To What Extent Does Wilson-Raybould's Recording Change Trudeau's SNC-Lavalin Problem?

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quizzical

so daughters of the vote turned their back on Trudeau when he gave his speech and VanGran will support JWR as an independent or for another party.

voice of the damned

Well, 48 out of 338 of them turned their back, which by my math is somewhere around 10%. I don't know enough about this organization to know if that's more than would oppose a Liberal PM under normal circumstances.

Bad optics, anyway.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I know that I will trust Puglaas's integrity more than the fascist leaning and supporting Freeland. She loves Guaido and her grandfathers Ukrainian Nazi's

He continued, adding that “there is never going to be an absolute one side or another. There are always going to be multiple voices.”

“I know nobody in here wants to have to pick who to believe between Jody Wilson-Raybould and Chrystia Freeland,” Trudeau said. “There are always going to be a range of perspectives that we need to listen to.”

...

In contrast, several of the delegates walked out of a speech by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

His speech came after NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh got a standing ovation from the delegates for his speech, in which he called on those in politics to feel empowered to “speak truth to power” in what appeared to be a reference to the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5126284/justin-trudeau-feminist-daughters-of-...

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Some are talking about how Jody Wilson Rabould did not speak directly to Trudeau about his staff. I think the reason is actually very clear and I do not see why there are people missing it. In the September meeting she had with Trudeau, it was obvious what side of this he was on and that his staff were extentions of his position. I cannot see why she would be expected to dispute any comments she was told came from Trudeau or to assume that he had anything other than pressure to offer her.

And he told her the decision was hers alone. 

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/no-apologies-wilson-raybould-says-235248325.html

"With respect to the audio recording, I've heard some caucus members make comments," Wilson-Raybould said. "The conversation I had with the clerk ... he's not a member of the Liberal caucus, he's not my client by his own admission.

But she is part of caucus and she is legal advisor to the government. She initially said she recorded because she didn't have a note-taker present and she thought the conversation might be inappropriate.

That does not excuse her not telling Wernick he was being recorded. Such recordings carry little weight in court for a reason. 

Having not told Wernick she had a duty to report him to the PM or to cabinet if she felt he, a staff member, was threatening her, the Attorney General. He was not a Trudeau hire. He had been in the position for decades. 

Wilson-Raybould said she made the recording because she felt a need to protect herself in an "extraordinary situation" where she felt her position as attorney general and minister of justice was under threat. 

So if it had been Trudeau speaking to her directly she could not have recorded the conversation? He did and does have the right to replace any minister and he does not have to give a reason. She is not entitled to be AG indefinitely. It seems to me she wanted ammunition to prevent him from shifting her out of the AG position for any reason. Seems a little like blackmail and that she was looking after her own interests. 

Yes I know she was right in that Trudeau did shift her to put someone in charge that would give SNC a DPA. That is not absolution and it doesn't mean she was acting purely to defend prosecutorial independence. She could have done that and given a copy of that recording to Trudeau. Why didn't she? Was she afraid if she tipped him off he might out maneuver her? 

She failed to give Trudeau legal advice directly which as AG and Minister of Justice she should have done. She had an adversarial relationship with him suspecting him of threatening her through Wernick. She had a responsibility to resign from cabinet if she felt she could not trust Trudeau as Prime Minister. 

I think she may have miscalculated in the release of the tape. It isn't just caucus that isn't going to trust her. She may find in future that people are no longer candid with her even when they are on the same side. 

 

Just for speed I looked up the plainly worded wiki on recording a conversation:

An individual may record a call as long as he or she is one of the participants of the call.[5] The recording can be used as evidence in a lawsuit.[5] However, it is illegal to record communications that the recording party is not participating in.[5] An illegal recording can lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison. Section 183 (Part VI) of the Criminal Code also outlaws surreptitious recording of communications without consent of one of the intended recipients.[6]

I don't have the extreme point of view of some people over this action. I think that people who lie in conversations are more likely to freak out that someone they are speaking to may be recording them - particularly when it is a business conversation where they may be acccountable. I do understand personal conversations are more problematic. A business conversation should be ocndicted as if you think you are being recorded.

I do not think that JWR has done near as much damage as many Liberals want to suggest by recording the call. The objections are coming mostly from Liberals who were never going to be on her side after the split from the "team." That is the real reason.

