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) 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:’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

Screenshot 2019-03-04 at 2.03.36 PM

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:

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.

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.”


54 Comments on “Truth to power on International Womens Day

  1. I might give Elizabeth May and the Greens a go this time round. But i hope Jody Wilson Raybould throws her hat in too. Then i can have two good choices.

  2. Whether it’s shaking up the U.S. Congress, the Canadian Parliament, or the judiciary in both nations, it seems all my heroes lately are ladies.

    But the likes of Christy Clark and Kirstjen Nielsen remind me it’s character rather than gender that makes the difference.

    • I agree completely on that..character surpasses everything…there are many Conservative women supporting far right policies that hurt women. BUt in that same vein its very important to recognize the hurdles many women are facing in overcoming patriarchal system that reveal themselves in times like these…even in ‘progressive’ governments.

      Thats why progressive governments have to hold themselves to a higher standard than right wing governments, and show voters the difference. Its not critics who have endangered whats been gained following the Harper era by demanding accountability here.

      Its Trudeau himself.

  3. In our eagerness to applaud JW-R for standing up to Trudeau, Butts et al., let’s not forget that she had no problem abandoning her previous opposition to Site C — and signing on to the rest of the fossil fuel package: TransMountain, LNG. And she has to answer for the crippled assistance-in-dying law that will eventually be overturned by the Supreme Court, after causing several more years of avoidable suffering.

    Sorry, but I’m just applauding with one hand.

  4. You, Laila Luile, are a powerful woman, deserving of due credit.
    Now never mind the aw, shucks, just take it and savour it.

    • Bless you EM, for this. 💕 Its amazing how the mention of a name can bring a rush of emotion.Damn I miss Mary. And Rafe. 😔

  5. For those familiar with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a current resort to prophylactic PR probably will generate a knowing laugh. The sophistry’s form is this: it works best to deny responsibility by denying prior knowledge. Without the latter the former is untenable.

    This tidy gambit has some history.

    Consider the ardent Soviet Believer’s back stop argument, “If only [comrade leader’s name] knew what was happening! If only someone would show him! Make him see! Plead with him! He would stop this insanity! It is not possible that he is aware of what is going on!”

    Isn’t it? To a self-blinded partisan or a timid employee it is not the customer who is always right – it is the person who authorizes the cheques.. He doesn’t suffer contradiction gladly.

    Unfortunately what we expect when we entrust a vote to an ambitious candidate seldom seems to describe the realities underlying Politics. In Mr. Stalin’s case, regardless of being warned about the consequences of his own policies he did nothing to stop the rot. It served him not to.

    Here in Canada while the damage of the SNC scandal is not yet disastrous, consider the new infomercial fall back provided by our own Justin Fawlty’s team.

    ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me about this SNC stuff! It’s monstrous! I’m only here on earth to learn the Truth! ‘

    Exactly. That the boss knew nothing is proved because that’s what he claims.

    Typically a cornered executive’s plight is horrible. Who can be blamed? If only some subordinate, a minor player beneath his office and far below his attention-horizon, a person controlled by his PMO, a person afraid of any hint of not seeming a Team Player 100%, a person entirely dependent on a record of submission to do and say what was expected to grant approval to run again, if only they would have risked it all to have said something!

    Something that might create consequences too dire to be allowed!

    So the refrain continues. Why did no one step forward!

    Oops! It appears there were three, all female, who took that very risk, and stated the facts.

    1/ Jody Wilson-Raybould
    2/.Jane Philpott
    3/ Celina Caesar-Chavannes

    Three party stalwarts, steadfast believers who, faced finally with what they should have expected, resigned in disgust.

    The point of “No, really! I Knew Nothing!” Deflection.

    See how clever it is? While dogs didn’t run off with Mr Fawty’s homework, it is because no one stepped forward that it became everyone else’s fault. Underlings never made the waves they knew better than to make.. How ignoble.
    In any bureaucracy, and especially in politics, expecting whistleblowers to be praised and promoted is absurd. Instead they will be ostracized and crushed as examples to others.

