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What you need to know about COVID-19: September 18, 2020
The slippery verbal gymnastics are sad.
Mr. Prime Minister, you control the flow of cabinet papers — what comes to cabinet and what does not. The clerk of the Privy Council/cabinet reports to you.
So, you could have stopped the cabinet paper on the WE Charity from coming to cabinet in the first place.
But you did not stop it.
You not only did not stop it, you voted for it. If that is determined to be a breach of the Conflict of Interest Act, it won’t be your first time.
Almost a billion dollars, no tender, to people with whom you and your family were involved. And your most important cabinet minister.
And please don’t try and tell me what you didn’t know. Many of us have been there and know the difference.
All political power in Canada now is from the centre — the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office. Anyone who knows anything about Canada’s politics knows this to be true.
There is no cabinet government anyway — that is gone.
Donald Savoie, in his book “Democracy in Canada — The Disintegration of Our Institutions,” entitles Chapter 10 “Cabinet: The Institution That Once Was.” He says in that chapter the following:
“In the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau pledged to return Ottawa to cabinet government. He told CBC’s Peter Mansbridge that though his father launched governing from the centre, he would be the one to return Canada to cabinet government. He boldly declared on the day that his government was sworn to office that ‘government by cabinet is back,’ in effect acknowledging that Canada no longer had cabinet government in 2015. However, government by cabinet is not back. If anything, we have moved further away from it.”
All political power in Canada now is from the centre — the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office. Anyone who knows anything about Canada’s politics knows this to be true. I remember bypassing all cabinet ministers in order to get action on a relatively small matter in a ministry.
So all this manoeuvring is just what the consultants are telling the PM — if you sort of face up to it and mire the whole thing in process, actually appear before the Parliamentary Committee (pretending it meant something — remember how the previous one on SNC-Lavalin got shut down?), deflecting, therefore, the key points of how the cabinet paper got to cabinet in the first place and that he actually voted for the contract award, he will be able to swim through this one.
Our system of government is broken —- it is executive government, with unelected courts in tow, as the representatives of the people genuflect and act as social workers, not parliamentarians, and cabinet ministers vie to touch the hem of his garment.