In responding to the ethics commissioner’s report this week, which pretty much confirmed what most of us already suspected, that Trudeau and his office put undue pressure on then-Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, Trudeau said it’s the prime minister’s job to protect Canadians’ jobs.
It was the first thing out of his mouth.
Then, almost as an afterthought, he added that upholding the laws of the land and protecting the nation’s institutions are part of that job as well.
“Taking responsibility means recognizing that what we did over the past year wasn’t good enough, but at the same time I can’t apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs, because that’s what Canadians expect me to do,” Trudeau said. “They expect me also to stand up for our institutions and as the ethics commissioner pointed out, those two elements came into conflict in an unfortunate way for which I take full responsibility.”
It’s obvious which one of the ‘elements’ came out on top.
For me, upholding the laws of the land and protecting this country’s institutions should be the at the top of the list of the prime minister’s priorities, not down the list somewhere between sound bites and photo ops. (Tyee columnist Paul Willcocks aptly points out that the British Columbia forest industry has shed almost 4,000 jobs since we first heard of SNC Lavalin but there has been no action from on high to protect jobs in this province.)
Trudeau’s response is a reaffirmation that his priorities are indeed skewed. We shouldn’t be surprised at this because it’s the same mind-numbing rationalization that he has spewed almost from the beginning of this sordid mess.
And yes, it’s sordid.
“The authority of the Prime Minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer,” said Ethics Commission Mario Dion.
The prime minister who has apologized for pretty much every historic wrong that has ever happened in this country, now owes Canadians an apology because this, in time, will be considered a historic wrong.