MP Column in the Medicine Hat News, August 7, 2020
“Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive”
Published in 1808, Sir Walter Scott’s verse effectively describes our Prime Minister and the situation he has created.
How can one person – a leader of a great democracy no less – get into as many quagmires’ as Justin Trudeau? Is it intentional for attention? Does he just not think things through? Or, does he actually believe he can do whatever he chooses, without repercussions because of who he is? If his well-documented past misconduct is any indicator, evaporating no matter how grievous, I’m convinced of the latter.
The We Charity scandal however, rewarding friends and political backers with a taxpayer-funded $912-million grant project, of which they would be paid handsomely for their efforts to implement, crosses all ethical boundaries. The reciprocal connections between the WE organization and the Trudeau family so blatantly contravene Canada’s Conflict of Interest laws, even the most apolitical individual would realize the time-bomb of such a decision.
Over the past weeks much has been publicized about the WE scandal and Trudeau’s involvement, including how his fellow Liberals are brushing-off the conflict and pointing fingers of guilt away from their leader. Trudeau, along with multiple ministers and senior officials have testified before the Finance Committee examining what appears to be a clear picture of corruption at the highest levels of government. And who are the Liberals blaming? None other than the civil service personnel tasked with developing the paid volunteer program. How ridiculous! Bureaucrats follow direction. They do not sign-off on billion dollar programs. That’s the responsibility of elected officials.
An accurate statement made during testimony by many witnesses, including the prime minister, is that substantive government action was required during the pandemic. Yet, it was the Liberals who shutdown Parliament, deliberately curbing open dialogue and debate that would have put the best aid programming options to a parliamentary vote.
The Liberals ignored the fundamental element of dialogue and debate, which in the WE Charity case would have curtailed a foreseeable disaster before it ever gained ground, simply by acknowledging the connection between the organization, Trudeau and his family. The Liberals weren’t just blind to this fact, they deliberately ignored the obvious.
During the early stages of the health crisis the Liberals were forced to work with the Opposition parties to roll out financial aid. From the outset, many of the government’s funding proposals were impulsive, lacked forethought and details. It was the Conservatives who forced the Liberals to hammer out critical details before COVID-19 funding legislations came to a vote during emergency House of Commons sittings.
Democracy demands accountability. “When governments fear their people, there is liberty. When people fear their governments, there is tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson. Who are Liberal MP’s serving when they protect Trudeau’s image over being accountable to the people?
As Sir Scott aptly described – acts of dishonesty, lead to a domino effect of complications that eventually run out of control – evident with Trudeau and the WE scandal.