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Callous greed grows pious very fast. – Lillian Hellman

I once said cynically of a politician, “He’ll double cross that bridge when he comes to it.” — Oscar Levant

Frank Pelaschuk

While Trudeau was on the campaign trail he was very much like Donald Trump promising whatever he believed the audience before him at the time wanted to hear. The voters lapped it up. Almost a year into his mandate, he has kept a few of them going so far with one promise as to seem to be washing his hands of his role as Prime Minister of Canada.

The promises he did keep were easy because most Canadians supported them: welcoming over thirty thousand Syrian refugees; bringing back the long-form census; raising taxes on those making over two hundred thousand and lowering taxes for the those in the middle class; following through with the promise to set up an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women; allowing government scientists to speak; forming a committee to look into electoral reform; pulling Canada out of bombing missions against ISIS; and, because so patently unfair, prejudicial, offensive, and often ignored, the punitive Conservative mandatory victim levy which placed a greater burden on poor offenders than on those with money. These were good promises when made and good promises when kept. But they were also easy promises because so widely embraced.

But it’s the other promises, the big promises, the promises not kept, easy to make when one has no intention of keeping them or not on the public radar thus easily ignored or unnoticed when quietly dropped, that must be reckoned with. How faithful has he been to honouring those promises, the promises of more honesty, openness, and transparency?

Well, not very.

What is certain is this: On the big promises, the ones that really matter, Human Rights, climate change, the anti-terrorism bill, the disability pension for our vets, Trudeau has failed. He misled, lied and fudged offering examples aplenty of clear failures and a willingness to equivocate, to make excuses, to justify and to blame. While we are seeing many younger faces, we are subjected to the same-old same-old that caused the Liberals so much difficulty and left them in the political wilderness for almost ten years. Yes, many new and younger faces but all pros, already, at playing the game. We saw it then from the Liberals and we see it now from the Liberals: the shameless hubris and belief of entitlement. That it happened so quickly and so easily, this slippage into bad habits and behaviour is almost shocking. Almost. Watch Trudeau closely. When he walks, it is not confidence one notices but swagger, the strut of arrogance and smugness: Here I am, look at me.

It is not enough to look at him; one must see him, really see him.


Early in the Liberal mandate we saw signs of equivocation when it came to transparency and honesty. That was when the newly appointed Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould attended a fundraiser put on by a prominent law firm. She said that she attended as a Member of Parliament not as justice minister. That’s splitting hairs and they are not, they cannot be, mutually exclusive. That, notwithstanding Trudeau’s approval, was a clear breach of conflict of interest guidelines. It didn’t bother the justice minister and it didn’t bother Trudeau who merely shrugged it off. It bothered me. It should you.

We have a Minister of Environment, Catherine McKenna, who attended a climate conference in Paris who had no difficulty in claiming expenses for a professional photographer that cost Canadians over $6K. Press from around the world covered the event; even so, McKenna needed her own private photographer. Why? Because she could and on the public dime?

We have the health minister, Jane Philpott who several times attempted to stiff the public with expense claims, which, upon coming to light, were repaid. First it was $3700 for luxury limousines (she quibbled over the word “luxury”). Then she charged $520 for a pass to Air Canada executive lounges. And then $202 for a suitcase and $178 for a Nexus pass. I suspect she will keep on trying until she gets it right and no one notices or no longer cares.

We have Chrystia Freeland, International Trade Minister, who cancelled a government plane that was to take her home to make a detour on another plane to LA for an appearance on a TV show. That cost taxpayers almost $20K. While campaigning, she charged Canadians $500 for her grooming. A few years ago, Freeland wrote a book on plutocrats. Now she acts like one, another on the public dime.

And then we have the cost of relocating 49 government staffers for $1.1 million. Two staffers to the PMO cost a total of $220K for relocation expenses including “discretionary” costs. Both of the staffers, Gerald Butts and Katie Telford are personal friends with Trudeau. While both repaid some money, saying they did not feel comfortable with some of the claims to which they were entitled (if so, why make the claims and why the discomfort only when the expenses became public?). Trudeau’s attitude regarding these claims was one of justification and fingerpointing. They were allowed to make the claims and they were simply following the rules set up by Harper’s government. Besides, others did the same in the past. That was Trudeau’s response. That is the kind of response I expect of a man who has issues with ethics (for himself and his), a man all too willing to resort to legalese to justify questionable behaviour. If I can, why shouldn’t I? And why not for as much as I can and as often as I can?


