May. 31, 2019

With all the talk of Impeachment in the U.S. I got to thinking. If the U.S. Constitution applied here, would our dear Princeling be in danger of beingimpeached?

Consider:

A. Breaking the Law Four times  

The Trudeau Report made under The Conflict of Interest Act 

And The Conflict of Interest Code for members of the House of Commons

Mary Dawson, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's verdict, December 20, 2017.

“For the reasons set out above, I find that Mr. Trudeau was in contravention of section 11 of the Act when members of his family accepted the Aga Khan’s gift of hospitality and the use of his private island in March, 2016 and when he and his family accepted the Aga Khan’s gift of hospitality in December, 2016.”

"As set out above, I determined that Mr. Trudeau had a number of official dealings relating to the Aga Khan and his institutions where he was exercising an official power, duty or function. I also determined that he was provided with an opportunity to improperly further the private interests of the Global Centre for Pluralism on two occasions in May, 2016 during which discussions involved the outstanding $15-million grant to the endowment fund of the Global Centre for Pluralism and should have recused himself from those discussions."

 I find that Mr. Trudeau contravened section 21 of the Act when he failed to recuse himself on two occasions in May, 2016.’

 “For these reasons, I find that Mr. Trudeau failed to meet the general duty set out in section 5 of the Act.’

 “For the reasons stated above, I find that Mr. Trudeau contravened section 12 of the Act when he and his family accepted travel on the Aga Khan’s helicopter in December, 2016 and when his family accepted travel on the non-commercial chartered aircraft arranged by the Aga Khan in March, 2016."

The Global Centre for Pluralism is an independent, charitable organization founded in Ottawa by Aga Khan in partnership with the Government of Canada, the Inspired by Canada’s experience as a diverse and inclusive country, the Centre was created to advance positive responses to the challenge of living peacefully and productively together in diverse societies.

B. Obstruction of Justice 

Attempting to interfere the normal course of justice involving the Independent Prosecution Service of our Justice System. 

Testimony of Judy Wilson Raybould, former Attorney General of Canada, before the House of Commons Committee 

 House of Commons Committee February 27, 2019

 “For a period of approximately four months, between September and December, 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a deferred prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin.

These events involved 11 people, excluding myself and my political staff, from the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council Office and the office of the Minister of Finance. This included in-person conversations, telephone calls, emails and text messages. There were approximately 10 phone calls and 10 meetings specifically about SNC, and I and/or my staff were a part of these meetings.’

The clause in the U.S. Constitution on impeachment refers to “crimes and misdemeanours’ and it is not further defined. 

Section 4. Impeachment

"The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Given that today many Democrats, you know Liberals like our Princeling, talk about actions that violate the “public trust”as being ones that qualify as high crimes and misdemeanours, it is entirely possible that our PM would face impeachment proceedings if U.S. law was applicable. 

P.S. Additionally, the abuse of the Parliamentary system by deliberately shutting down further Parliamentary Committee Hearings on the SNC Lavalin scandal would possibly also qualify as a violation of the public’s trust.  

 

May. 30, 2019
May. 29, 2019

Many of us were aware that the knives would be out for Jody Wilson Raybould as soon she exposed the efforts of the law breaking (Conflict of Interest Act) Prime Minister and Minister of Justice to obstruct the normal course of justice by trying to interfere in the independent Public Prosecutorial Service. And when it happened we all heard about the nasty character of Ms Raybould. Of course, that wasn’t enough: the Parliamentary Committee was shut down by the Liberal governing party from hearing more about the scandal.

But the swamp is unrelenting. Now we have once-respected Andrew Cohen, professor of journalism and continuing journalist, spreading his partisan venom across the mainstream media, enhancing and making legitimate a seriously-flawed governance system within the Federal Government. In a piece carried by the Ottawa citizen and reprinted in the St. John’s Telegram (no doubt other newspapers) Cohen, without producing a shred of evidence, proceeds to undermine the character of Raybould and Jane Philpott, another Minister who resigned from the Government over the same matter.

Apparently there is no such thing as principle anymore just going along with the consensus, no matter what. 

Note the snide sarcasm of this quote from Cohen: "Expelled by the Liberals, they revealed their political future Monday with a touch of theatre. They held separate news conferences in their ridings, where they both wore white. As it happens, that’s the colour of the smoke sent up the chimney of the Vatican when the College of Cardinals announces a new pope."

Or describing Raybould: “When things did not go her way as minister of justice, she sulked, simmered, walked and then talked. She proclaims herself a truth-teller, as if her truth were the only one.”

And describing Philpott:, ”Yet, she too” did not always play well with her colleagues in cabinet, whom she dismissed and disdained and still does.”

But this is all based on rumour and innuendo perpetrated by former colleagues who must now toe the line to remain comfortably in their cushy jobs. No evidence, the cornerstone of good journalism, I had been led to believe.