    Besides, how could drawing attention to possibly illegal misconduct improve future electoral prospects? Prospects ruined especially if subordinates inadvertently denied their boss (or a PM) plausible deniability? Deniability leaders always have relied upon to dodge criticism and escape responsibility. Deniability. A useful ruse before senior damage control levels are required to initiate a hasty cover up of who knew what, when, and who might have cashed in, by how much…

    But that couldn’t happen in Sunny Ways Canada, right?

    “Trudeau, government officials tried to use legal principle to justify political interference in SNC-Lavalin, former attorneys-general say”

    “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and senior government officials attempted to use a well-known legal principle as justification for political interference in the SNC-Lavalin case, four former attorneys-general and a former deputy attorney-general say.”

    But honestly, no one knew anything! Even now nothing is clear. So let’s all… um, turn the page and offer executives being investigated everywhere the benefit of whatever doubt that best suits them…

    • Jody Wilson Raybould, Jane Philpott, and Celina Ceasar Chavannes. Courageous, risk takers who stepped up to the plate with their moral compasses completely intact.

      Christia Freeland. Shameless Team Player. Moral compass. Completely broken.

  6. I think Finance Wrecker Bill Morneau is a part of the dirty circle. Ben Chin his Chief of Staff was named as one of the “dogs“ that Jody Wilson Raybould asked Morneau to call off,because the contacts were innappropriate. Morneau is another one of the rotten power players hiding back stage directing, like his buddy Trudeau was doing. This incompetent weasel that i pay for with part of my taxes that passes for a Finance Minister needs to go also, along with the rest of that dirty little band of brothers.

  7. The reality is, Trudeau could yet be the winner.

    He can still reverse the decision, give SNC what they want and his re-election becomes a nonissue because of the rewards he will reap from a company whose business model is payoffs.

  8. From Bob Mackin…
    Christy Clark:
    “If you’re talking about 9,000 jobs and the attorney general is refusing to save them. I don’t know. I think that’s a pretty good argument to move the attorney general and find somebody who wants to support a growing economy,”

    “When Deputy Premier in 2002, this individual (Christy Clark) supported two bills resulting in layoffs of thousands of health care workers & teachers – the largest mass layoff of women in Canadian history. Bills struck down by SCC in 2007 and 2016

  9. Lady Justice holds a set of two scales suspended from one hand. Their purpose is to weigh and balance the evidence to support or oppose guilt.

    Christy Clark and her cabal apparently believe one of those scales should weigh a bag of cash as part of any determination of justice. It is apparent in their words and actions.

    When the BC government crafted a secret and illegal plea deal to cheat the citizens of British Columbia out of the truth by ending the BC Rail trial before the evidence could be weighed, Attorney General de Jong said this:

    “It is a balance between accountability on the fiscal side of the equation, but preserving absolute prosecutorial independence from political interference.”

    The secret and illegal deal failed on both counts. But Mr. de Jong did not have to fret about being called out on it, either by his fellow Cabinet members, or by the traditional media.

    In fact, after visiting that insult on our democracy and justice system, Mr. de Jong went on to oversee the health researcher witch hunt and firings as Health Minister, and then gaming enforcement (think casinos and money laundering) as Minister of Finance. We know how those efforts turned out. How did Christy Clark and the traditional media hold him to account? Here’s an example:

    http://www.vancouversun.comWeb resultsFinance minister learned frugality on Fraser Valley farm

    CBC and CTV are carrying on the aiding and abetting necessary for this trashing of democracy to occur.

    John Horgan and the NDP, supported and encouraged by Andrew Weaver and the Green Party have an opportunity and a duty to start turning this around by establishing a public corruption inquiry. If they do not assume the mantle, the slide will not only continue, but it will accelerate. Because the evidence is clear; the Liberals and Conservatives will never do it. They are not only philosophically opposed, but have too much to lose.

    Mr. Horgan, we turn our lonely eyes to you.