During the Harper years, the Temporary Foreign Workers Program enraged Canadians when it was revealed that the government allowed foreign workers to be paid 15% less than Canadian workers, that 200 workers from China were granted permission to work a mine up north while Canadian miners were turned away because they couldn’t speak Mandarin, and that RBC had Canadian workers train foreign workers to do jobs that would then be exported overseas. The Liberals appeared incensed and the NDP really were. The Harper gang, bowing to public pressure, made changes promising to scale back the cap of low-income workers from 20 per cent to 10 per cent. Once in office as prime minister however, Trudeau ignored the Harper cap and kept the level of foreign workers to 20 per cent. In other words, Trudeau, as did Harper, is working with business. As if Canadian workers do not have enough to worry about than having the added burden of their own government working with Big Business to suppress their wages. That disturbs me deeply. It should you as well.

Remember veterans? Remember how Trudeau, riding the wave of support for better treatment of our vets, promised to reopen the nine offices closed by Harper and to return the life-long disability for vets and do away with the one-time lump sum payment? Well, the government has opened some offices and may open all though that is still unclear. What is not unclear, however, is how badly the Liberals betrayed vets with disabilities as a result of their service. Instead of reinstating the life long disability pension, the Trudeau welshers have simply increased the amount of the one-time lump sum payment. Once again veterans have experienced the bitter sting of betrayal by their own government. Liberals and their staffers pillage the coffers with outrageous expense claims and sorrowfully nickel and dime military men and women. Nice.

When Harper’s regime introduced Bill C-51, it was loudly condemned by almost every sector including the NDP, jurists, lawyers, scholars, activists and concerned citizens. The BC Civil Liberties Association points out the bill expands the definition of “terrorism”, it gives security agencies too much discretion, it “criminalizes speech acts that have no connection to acts of violence”, it will allow sharing of personal information with agencies having nothing to do with security (BCCLA, March 11, 2015). The Liberals supported the bill on the whole but expressed some concerns regarding certain aspects. But, in power, they are doing absolutely nothing. Well, not quite accurate. They are consulting with Canadians online. But the information offered and the questions asked are insufficient for uninformed respondents to give any other outcome but one that is skewed and likely to satisfy the Liberals, i.e., allow the bill to remain almost as Harper’s Conservatives envisioned it.

Should we be concerned that Canadians are asked to have input on the bill when experts in security and the law have denounced it? What does Joe or Jane Average know that those in the field don not? It’s insane. Trudeau and his government want lull Canadians into believing they are offering meaningful input and that they will be listened to. Not so. This is Trudeau’s away of absolving himself when the bill eventually creates real problems and it will. It’s not me, he can aver, it’s the citizens who made the final decision. He is a coward and certainly no leader.

Trudeau did promise to consult. And he has ad nauseam on almost everything one can imagine even when the public likely has little to no knowledge and experience regarding the issue at hand. That’s not governance, that’s abdication of responsibility.

But if Trudeau has proven himself shifty regarding some of his promises, he has also demonstrated he is as hypocritical as any other politician. He had, while campaigning, declared his desire to regain Canada’s seat on the UN Security Council. To that end, he made clear that Human Rights were a priority of his government. Well, that was an absolute load of rubbish, which he proved with his government’s signature completing the trade deal initiated by the Conservative government allowing for the export of light-armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. He not only went against UN but also Canadian regulations regarding international trade with Human Rights abusing nations. Saudi Arabia is among the world’s worst offenders.

When the Canadian Streit Group allowed for shipment of LAVs to Libya from its facilities in the Mideast, breaching an international embargo, the Liberal response from Global Affairs was that the vehicles, while manufactured in Canada, were shipped from the United Emirates “which is outside of Canada’s export-control jurisdiction” (The Globe and Mail, Steven Chase, April 5, 2016). Legalese again. Cowardly and dishonest. But when money is at stake, the Liberals are quite willing to place Human Rights at the back of the line for consideration “at another time”.

And then we have the environment.

Trudeau’s commitment to the environment and climate change seems about as steadfast as his commitment to Human Rights as demonstrated by his willingness to trade with rogue abusers such as Saudi Arabia and China.

