Truth to power on International Womens Day
There are few photos of Jody Wilson Raybould from this perspective and when I finally saw this one from Macleans, it reminded me so much of the Fearless Girl statue.
Ms. Raybould is indeed taking on a behemoth not unlike this bull, one that extends beyond partisan circling of wagons around their leader. She’s exposed that the patriarchy is alive and well in Ottawa, entitlement rife in Wernicks testimony – his second btw, while the Liberal dominated committee voted down a motion to have Raybould Wilson brought back.
From the now infamous, exasperated eye rolling of Anthony Housefather in the allegedly non partisan position of Committee chair,during that vote…
( hard to find a source for this moment that isn’t using it for partisan purposes, including this guys tweet)
..to the pompous entitlement of Wernicks testimony… to the smirks of Trudeau’s friend, Butts during his…to the same smirks of Trudeau’s odd, ‘not sorry but trying to be contrite’ press conference which reminded me so much of Clarks note ” humble” on her speaking notes way back when….
It all just left a bad taste in my mouth because I expected better than old boys club politics when I voted for Trudeau…something I won’t do again. Emerging as the voice of reason amid a flurry of reaction following yesterdays press conference was another strong woman, Elizabeth May. She saw exactly what I saw, and said so: https://www.greenparty.ca/en/media-release/2019-03-07/green-party-leader-blasts-trudeau’s-non-announcement-snc-lavalin-affair
Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) said today she was astonished by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first full statement on the SNC-Lavalin scandal. “It is clear that the effort to get SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) continues to drive all aspects of handling the issue,” said Ms. May. “We are not in a position to look back at mistakes made. We are in the throes of an ongoing effort to get a DPA for SNC- Lavalin.”
Greens believe that the opportunity to learn lessons starts with understanding the principle of prosecutorial independence. The primary decision on whether to prosecute rests on the Director of Public Prosecutions. The DPP’s decision is based on a legal analysis of the evidence against a corporate defendant. The Attorney General’s job is to review the DPP’s decision to ensure that the evidence and legal principles are properly applied.
“In his evidence to the justice committee yesterday, the prime minister’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts demonstrated that he did not understand this principle when he spoke dismissively of the former Attorney General’s review of ’12 days.’ That ignored the work that had already gone into the Section 13 analysis by the DPP,” said Ms. May.
“We have now moved from inappropriate pressure on the former Attorney General to a propaganda campaign preparing Canadians for the new Attorney General to do what Jody Wilson-Raybould refused to do. And we still don’t have a single independent review confirming a threat to 9,000 jobs.”
Ms. May said that Justin Trudeau still has an opportunity to restore Canadians’ trust. “In the next Cabinet shuffle, restore Jody Wilson-Raybould as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, ask Jane Philpott to take up the reins at Indigenous Services, promote the current Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Board, Joyce Murray, to President of the Treasury Board and let Seamus O’Regan go to Veterans Affairs.
“The failure to grasp the importance of prosecutorial independence and the failure to seek evidence before succumbing to job blackmail are at the heart of this scandal,” said Ms. May. “We still require an independent review of the inappropriate pressure on our former Attorney General.
Shes correct. The heart of this lies in prosecutorial independence…and in a surprise move yesterday the Public Prosecutors office asserted itself online.
Brava. This is a critical and key point for two reasons.
1. In the charges laid against SNC Lavalin, no extenuating circumstances must be considered
And 2. Considering its highly unlikely SNC would pick up and leave-they have ongoing current work all over Canada-what other motivation could there be for avoiding a lengthy trial? Tom Parkin has thoughts on this:
Indeed. The Financial Post piece he linked to details what’s really on the line with a trial, and why government might want that not to happen: https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/only-a-criminal-trial-will-reveal-whether-snc-lavalins-corruption-infected-the-government-too
Trials are designed to detail wrongdoing by government and corporate officials alike and to mete out justice in a transparent forum that the public can understand. Deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) are designed to cover up details of wrongdoing and replace jail time for corrupt government and corporate officials with fines for corporations…
…The company claims that past misdeeds can be entirely laid at the feet of a few so-called “bad apples” who have since been removed. If SNC-Lavalin were nevertheless found guilty through an exhaustive examination of witnesses and the presentation of evidence, that claim could be eviscerated — the “bad apples” in question have already said they were carrying out widely employed company practices. If so, the company not only stands to lose federal government contracts over the next 10 years, its officers stand to be incarcerated….
…But a trial here or elsewhere would not only expose who knew what and when within the firm; it would also expose who in government might have been involved.
Hmmm. Is the worry really 9000 jobs from a company with current and ongoing jobs across Canada that will keep them here? Or is the worry what will be exposed by a trial? This changes the entire perspective presented by Trudeau, by Butts and by Wernick.
And therein, lies the heart of why any pressure on Wilson Raybould or the DPP, ( also a woman) whose decision she upheld, must be examined more closely. Sandy Garossino weighs in with some excellent analysis on why this is the most important prosecution Canada has ever undertaken on corporate corruption. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/03/08/analysis/hidden-key-snc-lavalin-scandal
This matters. There is something much bigger at stake here, the very integrity of the rule of law, our basic tenets of justice, and two women whose independent power and authority is being challenged.
That’s why, I’m #stillwithJody. The committee must bring her back, the PM must allow her to speak about the period after her shuffling and SNC must not bully their way into a deferred prosecution agreement.
Until they do, its important this brief video of her testimony is kept front and centre, keeping in mind the Financial Post piece posted above. I’ll post the transcript in the comments as well.
This has turned into a long piece but there was so much to say. And I may add to it because there’s more I need to share, but now I’m going to wrap.
To Jody Wilson Raybould, I see you. Thank you for speaking truth to power. To the DPP, Kathleen Roussel, hold the line – I think you know something we don’t. To Elizabeth May, thank you for being one of the most diligent voices in Ottawa on many issues, including this one.
And to all women blazing paths and challenging patriarchy to the chorus of voices on both sides of your path calling you difficult, not a team player or worse yet, crazy….I see you too and honour the fortitude it takes to follow that path.
From a friend and reader:
“After listening to those trying to discredit Ms, Wilson-Raybould I thought that by sharing two of my several personal life stories it might help others understand the kind of inter-personal dynamics that people can face when those who simply want to direct and not lead seek to impose their version of the right way to proceed. Party whips use this all the time and that is why proportional representation is being withheld….
….Over a life time of working on lots of different matters it is clear to me that there are always those in positions of authority who regularly abuse their privileged status by having subordinates carry full accountability for all decisions. It seems that moral issues are the most troublesome for those in charge, so when someone like Ms Wilson- Raybould seeks to do what is morally correct we need to give that person our unconditional support.”