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Thursday
Feb142019

The Committee Got Nowhere- No Surprise!

Yesterday the drama on the Hill unfolded as expected when the Justice Committee met on the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Everyone knew opposition MPs would be demanding answers to the SNC-Lavalin mess while the Liberals would try and stonewall any investigation.

Other than a lot of phony outrage, did anyone actually expect the Liberals to allow an investigation into the actions of the PM and his senior staff?

Over my career, I spent many long days in committee meetings on both the House and Senate side as well in both Opposition and government. The result of this meeting was pretty much as I expected.

No one, especially the reporters who sounded so shocked at the outcome yesterday (as they tried to create some drama around the story) should have expected anything different.

The Justice committee has a Liberal chair and a Liberal majority. Who in their right mind thinks they will vote to investigate their own sides misdoings?

It is a sad fact of Canadian political life that this is how our committees behave. All MPs in these committees reflect the wishes of either PMO or their Leader’s Office.  To do otherwise is almost a guarantee that they would either be replaced, or a substitute member brought in to vote the wishes of the party.

I have written hundreds of talk points and speeches for committees. The Liberal speeches and talk points were either very sloppy or the MPs incapable of delivering them properly. Either way their messaging sucked. They did more damage to the PM and the Liberal brand than the opposition members at the table.

Lisa Raitt and Nathan Cullen were good. They were on message, stuck to their talk points and succeeded in positioning their respective parties for the next series of attacks which will come in Question Period and down the road as the election gets closer.

There is a lot more to come out in this story and it continues to be a fire that Liberal spinning and the smearing of Jody Wilson-Raybould cannot put out.

I would wager that it will be solid investigative reporting that will break this story open- not some committee meeting that was going nowhere before the participants even sat down at the table.

Reader Comments (4)

What I learned by watching the proceedings of the Justice Committee is that few, if any MPs, bother to read proposed legislation. How come nobody put up a stink about the proposed deferred prosecution agreement that was apparently snuck into the budget bill -- an "omnibus" bill of all things, which the then-opposition Liberals and the NDP thought was the sleaziest of crimes perpetrated by the Harper government. I thought not reading proposed legislation was a malady afflicting our neighbours to the south, with Nancy Pelosi saying that the Obamacare bill had to be passed so that people could find out what was in it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=hV-05TLiiLU
Not our esteemed MPs!

What a surprise! MPs vote along party lines? What a revelation! Could politicians PLEASE stop the charade of pretending that they are going to address issues in a non-partisan way?

Frankly, I was not impressed by either side. I agree that both Nathan Cullen and Lisa Raitt did an adequate job, with their more measured language, of making the case for adding relevant "witnesses" to the short list proposed by the Liberals. It's unfortunate MP Poilievre, who IMO is usually one of the best performers in Question Period, came across as a bit too strident for my taste -- or maybe I'm just tired of all the cacophony from both the Canadian and the US political scenes.

February 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGabby in QC

"O, What a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive"
So. from "I did not direct", to "I'm surprised and disappointed" then to "it was her responsibility to come forward to me" ... to now the chair of the Justice Committee floating the idea that Ms. Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the Justice portfolio because she does not speak French.

"Curioser and curioser ..."

February 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGabby in QC

Apologies to MP Pierre Poilievre. Apparently he did bring up the issue of DPAs way back in May 2018 at the House finance committee:
“In May 2018, Conservative finance critic Pierre Polievre asked Morneau why his budget bill included "a provision that would allow accused white collar criminals charged with bribery, fraud, insider trading and other offences to have all charges dropped."
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/snc-lavalin-trudeau-bribery-fraud-wilson-raybould-1.5020498

Maybe the Trudeau India trip fiasco overshadowed the DPA insertion in the omnibus bill.

February 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGabby in QC

Can't help myself from adding this ...

Here’s one possible reason why commentator/Liberal strategist Susan Smith no longer appears on the CBC’s Power & Politics panels (See? Some conservatives do watch the CBC)

Watch how Smith expresses outrage “as a woman” (@ about 4:24 mark) that some people (namely the Conservative strategist Jason Lietaer) “torqued up” sexism & racism in discussing the JW-R issue.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1611308

Surprise! Trudeau himself acknowledged that sexist & racist comments had been made by some unnamed people (referred to in reports as “liberal insiders”).
https://globalnews.ca/news/4965204/trudeau-condemns-sexist-racist-comments-jody-wilson-raybould/

February 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGabby in QC

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