As for the real reason that she recorded the call: it probably included both the presumption that she might need to quote accurately from that call and a presumption that the other party may lie about it. The lack of formal note-takers on the call make both important questions. As a lawyer she may have decided that if she ever spoke about the call publicly, then she would need to back that up if need be.

Your suggestion that the decision was hers alone because she was being told it was is strange. A better reading of the comment is that is was pressure. The reason is simple -- if it really was hers alone without pressure the conversation would not have happened. It was hers alone in responsibility and role BUT she was being told how to make that decision and that there were consequences if she did not make the decision the PMO wanted.

This comment you make is truly bizarre:

"She failed to give Trudeau legal advice directly which as AG and Minister of Justice she should have done."

She is on record -- from both sides -- of having done exactly that in September. No it is true she did not continue to fight him over it and that she accepted that his messengers who were bringing the same message over and over and over and over and over meant that he had not changed his perspective.

Does not seem that you understand the issues here or the nature of such pressure. Have you really never been in this position at any time in your life? Most Canadians who are listening to this account probably have some situation in their experience that can help them understand what she was going through.

NorthReport

Now that JWR has been ousted just watch the Liberals find a way to overrule the prosecutor. They were already alluding to it this morning.

Sean in Ottawa

NorthReport wrote:

Now that JWR has been ousted just watch the Liberals find a way to overrule the prosecutor. They were already aluding to it this morning.

The truth is that the Liberals may have also screwed SNC Lavalin. If the Liberals save SNC Lavalin from the law in this case, they are more likely to lose an election over it -- with that issue being central to the story. Other parties may promise to hurt the company because the population of Canada will demand it. Their reputation is now in tatters not just becuase of their own corruption but the Liberals' corruption has poured fuel on the fire. It was a below-the-fold business story before the Liberals intervened.  It may be that this company will have to be restructured and renamed in order to survive in Canada.

The economic arguments that their survival was needed to preserve jobs has been blown up. Protecting them, or even dealing with them may become a third rail. Here in Ottawa the story about the LRT has become a bigger scandal -- not just becuase it is late, opaque, over-budget and the politicians more cosy with the consortium than their voters. No, it is because the consortium includes SNC Lavalin. In the past, the name of the consortium would stand in the media (Rideau Transit Group) but now every story continues with the fact that SNC Lavalin is central to this group. SNC Lavalin may not just end the careers of federal Liberals, it may also be the end of the mayor of Ottawa's career at the next municipal election.

If Trudeau is stupid enough to think that he can easily remain PM past the next election by over-ruling the prosecutor on this file now he will have to think again.

Not sure who will win in Alberta. I suspect Notley's chances are dim (although not impossible). One thing is clear any Indigenous social license for the pipeline is probably now completely finished becuase the SNC Lavalin scandal has likely resulted in the loss of most of any remaining Indigenous support for the Trudeau government. Prior to this, Indigenous support for the PM was already extremely rocky and falling due to the pipeline and broken promises. However, now, siding with Trudeau is probably a third rail in Indigenous politics and we can expect to see those who supported the Liberals there make a tactical retreat over the next few months.

Indigenous people may not have the power to break Trudeau alone. But they may have a lot of help.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
  ...As for the real reason that she recorded the call: it probably included both the presumption that she might need to quote accurately from that call and a presumption that the other party may lie about it. The lack of formal note-takers on the call make both important questions. As a lawyer she may have decided that if she ever spoke about the call publicly, then she would need to back that up if need be.  

That does not explain why she didn't say "hey Wernick, I don't have a note-taker so I am recording this call". She could be accused of wanting Wernick to say something incriminating so she could blackmail Trudeau with it. 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
  Your suggestion that the decision was hers alone because she was being told it was is strange. A better reading of the comment is that is was pressure. The reason is simple -- if it really was hers alone without pressure the conversation would not have happened. It was hers alone in responsibility and role BUT she was being told how to make that decision and that there were consequences if she did not make the decision the PMO wanted.  