Not only did Trudeau approve permits for the go-ahead of the Site C dam in northern British Columbia, he has also given the green light to the Pacific Northwest LNG export terminal off the BC coast at the mouth of the Skeena River. Yes, it will create jobs and will certainly go over big with Christy Clark the premier of British Columbia who grants private meetings to special interests provided they hold in their hands $10K, $20K, $30K and whose Liberal government will be facing an election during 2017. But, if the project creates jobs and helps another Liberal government get re-elected, it will also be a vast emitter of carbon waste thus seriously undermining Trudeau’s much vaunted commitment to reducing carbon emissions. The project, which will be operated by natural gas rather than electricity, will pose a huge risk for the salmon habitat and industries in the area.

Nothing like friends helping friends, eh.

There are folks out there who love Trudeau. Well, he’s personable, why not? The thing is, his behaviour and his acts suggest he’s a phoney. He’s bogus. Oh, yes, he’ll keep his undertakings on the small things but, when it comes to the big prize, getting re-elected, gaining power and keeping it, when it comes to entitlements and getting away with what one can, well, Trudeau is your man all the way. The Liberals, the profligate Liberals are back. And we are lapping it all up, the handsome prince mixing with the gushing public who are only interested in snapping selfies with his arm around them. They have met the prince and he has touched them. They do not think; they react. They stare at him with mouths gaping and lips drooling but, I suspect, failing to notice he has no clothes, that there is no there there. He is straw and air. Oh, it’s a beautiful chimera but reach out to touch it and – poof – it’s all air. Nothing.


But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. – Thomas Paine.


They that can give up essential liberties to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin



Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises; for never intending to go beyond promises, it costs nothing. – Edmund Burke

One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. – William Shakespeare

The fawning, sneaking, and flattering hypocrite, that will do or be anything, for his own advantage. –Edward Stillingfleet

Frank Pelaschuk

THE SELF(IE)-LOVER                                  

He strides effortlessly across the global stage equally at ease with royalty, world leaders and the hoi polloi clamouring around him. He smiles freely, a dazzling beacon, clasping hands with both of his suggesting warmth, sincerity, a depth of feeling that cannot be denied whether greeting the shakers and movers or the humble smitten citizen. He is generous and gracious with his time, not only with the media but also with the public, willing to pause with the minions and pose with them as they take selfies of themselves with this truly charming Canadian darling; occasionally, even more ingratiatingly, he will take the iPhone from them and snap the selfies himself. It’s endlessly entertaining and endlessly flattering for those who get to stand next to this great man, a moment that will be relived and recounted for the rest of their days and passed on to generations to come. And the images captured will be splashed on Facebook as validation of the moment when they, too, however humble, have been blessed, however briefly, by the touch of greatness. By such easy gestures, fans and votes can be won for life.

The wunderkind knows it, recognizes he’s blessed, that he’s destiny’s child; you can see it in his bearing, in the tilt of his head, the awareness of all awed eyes turned on him taking in his every move and every ear attentive to every utterance whether explaining quantum physics to reporters or performing pushups and a one-handed plank at the Invictus Games or doing the peacock pose on a table. Is there nothing Trudeau can’t do? No false modesty; it would be unbecoming and unnecessary. His youth, energy, intelligence, and family, the children adorable and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, almost as telegenic and popular as he, are embellishments adding to the charm.

But to what does this add? Not much, really.

Glad-handers and grandstanding are not unusual in politics. It’s well and good that young Justin stands in Parliament, as he did Wednesday, May 18, apologizing for Canada turning away the Komagata Maru loaded with Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus seeking to emigrate to Canada in 1914. It looks and sounds good and offers solace to those wanting to believe Trudeau really does care and is prepared to do things differently. But such gestures, fine as they are and even if sincere and well intended, are just gestures. It allows Trudeau to look good and will offer some solace to those feeling the need for such gestures. It will be another positive added to his CV, purely symbolic and going a way to assuage the guilt some might needlessly experience. Unfortunately, on that very same day, by his own foolish actions, all the goodwill Trudeau may have garnered from those with reservations might have been washed away by an unpleasant and incredible Parliamentary fiasco unheard of in recent Canadian memory and it is this episode that I suspect is truly reflective of the man and is as telling of him as the aloofness, duplicity, and controlling manner was of Conservative Stephen Harper.

