Aug. 15, 2019

Canada has crossed The Rubicon - we are a corrupt nation

With the release of the Ethics Commissioner’s report on Justin Trudeau and his actions concerning SNC Lavalin, and just as importantly, the reaction to it, Canada is now officially a corrupt nation.

Those who wish to argue this point, in and of itself, proves my point.

How else to interpret these recent events?

The report:

A. Clearly demonstrates that Justin Trudeau broke the law. This was not the first time. Trudeau broke the law four other times according to the Ethics Commissioner. Remember the visit to the tropical Island with his wealthy friend? Of course, it wasn’t his friend, he said. You just visit people on their tropical island at their expense because they are generous strangers, don’t you?

B. That contrary to Trudeau’s promises all the information was not provided to the Commissioner that he requested. Hence the country does not know the full story. No transparency here.

C. Trudeau is still in denial mode. In other words he believes he did nothing wrong. No apologies. He is entitled. The swamp in full colour!

D. The sheer nature of the nefarious enterprise of collusion with SNC Lavalin is greater as a result of this report than anyone had imagined. The meetings between Trudeau’s office and the lawyers for SNC Lavalin continued AFTER the Prosecution Service had made a decision.

These are very grave actions of commission: violating our law, obstruction of justice, withholding vital information, and denying wrong doing in the face of objective determination.

My headline referenced the words Canada and Nation.

That was deliberate. Because it is not just a corrupt federal government but many of the leadership of this nation seem to be enablers in what is happening.

Are the written press calling for Mr. Trudeau to resign?

Does one not think that a leader who breaks the law five times and colludes with a corrupt company, withholds information, should loose his job? Well not many it seems.

The written press have been rather soft: John Ibbiston says the people will decide, hardly taking a side on corruption. The Globe and Mail newspaper provides a timeline for all this SNC Lavalin stuff. Nothing more that I can find. John Ivison talks about that this shows Trudeau’s nasty side, nothing about the corrupt nature of it all. CTV talks of Trudeau breaking the Conflict of Interest Act. And so it goes. Of course, billion-dollar public subsidy CBC will squirm out some platitudes: Is Trudeau To Take Another Hit In the Polls? And just now, can you believe it, they are carrying a story on how the Ethics Commissioner and Trudeau differ regarding SNC Lavalin! Moral equivalency – the Ethics Commissioner on the same level with the PM who is a law breaker!

There might even be a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee to see whether the Committee should have a meeting on this affair. How bloody Canadian is that?

There is no consternation, no call for resignation in light of this corruption.

Of course, the written press has a $700 million fund to disperse compliments of this government. So how critical will they be? Hey, when you take the money you leave yourself open to be attacked, don’t you? And here is exhibit A . This print media is no longer objective; taking the money taints the whole enterprise.

Is there any national body that is calling for Trudeau to resign? Where are the universities, their Presidents — those paragons of virtue dispensing their wisdom to the multitudes — where is their progressivism now? Oh, but they are getting research grants from the federal government.

And the Provinces ? Last time I looked Five Provinces receive equalization from the federal government and Newfoundland and Labrador which technically does not receive equalization is nevertheless in serious financial difficulty. So one can’t count on many of them to say much. Of course, they all get billions of federal social transfers.

And even the Opposition is only asking for a Parliamentary Committee meeting. You know, the committee that was already shut down to stop anything more from being released on the SNC Lavalin Affair, the Liberals having the majority. So don’t hold your breath on that. The Liberals will find a way to finagle this until it is far off the front page, which it is almost the case already.

I get sick to my stomach when I read the Ethics report. Is this my country?

This corruption is treated like just another news story. Illegal behaviour at the highest levels of our federal government, no matter how bad, seems to find itself with that of the common place. It is entering our DNA it seems.

In rural Newfoundland many years ago I was a social worker. Early one summer morning I was walking on the town path near the beach. Just below, off the path, mending his nets was an aged fisherman. The sun was just peaking over the horizon. I shouted to the man: "Great morning, skipper?"

Replying he said: "Yes me son, she’s split right abroad."

And so is Canada, but it is late evening and the sun is going down.

Brian Peckford is a former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, living in retirement on Vancouver Island.