And then showing his blatantly Liberal partisan ‘shirt’, Cohen declares:

“ – one of the western world’s last remaining progressive governments, referring to the Canadian Liberal Government whose leaders break the Conflict Of Interest Act, who break their promise of eliminating deficits but rather pile up billions in deficits each year, who have driven billions of dollars of resource investment from our country, and whose environmental bonafides are so conflicted that the Paris Environmental Agreement and Trans Mountain Pipeline stand “side by side,” billions of dollars later.

There’s objectivity for you. No doubt taught with vigor by Professor Cohen!

And then there is this: “which were over “a scandal” without money and criminality but an unfortunate difference of opinion and a misreading of temperament.”

Can you believe this? And from an award winning journalist!

Were not many of the employees of SNC Lavalin encouraged to contribute money to the Liberal Party Of Canada, and many did? Was not SNC Lavalin’s wholly owned subsidiary banned by the World Bank from being involved with Bank financed projects for ten years because the subsidiary was engaged in unethical, illegal practises ? Did not the Chilean Government Mining Company cancel a contract with SNC Lavalin over quality and time? Are not charges pending against SNC Lavalin regarding activities in Libya? Was not SNC Lavalin trying to minimize these charges which was what led to the Raybould/Philpott resignations in the first place?

This is only a difference of opinion and misreading of temperament?? Whew! Wow!

Cohen even mentions it being a managerial matter made into a moral one – “making a moral case out of a managerial one.”

Is this for real ? The attempt by the PM’s office and the Minister of Finance Office to interfere in the decision making of the independent Prosecutorial Service of Canada is a managerial matter, a matter of temperament?

It is, I submit, a matter of principle – that our Prosecutorial Service is beyond politics and political interference.

Is the rule of law now subservient to a partisan opinion concerning an alleged progressive Government?

Does the shutting down of debate in a Parliamentary Committee not count for something ? 

Does the PM and Minister of Finance breaking the law not count for something? 

To what condition has our country fallen when political interference in our independent justice system, the improper running of our Parliament, law breaking of our government leaders become only a difference of opinion, a managerial matter, a matter of temperament, subservient to and bowing on the altar of one person’s progressive vision of our nation?

Here is Professor Cohen’s full article:


Wilson-Raybould and Philpott begin their journey to obscurity

Ottawa Citizen (letters@ottawacitizen.com)

Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, Our Ladies of Lavalin, have now written the coda to their long-running personal psychodrama, which, single-handedly, is strangling this government.

Expelled by the Liberals, they revealed their political future Monday with a touch of theatre. They held separate news conferences in their ridings, where they both wore white. As it happens, that’s the colour of the smoke sent up the chimney of the Vatican when the College of Cardinals announces a new pope.

No papal coronation here, just veneration of Saint Jody and Saint Jane. They will run for re-election as independents, and with that, they will sanctify and save our politics.
The two were courted by the Greens and considered joining them. Had they aligned themselves with Elizabeth May, they would have immediately doubled her small caucus and given the party two star candidates in the fall election.

But they rejected the Greens and the New Democrats, too. So Philpott and Wilson-Raybould will not be wearing green, orange or red this year. Just white, which they say is the colour of independents — and purists, too.
As Wilson-Raybould says, affiliation is not for her. “I know who I am, ” she says. “I am not a party person.”
No, she isn’t. Not much interest here in brokering interests or forging consensus, which is what parties do. When things did not go her way as minister of justice, she sulked, simmered, walked and then talked. She proclaims herself a truth-teller, as if her truth were the only one.

With a towering self-confidence, she vows to continue to tell her truth as an independent. Curiously, she was willing to withhold it as long as she was minister of justice. She resigned only when she was demoted, demonstrating that her truth was tied to her ambition.

Another way of putting it: Jody Wilson-Raybould is a narcissist, supremely confident of her instincts, assured of her judgment and persuasive enough to bring along a sympathetic Philpott.

It mattered to neither the impact of their resignations, which were over “a scandal” without money and criminality but an unfortunate difference of opinion and a misreading of temperament. When Wilson-Raybould could not win the argument, she decamped, making a moral case out of a managerial one. That you can’t always get what you want, it seemed, never stopped her. The Rolling Stones know better, as do people in every walk of life who make compromises every day because they have a larger view of things.
Wilson-Raybould’s departure was cheered in the legal community, which saw her as a weak minister with a thin résumé. She is no loss to cabinet.

Philpott, her soulmate, is. She brought talent to her portfolios. Yet, she too, did not always play well with her colleagues in cabinet, whom she dismissed and disdained and still does.

Whatever their complaint, though, it pales beside the survival of one of the western world’s last remaining progressive governments, whatever its flaws and failures. In calling into question the future of this government — in elevating their lament to a single point of principle — they moved their own private motion of non-confidence in the government and tried to bring it down. Which is why the Liberals expelled them.

If the Conservatives are elected, they will care little about Indigenous issues, gender parity, a pollution tax, public broadcasting, pharmacare and much else championed by both Philpott and Wilson-Raybould as members of the government.