On Tuesday, May 17, Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc made a move to strip opposition members of any ability to play the traditional role of opposition including delaying by various means the passage of any bill they may oppose. The move, Government Business No. 6 or simply Motion 6, sounds innocent enough but is without doubt one of the most dangerous and direct attacks against Canadian democracy. Trudeau’s Liberals sought to wrest decisions made by the Speaker that could forever alter how Parliament works. Harper began the anti-democratic initiatives in earnest long ago but, unlike the Liberals, only a few months in office, had never quite dared to commit to such a dangerous move that would absolutely immobilize the opposition. Government ministers and Parliamentary secretaries would now have the power to introduce, extend and/or adjourn debate, which would be considered immediately adopted on their say so only. The Speaker has been effectively sidelined and opposition members seriously limited in putting forth motions, such as happened Monday, May 16, when the NDP engineered a snap vote catching the Liberals flat-footed and scrambling. Motion 6, clearly a retaliatory response, would no longer allow such things to happen to future governments; government members would call all the shots. Then, on Wednesday, May 18, following the apology for the Komagata Maru incident, LeBlance moved to cut off debate on the physician-assisted dying bill, C-14. Members of the NDP party mingled on the floor of the House, hoping to delay the vote by preventing Conservative opposition whip Gordon Brown from taking his seat before the vote began. Incensed by this, Trudeau left his seat, forced his way through the NDP pack (some reports had him muttering, “Get out of my fucking way”), and grabbed Brown by the arm inadvertently slamming an elbow into the chest of NDP member Ruth Ellen Brosseau. He led Brown back to his seat and then, for some reason returned and went to the NDP side out of camera range evidently to apologize to the NDP member who had left the chamber shaken. Trudeau, in going back to his seat was confronted by Thomas Mulcair enraged that his member, accidently or not, had been struck by Trudeau. Nathan Cullen stepped between the two members and that was it, cooler heads prevailing. The time allocated vote for the physician-assisted dying bill, C-14, took place without Brosseau. Her vote would not have altered the outcome but that is not the point. Trudeau’s manhandling of Brown and the accidental blow to Brosseau and his foul language, if accurately reported, are revelatory reminiscent of childish rock stars who misbehave with the arrogance of the privileged. And Trudeau clearly believes himself among the privileged. Watch him in the House during question Period as he responds to questions he does not like; he is smug, dismissive and imperious. This is a man used to having his way on stage at all times, the sneer for foes, the excessive oozing charm for those he wishes to woo, the public out there. Unfortunately for him, he lost his cool May 18 and the public was treated to the ugly side of him with the stripping away of the apparently very thin veneer of civility and bonhomie. This was the narcissistic bully in action and convincing enough to demonstrate the Harper gang did not have a monopoly on offensive and anti-democratic behaviour. The damage is there but for how long and how much is really up to Trudeau though I suspect it will not be long lasting or significant. That the Conservatives and NDP milked it for all that it was worth is not surprising but that, too, was childish. Trudeau, wrong as he was, clearly had no intent or desire to elbow Brosseau. Public response was not surprising. For many, it was much ado about nothing. Among the imbecilic, Trudeau’s rating went even higher; he can do no wrong, anything is acceptable and forgivable. It should not be. Some have blamed the NDP for what happened, saying it was their impedance of Gordon Brown in hopes of delaying passage of C-14 that precipitated Trudeau’s rash act. There may be some truth to that. So what? It does nothing to absolve Trudeau. He should not have lost his temper. He should not have crossed the floor and grabbed Brown by the arm. You do not lay hands on other members of parliament. The opposition job is to act in the best interests of Canadians and if the government hamstrings it unfairly, then it is incumbent on the opposition to seek ways to do their job with the use of any reasonable tactic. It was childish yes, but Trudeau’s behaviour is at issue here. His was not the act of an adult, let alone an adult leading a nation, but of a spoiled individual used to having his way and who, when thwarted, responded in the only way he knew how: a display of temper. Trudeau supporters evidently see things less objectively just as Harper’s did when he abused his majority. In their responses to bad behaviour, even egregiously bad behaviour, supporters on both sides are not that much different being just as blind and stupid as most are who refuse to acknowledge the faults of those they love that they would condemn in those they do not. It’s a wilful blindness that does credit to no one. It cannot be defended nor should it be.

