.
Employees who are not interested in clawing their way up the power ladder and prefer to do the job they were hired for have no recourse when bullied or harassed. A healthy workplace requires that employees follow the orders of their superiors balanced with protection from bullies and predators.
Employees need to have independent investigations units to turn to with stringent legislation protecting them from retribution for filing a complaint. The legislation must also include penalties for filing false, frivolous or vengeance complaints to curb misuse by power ladder climbers.
Trudeau and his cabinet cannot preside over improvements in toxic civil service, RCMP and military institutions when they lack a moral compass and engage in the same activities with the same mindset. The cancer of elitist privilege starts at the top.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan contends that he cannot investigate allegations but does not indicate why he has not asked the Solicitor General to have the completely independent Public Prosecutions Branch investigate allegations of misconduct by military brass.    
Leadership entails employing compassion, empathy and the rigours of equality and fair play for those led. Those attributes are lacking in our governments today and not just at the federal level.