No one will remember SNC Lavalin in a year or two, nor this pair of voices of conscience. Both are less likely to win their seats than split the vote and hand them to the Conservatives. Well done, sisters.

If, however, they do return to Parliament, there they will sit in the corner, far from the action, without party, platform or power. There they will blow their plywood trumpets and watch Andrew Scheer dismantle — see Jason Kenney’s “summer of repeal” — their legacy, piece by piece.
It will be an exquisite agony, entirely self-inflicted, as our two saints march briskly from here to obscurity.

Andrew Cohen is a journalist, professor and author of Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019’

 

May. 27, 2019

Global News broke the story of our new MP (sworn in today, Nanaimo Ladysmith riding, Vancouver Island) and his questionable comments concerning the facts of 9/11 and his apparent association with the 9/11 truth movement. That movement as Global describes it:

"Supporters of the 9/11 truth movement dispute the commonly-accepted account that Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airliners and crashed them into the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Centre towers, which collapsed as a result of those crashes."

Paul Manly says he is not involved with such movements but maintains that there is a lot of conspiracy theories floating about. He actually did interviews with a conspiracy theorist in 2007 and 2011, according to Global. 

Manly maintains that such stories about him are coming out now to distract people’ attention from the big issue "climate change".

He says according to Global: "They are probably trying to create a distraction, and probably trying to create a distraction from what is really important, which is climate change,” Manly said.

Isn’t that something? 

T'is all the fault of climate change. That nasty climate change. It's responsible for just about everything that goes on these days. From cold to warm, to floods to tornados and hurricanes to forest fires, you name it. And now anyone who raises questions about our new MP’s association and comments of the past is just trying to ignore climate change. As if thousands of years of natural activity suddenly swept upon our consciousness.

Poor "climate change". It's really getting a bad rap. Even Nanaimo City Council is all over it declaring a Climate Emergency.

Shudder, shudder. Should I walk the parks, the harbour promenade, drive the streets? This is more than a micro aggression!

Do I hear the sirens in the distance?

We welcome readers' comments – editor@nanaimonet.com

May. 25, 2019

It is an ironic twist of our times that the will of the people is being constantly opposed. 

By whom? Well, for want of other words: the elite, the entrenched, the swamp, those who feel entitled. 

Example A: The USA. 
Has anyone seen in their life time more attempts to unseat a sitting, duly-elected President? From the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, to the Democratic Party to many lower courts. Of course, that is not to say Trump is a saint. Far from it. He has made many mistakes. But it is to say that often what the people voted for, in person and policy is being thwarted. Need one look further than the two-year $35 million Mueller Investigation effort.

Example B The United Kingdom
The people voted to leave the European Union. Yet, the Prime Minister and her minions have spent all their time trying to forge a deal with the EU which contradicts that for which the people voted. Finally, the Prime Minister had to resign as the people’s Parliament rejected her fake deals.

Example C The United Nations
Almost weekly we find the United Nations Human Rights Committee singling out one nation for condemnation regarding human rights and hardly says a thing about the excessive human rights violations of its own members. This is in contravention of all the principles that the UN stands for and for which a majority of nations support.

Example D Canada
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance broke the conflict of interest law and were fined $200 and $100 respectively, a penalty hardly fitting the crime. The Prime Minister's office attempted to obstruct the normal course of justice in the Department of the Attorney General. The Parliamentary Committee shut down debate and further hearings on the matter. These actions violate the principles on which the nation was built. There has been no effective accountability. Most Canadians oppose these actions.

Example E Australia
The Government of Australia attempted to impose an environmental program that was opposed by most Australians. Thankfully, an election saw that Government driven from office and the will of the people finally restored. Subsequently, a number of State Governments like Queensland, who were also thwarting the will of the people, have had to amend their programs and permit resource development to proceed.

Example F France
The Government of France attempted to enact a program that most citizens of France opposed. The yellow shirt movement arose to give tangible evidence to that opposition. The Government has had to amend its program.

What is most disturbing is that citizens have had to rise up to assert what in many cases had already been an abundantly clear policy of what the people wanted. The great fear that is unfolding, as Western Europe and the UN demonstrate, is that the elites, entrenched forces and mainstream press are often succeeding in thwarting the will of the people by massaging their unsupported efforts, disguising what is really happening and thereby undermining the will of the people.

It is no accident, therefore, that Freedom House has recorded 13 consecutive years of decline in political rights and civil liberties in the world. Sixty eight countries saw a decline with only 50 countries seeing an improvement.

With more and more unelected bureaucracies deciding important issues and hence dominating the public square, citizens have been forced to yellow vest tactics to be heard.

The hard fought freedoms and rights of the last few centuries are now being undermined in Universities around the world which are succeeding in tearing down those people and ideas that have given the west its present prosperity and freedoms. 

Parliamentary democracy is a fragile phenomenon — and at present is taking a lot of water.

Your comments are welcome at editor@nanaimonet.com