Now, Trudeau has apologized again and again for his actions admitting they were intolerable. Let us accept that. But let us also remember that brief crack in the façade allowing insight into his character that most have never seen before. That said, we should not lose sight of Motion 6. That should alarm every Canadian of every stripe. Harper showed the way when he slipped legislation into endless omnibus bills and created the so-called Fair Elections Act and when he curtailed debate time-and-time- again. Motion 6 virtually strips the opposition of all power to perform their duty. To their credit, May 19, the day after the Komagata Maru apology and the brouhaha, LeBlance announced the Liberals have withdrawn Motion 6. That was a good and right move. However, the Liberals did not grant more time for debate on the assisted dying bill, which the opposition and even some Liberal members find inadequate and contrary to the intent of the Supreme Court ruling. The Liberals insist the bill must be passed before the June 6 deadline imposed by the court. Unfortunately the genie is now loosed. Motion 6 is there for another time perhaps by this government or another; it will be used by someone sometime. It is not a good sign for the future and offers us another glimpse of Trudeau that is neither glorious nor good. The Trudeau the public saw May 18 was not the Trudeau they voted for October 19, 2015.

But if the episode was astonishing and ugly, its impact appears to have the same effect of titillating entertainment. It’s about style over substance and by god that Trudeau has plenty of style even playing the bad boy.


But they are clever these Liberals. They have clearly learned from the Harper crew doing just enough, sometimes even well, to allow diehard sceptics in a weak moment to concede they have done not a bad job.

Oh, he did well with the Syrian refugee crises and a few other things, mostly symbolic as his apology for the Komagata Maru incident but it’s in the big things that he fails. He has brought back the long form census. He has ended Canada’s bombing mission against ISIS. He has removed the muzzles from government scientists. He has created an advisory board of prominent citizens to recommend nominees to the Senate based on merit. These are good moves, no denying. But it’s the broken promises that really matter.

Where, for example, is the $3 billion over the next four years for better home and palliative care services? What have the Liberals done to reform the Access of Information Act to make information “open by default” as promised? When the Canadian Press sought the release of notes on moves to reform the Act, much of the material had been redacted. So much for openness.

For veterans, especially those with disabilities inflicted during the performance of their duties, the Liberal betrayal must be particularly bitter and painful. Left feeling bruised and abused by the Conservative party to whom they were naturally allied politically, the veterans saw in the campaigning pandering Trudeau the real possibility of a turnaround for them. Though he is young, they believed Trudeau smart and one who recognized and truly respected the contributions made by our military men and women particularly those who returned home broken in body and spirit. The veterans clearly believed the promise he would commit to them as those men and women committed to Canada. They bought the persona they saw before them, who could not, Trudeau standing before them, right palm tapping left breast, expression oozing sincerity. They knew he would reopen the nine veterans offices closed down by Harper because he said he would. They knew he would re-instate life-long disability pensions with an allocation of $300 million annually for support programs for the military because he said he would. They wanted to believe him; they wanted to give him a chance to prove himself. He did. They are still waiting for the offices to open. He did not re-instate the life-long disability pensions. Instead, he simply increased the one-time lump sum disability payment that Harper had put in place. Most galling of all is the Trudeau gang’s resumption of a BC Court of Appeals case to deny Afghan war veterans benefits for injured soldiers. How that betrayal must hurt! “The plaintiffs have argued in court that the government has a sacred obligation to its injured soldiers and that the lump-sum payment wounded veterans receive under the New Veterans Charter — as opposed to the pension that was previously offered to veterans before 2006 — is inadequate compensation, as they receive less money over the course of a lifetime” (John Paul Tasker, CBC News May 17, 2016). The government view is that no special obligation is owed to the vets. That is an extraordinary commentary from a regime promising more and better led by a man with a fondness for embracing everyone and tapping his right fingers over his heart as if to emphasis the depth of his empathy. Now, I realize, he’s just trying to determine where it is or wondering were he might have left his pen.

Trudeau is not a bad man but he is certainly no more admirable than Harper and there was nothing about Harper that I admired.

Trudeau fails when he justifies with excuses the Saudi light-armoured vehicle deal: the deal can’t be broken; it was a done deal by Harper; the Liberal’s were locked in; the world will punish us for breaking this deal. Trudeau fails himself as well as his supporters by such antics, revealing himself as a man of hollow convictions who is only eager to do the right thing – next time. Human rights? Oh, they matter, but not today, not when it can cost the loss of a $15 billion deal and 3,000 Canadian jobs. All that faux sincerity when he dwells upon human rights, the plight of our soldiers – it’s a joke, it’s phony. Trudeau is a showboat who finds it easier to follow through with the easy.