By Wernick not Trudeau. Trudeau didn't even hire Wernick. Apparently he has been in that position for 30 years. However high level Wernick was still staff. As a member of cabinet, Justice Minister no less, she is supposed to be advising Trudeau not secretly recording government staff and keeping inappropriate behavior a secret from Trudeau. 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

She is on record -- from both sides -- of having done exactly that in September. No it is true she did not continue to fight him over it and that she accepted that his messengers who were bringing the same message over and over and over and over and over meant that he had not changed his perspective.  

Verbal messages from staff. If something is going on that is potentially illegal and catastrophic for the government it is up to her to confirm and to speak directly with him as a member of his cabinet not send verbal messages through staff that she cannot be certain are being delivered correctly. 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Does not seem that you understand the issues here or the nature of such pressure. Have you really never been in this position at any time in your life? Most Canadians who are listening to this account probably have some situation in their experience that can help them understand what she was going through.  

It was absolutely pressure but legally it came from Wernick not Trudeau and JWR was not at risk of losing her livelihood, only her cabinet position. 

If a high level government staff member behaves inappropriately who should inform the PM of it if not the AG and Minister of Justice? We do not know that Trudeau was directly involved beyond September. We deduce it logically making it an assumption. There is no proof that Trudeau knew about any of it. Wernick and Butts both took responsibility for their words. Butts resigned and Wernick is retiring. Wernick wasn't even hired by Trudeau.

JWR outranked both of them as Minister of Justice and AG. If she had a problem with what they were saying to her she should have taken it up with Trudeau. She should have said "I don't know what your instructions to them were but they seem to be issuing veiled threats". "You said this is my decision alone but Wernick says you will get it done one way or another so does that mean you will remove me as AG?" 

She stated specifically: If Trudeau doesn't know X then no one is telling him. (paraphased). As Minister of Justice and Attorney General she thought it appropriate to send serious messages verbally through staff on issues she considered so grave and important? 

It seems Trudeau was well within his rights to switch AGs even if he did it due to wanting a different response on SNC as long as he didn't say "I will switch AGs if you don't give SNC a DPA".  She did not want to lose the AG position and she didn't want it on her record that she was the first to overturn a decision of the prosecutor based on the Harper era law. 

So she kept detailed notes and made veiled threats (through staff) that if Trudeau moved her out of the AG position she would accuse him of improper pressure on the SNC file. She has followed through. I'm not convinced it was out of a desire to protect prosecutorial independence or dedication to Liberal principles. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering do you realize that every time you phone a bank they will record the conversation. When you phone an agency like WorkSafe BC they record your conversations. Its legal and she thought she needed to have a record of Wernick speaking freely.

Sean in Ottawa

@ pondering --

No, I disagree that she had to tell Wernick> I do not even see it as scandlous in this context.

Enough of the inappropriate behaviour was coming from Trudeau and then his staff that she did not have to tell him. As I said she already advised Trudeau and his response was pressure.

Clearly, you do not understand her position. No the threat was not to her livelihood. She is assured employment even after politics. It was to her mission of making a difference as the first high profile Indigenous minister federally.

"We do not know that Trudeau was directly involved beyond September"

If you believe this you are apparently back in the Trudeau cult. Welcome home I guess.

If Trudeau was not the source for this, then his responses would not have looked like they have. This is more than just a guess.

More to the point you seem quite unaware of the implications of what Trudeau and company were doing in their interference. You clearly are accepting the idea that Trudeau is innocent over the idea that JWR had a principle of importance. Besides all this -- her assessment of Trudeau in hindsight is spot on -- there was no shock from him about the pressureshe was under -- rather  a defence of that pressure.

Can we call you a Trudeau fan again? Maybe even a teeny-weenie bit Liberal? Your characterizations of the Trudeau-JWR conflict certainly are so biased that there is little other room for analysis of where you are coming from.

NorthReport

Sean, you raise some interesting points.

First of all, is the question of whether the Court of Appeal bring down their decision before or after the Alberta election. Whoever loses, the other side will probably appeal it to the Supreme Court, but if it is a favourable opinion just before the election, it might give the Alberta NDP a bit of a boost. Yes?

Also, in relation to Indigenous Peoples there may some differences of opinion because I think those close to the water such as the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and possibly the Squamish Nation as well are not very excited about the pipeline. 

https://twnation.ca/   

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Now that JWR has been ousted just watch the Liberals find a way to overrule the prosecutor. They were already alluding to it this morning.