  10. This interview with Judge Mary Ellen Turpel–Lafond is a very compelling, easy to follow, legal summary in lay terms.

    Mary Ellen Turpek-Lafond, remember, is another strong woman who was abused by our very own Provincial Liberal Government. She speaks truth to power yet gets less attention than the champion of lies-to-get power, Christina Joan Clark.

    Can we see a new band , please; The Wilson-Raybould, Turpel-Lafond, Filpott Trio.

  11. Prime Ministers, philanthropists, ICBC translators, new drivers, students, queue jumpers, soccer moms and hockey dads.
    What a repulsive species we’ve become.

    • That Dave Sidoo story is insane!! Most people I know scrimp and save to help their kids go to school…and their kids still have to work their way through college or university to make ends meet.

      100K just to pay someone to take a test for your kid..? No words.

    • Annnnddd…..the LPC just adjourned the justice committee in a manner that was more Harperesque than Sunny ways.

      This was just sent in. Please watch this clip.

      There are two thinhs that really irritate me and long time readers know this well.

      1) corruption & wrongdoing where ever it is found.
      2) political hypocrisy. Doing something you once attacked Harper for…and rightly so…and defending it by saying he was worse.
      News flash. It creates cynicism and disenchantment among non partisan voters

  12. Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic does not dabble professionally in the world of politics, as his profile demonstrates.

    There are examples of why his theories may be more applicable to the boardroom than the hustings. Fine tuning the electorate presents a more daunting challenge than that of a Human Resources hiring committee. Focus on humility, integrity, and self awareness he says? Okay; but don’t use gender as a filter.

  13. Well, well well

    It takes a small US newspaper to just keep hammering SNC Lavalin out of the ballpark.

    Which raises the question.
    Why are all the Canadian news media not picking up of these unbelievable revelations?

    Because the lobbyist mentioned is on their Board of Directors?

    A former judge/ SNC lobbyist may have “embarrassing information” about the PM….?

    How deep does the rot go?

    SNC and their hope to build the new Kinder Morgan pipeline……..

    Just wow…..

  14. @noncinfidencevote

    “Why are all the Canadian news media not picking up of these unbelievable revelations?

    Interesting that you should make the same observation I did.

    As of yesterday the latest Justice Committee scandal had all but disappeared from media. It was as though someone in high authority had instructed the media to shut up, and they did just that.

    What scandal suddenly evaporated? Before opposition panel members could present a justification for returning Jody Wilson-Raybould to testify – the liberal majority “adjourned” the session. “Debate” was rescheduled to an in camera session on the same day the federal budget would be announced. In short the Liberal members eclipsed the issue entirely.

    On various networks the usual parade of professional political talking heads prophesied the next step. The Justice Committee having accomplished nothing would be shut down and that would be that. Alas for Justice, there is no possible recourse but to move on. And, oh yes, bad luck, apparently the Ethics Commissioner has taken ill.

    So what took up half of the yesterday’s news? The Ethiopian air crash. On site films, interviews with grief stricken relatives, shots of stranded passengers on vacation, hints the Boeing was being hurt, talk\talk\talk.

    The Max 8’s plight? In terms of a direct affect on Canadian Democracy it offers none at all. But as a distraction from events in Ottawa the carnage was all but heaven sent.

    In part I think that the Buffalo Chronicle story above helps explain why the Liberal Press back east may be far too closely tied to the Libs to be trusted.

    As to the rest of media?

    It is impossible to explain.

  15. And Jane Philpott too! and what has become of the Craig James and Lentz story? Totally eclipsed by the SNC corruption! C’mon, it’s Spring! Lets have some Spring cleaning.

    • I agree. We should also be reminding Horgan and Eby and the media that all of these things and an inquiry is still on our minds here in B.C. and to not think this national stuff, though absolutely important, is not a cover for him to shirk his responsibilities to have an inquiry that a vast majority want. The major media is horrible on how they can not get their act together and cover equally, our own just as important home grown government corruption and wrong doing issues in government. They just can not handle both or for whatever the reason i dont get. They have such tunnel vision and seem to be so dam stupid.

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