Trudeau fails, too, with bill C-267, the Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials bill by then Liberal Irwin Cotler. Referred to as Magnisky’s law for a Russian lawyer murdered in prison for exposing tax fraud by Russian officials, the bill, unanimously passed in 2015 was meant to tighten sanctions against Russia for abuses against its own citizens. The Conservatives under Harper, however, were in no rush to pass legislation to begin sanctions and did nothing. Now, with Trudeau in office, the Conservatives are eager for the Liberals to impose the act and made a motion to impose sanctions on Russia. How the tables have turned. Trudeau however, now in power, is less interested in acting despite his electioneering to do so. Trudeau wants to “re-engage” with Russia. In other words, when it comes to doing the right, the decent, the moral, the ethical thing, Trudeau and the gang are again quite willing to close their eyes and plug their noses in order to do the pragmatic thing: do business with Russia. Stephane Dion, foreign minister, disappoints because he apparently has opted to move wholeheartedly into the dark side of political wheeling and dealing by offering excuses as he did with the Saudi Arabia arms deal that the Special Economic Measures Act does not allow Canada to place sanctions on Russian individual or entities. That’s a crock and is surely not Dion’s finest moment. Human rights is a honey if it don’t cost money.

This is the real state of politics. We have a government now doing what it opposed in opposition and an opposition now opposing what it supported while a government. It’s a topsy-turvy world. One needs a strong stomach to even say Conservative or Liberal, easier to simply say hypocrite.


Then we have the CBC reporting on the shenanigans of the CRA and tax cheats, the CRA granting amnesty to fraudsters provided they pay what they owe Canadians and keep their mouths shut about the deal. We have allegations of the accountancy firm KPMG helping tax cheats set up shell companies in the Isle of Man and executives meeting secretly at the exclusive Rideau Club with bureaucrats from the CRA, a clear conflict of interest. It has been estimated that $7 to $9 billion a year is lost through tax schemes. Shortly after the CBC story caught traction, the CRA proudly announced the recovery of $1.5 billion. Nice, but peanuts to what Canadians have lost and will continue to lose. What about the billions stolen from Canadian coffers? What about the peculiar reluctance of revenue minister Diane Lebouthillier to punish the tax cheats and the companies helping them defraud the government? These are fraudsters and should be punished with severe financial penalties and jail time. Unfortunately, not a word on that front from either the CRA or Lebouthillier.

Clearly, it does pay to be wealthy. Unfortunately, it’s our government helping them cheat us and it’s the rest of us paying the price.

In the not too distant past, we had the Conservatives rigging the game with the misnamed Fair Elections Act. At that time the bill was simply rammed through with little to no discussion. Certainly no referendum. Trudeau promised to amend parts of the Act. No action thus far.

He also promised to bring an end to first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting. Towards that end his minister of democratic reform Maryam Monsef and government house leader Dominic LeBlanc set up a rigged committee that consists of six Liberals, three Conservatives, one NDP and two MPs not allowed to vote, one from the Bloc Québécois and Elizabeth May of the Green party. With absolute lack of shame, the Liberals have stacked the deck not to reflect the proportion of the vote but the number of seats won! They used the very system they wish to end in order to rig the committee and the outcome. This is Trudeau gaming the system to ensure that, if there is a change (which many suspect the Liberals do not want), it will reflect the change that Trudeau’s Liberals desire: the ranked ballot system which strongly favours the party of the centre which is what the Liberals are perceived as being. In truth, such a system would likely ensure governance by Liberals or Conservatives forever. The committee is a sham. Maryam Monsef gave the game away when she said that the solution must not be complex. In other words, proportional representation will not be an option because it is unfamiliar thereby deemed too difficult to understand though the majority of democratic countries have a form of PR. She is really saying Canadians are too stupid to understand what the rest of the democratic world does. She also suggested on CBC’s Power and Politics with Rosemary Barton that it was pointless to hold a referendum because many eligible voters don’t vote. Say what? Isn’t that what we wish to change? She also went on to suggest a referendum was undemocratic and that Twitter offered a more accurate reflection of the public will. Twitter for god sake. And that is the voice of reason?