The truth is that the Liberals may have also screwed SNC Lavalin. If the Liberals save SNC Lavalin from the law in this case, they are more likely to lose an election over it -- with that issue being central to the story. Other parties may promise to hurt the company because the population of Canada will demand it. Their reputation is now in tatters not just because of their own corruption but the Liberals' corruption has poured fuel on the fire. It was a below-the-fold business story before the Liberals intervened.  It may be that this company will have to be restructured and renamed in order to survive in Canada.

The economic arguments that their survival was needed to preserve jobs has been blown up. Protecting them, or even dealing with them may become a third rail. Here in Ottawa the story about the LRT has become a bigger scandal -- not just becuase it is late, opaque, over-budget and the politicians more cosy with the consortium than their voters. No, it is because the consortium includes SNC Lavalin. In the past, the name of the consortium would stand in the media (Rideau Transit Group) but now every story continues with the fact that SNC Lavalin is central to this group. SNC Lavalin may not just end the careers of federal Liberals, it may also be the end of the mayor of Ottawa's career at the next municipal election.

If Trudeau is stupid enough to think that he can easily remain PM past the next election by over-ruling the prosecutor on this file now he will have to think again.

Not sure who will win in Alberta. I suspect Notley's chances are dim (although not impossible). One thing is clear any Indigenous social license for the pipeline is probably now completely finished becuase the SNC Lavalin scandal has likely resulted in the loss of most of any remaining Indigenous support for the Trudeau government. Prior to this, Indigenous support for the PM was already extremely rocky and falling due to the pipeline and broken promises. However, now, siding with Trudeau is probably a third rail in Indigenous politics and we can expect to see those who supported the Liberals there make a tactical retreat over the next few months.

Indigenous people may not have the power to break Trudeau alone. But they may have a lot of help.

Sean in Ottawa

I think the reaction to the treatment of JWR may be more unifying than the pipeline. I am well aware that there are nations who are in favour. I have to say that I suspect that some in favour of the pipeline may have this position becuase they may believe that it is the most realistic way for them to get something that was already due to them from the federal government.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering,

people are trying to be nice to you and to try to explain things to you. The reality is that you are in a fantasy world, your own little bubble and you are reducing this to your own little soap opera.

Pondering

I have said multiple times I absolutely believe Trudeau is guilty and was directly involved. The messaging was worded specifically to protect Trudeau because that is the way it is done. Staff is put in the line of fire to take the fall. That is why Harper couldn't be touched on the Duffy scam. It is why Trudeau can't be touched now. 

Just because Trudeau is guilty as sin doesn't mean JWR handled the situation well or that she doesn't have her own personal reasons for her actions. 

The summary from JWR perspective seems to be that having experienced inappropriate pressure for months to reverse her decision on SNC JWR finally recorded a phone call to protect herself because she suspected the call would be inappropriate. It turns out the call was inappropriate. She saved it instead of reporting it because she assumed the message as good as came from Trudeau's lips and she wanted protection/ammunition in case Trudeau tried to shift her out of the AG position. 

We know that is exactly what happened. Trudeau shifted her ministerial position so he could appoint someone who would give SNC a DPA which he has now done. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Trudeau is guilty. The thing is no matter how positive I am of it, there is no proof. There is not so much as a pink phone message. JWR never objected to Trudeau directly about continued pressure from staff therefore he cannot be held responsible for wording staff chose. 

Just because Trudeau is guilty doesn't mean JWR lived up to her responsibilities. Had Trudeau caved and left her in position we wouldn't be hearing anything about this. JWR herself says none of it was illegal. What if he had waited an extra month? 

 

 

quizzical

had Trudeau caved and let the notion  of the DPA for SNC go there would be no reason for us to hear any of this.

so what's your point?

Sean in Ottawa

I think neither of these two have done enough wrong to hurt a future political career - if not with the Federal Liberals.

Philpott, could probably move to the provincial Liberals -- even running as leader or as Health critic/Minister if they got elected again. Wilson Raybould could find a home in the Horgan NDP. The NDP in BC has had some common ground with Liberals in the past just as the BC Liberals have had with the Federal Conservatives.

As much as the federal NDP could be interested in them, their provincial options might shine brighter yet.