Monsef is less than truthful when she says the committee will represent the wishes of Canadians. It will reflect the wishes of the Liberal party, that’s true. Having won his majority with 39% of the vote, Trudeau stacks the deck with 60% of the seats. Neat. Shameless. Dictatorial.

Monsef, though a newcomer acts very much like a Liberal pro from the old school: rigging the game and manipulating the outcome and offering the empty blandishments. The same old same old.

When Trudeau campaigned, he talked about civility and change and making Canada a better place than it was under Harper. Mostly he talked about the middle class, raising taxes for the wealthy and cutting them for the middle class. I don’t recall him much speaking about combatting poverty, of doing more for the young and elderly, of ending homelessness. It was all about sunny ways but for whom? Certainly not those on the bottom rung.

Recently, there was a small kerfuffle because the PMO was looking for ways to assist the other half of the star pair, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau. Now Canadians already help pay for one staffer and two nannies. No one should begrudge that. Nor do we begrudge the fact that she may need help when she does attend some affair that may tenuously be linked to her husband’s role as prime minister. I have no doubt she is “swamped” with requests for appearances for many worthwhile causes. If she opens a museum the government has paid for, if she speaks to students on the role of the wife of a prime minister, let Canadians pay for that. If she attends a charity event, let the Liberal party pay for that for it would likely be the real beneficiary in publicity of such an appearance. At the risk of appearing churlish, I was not impressed by her SOS. “I need help. I need a team to help serve people,” she had put out. I am a mother, my husband is prime minister. Poor little rich girl, thanks for reminding us. I am not opposed to her getting the help she needs but I might have been more sympathetic if I had heard from her husband less about tax breaks for the middle class and more about helping the single parent holding down two minimum-wage jobs. There was nothing for them. Nada, zilch. Too, I might have been favourably disposed towards helping her if, instead of appearing on the cover of Vogue with Justin, both were photographed eating a meal with homeless individuals or families or even just embracing one while dressed in their expensive togs. As it is, I will save my sympathies for those who live mean lives on mean streets. Poor Sophie, I don’t mean to be dismissive of your plight. I’m sorry, but my heart just doesn’t bleed for you. I know there are many who do want to help you. I just wish they felt as much sympathy for those who have much less than you, those hard-scrabble toilers who struggle just to survive, who really do understand what it is to be swamped by life and misery.


I have no doubt that Justin Trudeau regrets what happened May 18 with his grabbing of Gordon Brown and accidental striking of Brosseau. For a flash we saw the ugly side. For some, it was entertainment. For others, not so much.

We have witnessed the past few months a government ready to turn its back on many of its promises and just as eager as Harper’s ever was to use its majority as a club. We have seen a shift from openness to secrecy, of Liberal ministers placing themselves in conflict of interest positions by attending fund-raising events with those with the potential to benefit from the decisions made by their ministries. We have seen the broken promises and witnessed again the bullying of our veterans by the government and a nation that owes them so much. We have seen the shameless attempt by this government to strip the opposition members of any power to perform their duties in the interests of Canadians. We have observed how this government has increased the wealth of the middle class while doing absolutely nothing for the poorest amongst us. We have watched as this government has operated with breathtaking arrogance and watched a prime minister so narcissistic he believes nothing will stick: broken promises, manhandling members of parliament, ministers placing themselves in conflict of interest positions and ministers working to jettison or rig, either is a possibility, electoral reform.

This regime has increasingly shown itself willing to betrayal itself and its supporters who, perhaps naively, really held the profoundest of hopes that things would, indeed, get better, that this government, this Trudeau Liberal government, would really be all that it seemed to promise.

It is not too late for Trudeau. He does not have to turn his back on those folks who really trust and believe in him. Just keep to the promises. Do revisit the physician assisted dying bill. Do go through with electoral reform and go with the system that truly, accurately, reflects the will of the voter. You cannot lose by doing what is right.

If the goal is as it has been for all previous governments one of grabbing power and clinging to it, of self-enrichment and helping friends, of retribution rather than rehabilitation, of punishing the poor and weak, the Liberals should continue as they have. They may believe they have won, the polls and the results may say they have won, but their loss will be greater than their gains. There is more honour in standing tall in defeat knowing one has done his utmost to do what was right and honourable. May each broken promise cynically offered rest as a stone on your heart and each kept promise with the weight of a feather.


But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. – Thomas Paine.


They that can give up essential liberties to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

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