Pondering

quizzical wrote:

had Trudeau caved and let the notion  of the DPA for SNC go there would be no reason for us to hear any of this.

so what's your point?

The pressure would still have been inappropriate. It still should have been reported to the PM. It has now been reported that Philpott hasn't spoken directly with the PM since this began. So she has been ousted from the party without a direct conversation. 

Sean, unless they were leaders of the parties I think they would both consider provincial politicals a demotion. I doubt JWR would go NDP as she has declared herself a dedicated Liberal on principle. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

quizzical wrote:

had Trudeau caved and let the notion  of the DPA for SNC go there would be no reason for us to hear any of this.

so what's your point?

The pressure would still have been inappropriate. It still should have been reported to the PM. It has now been reported that Philpott hasn't spoken directly with the PM since this began. So she has been ousted from the party without a direct conversation. 

Sean, unless they were leaders of the parties I think they would both consider provincial politicals a demotion. I doubt JWR would go NDP as she has declared herself a dedicated Liberal on principle. 

Both want to make a difference. I believe them. This stuff you say about going for pensions and demotions is a smear really.

One is a doctor in Ontario. She is out of the Federal Liberal party for now but probably welcome in the provincial party. She might aspire to being health minister or leader.

To imagine being leader of provincial party being less than a cabinet minister really indicates that you know absolutely nothing about politics in Canada. Like SFA.

Provincial and federal governments are not a hierarchy but different jurisdictions. One is not less than the other.

In the case of Philpott, health is possibly more potentially life changing at the provincial level. That said she could return after Trudeau is gone not before so we are talking about being in a third party Federally. If she went to the NDP there is less chance of returning.

JWR could potentially be in cabinet in BC in six months. The federal level is closed to her for now but the NDP provincially in BC overlaps the federal Liberals and NDP in many ways.

Insulting provincial jurisdiction as a demotion is a new low for you -- after many others. Seeing these women as opportunists rather than what they say they are -- people who entered politics after successful careers to make a difference. That is low as well.

NorthReport

I listened to Dr Philpott on The Current this morning and I must say the CBC News finally seems more balanced in their political coverage

And listening to Dr Philpott she came across to me at least as a very humble and honest person with a lot of wisdom who just wanted to work on improving life for others

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

Sean, unless they were leaders of the parties I think they would both consider provincial politicals a demotion. I doubt JWR would go NDP as she has declared herself a dedicated Liberal on principle. 

If you go to being in government from being a third party MP like Sheila Malcolmson did then it is certainly not a demotion. Going from an Independent MP to potentially being a government MLA/MPP would only enhance a politicians ability to advance the issues that they care about. Being a liberal didn't stop either Rae or Dosanjh from seeking power through the NDP.

The other thing is the travel involved in being a West Coast MP. If you represent Hull then you drive across the river to a party function after the House recesses. If you live on Vancouver Island you go to the Ottawa airport, fly to Vancouver or Calgary and then take another flight to the Island. At the end of the weekend or week sometimes you get to do the same thing in reverse.

NorthReport

Bingo!

blairz blairz's picture

Earlier today Rudy Guiliani suggested that critics of US-AG William Barr's summary were"just unethical leakers." This seems now to be the same  strategy for the entire Liberal Party in regards to JWR. I noticed that when Liberal Members and their various proxies responded to the the ejections of Wilson-Raybould  and Jane Philpott they completely ignored Philpott to focus entirely on their outrage at Wilson-Raybould. In this new ethical universe of "doing things differently" the only ethical considerations of any weight are loyalty and secrecy. As for Trudeau, I wonder if words really have any fixed meaning for him. His oft proclaimed adherence to rule of law and judicial independence seem as empty as his slogans about ecology and economy going together. Perhaps everything is a slogan. 

quizzical

Pondering wrote:

quizzical wrote:

had Trudeau caved and let the notion  of the DPA for SNC go there would be no reason for us to hear any of this.

so what's your point?

The pressure would still have been inappropriate. It still should have been reported to the PM. It has now been reported that Philpott hasn't spoken directly with the PM since this began. So she has been ousted from the party without a direct conversation. 

Sean, unless they were leaders of the parties I think they would both consider provincial politicals a demotion. I doubt JWR would go NDP as she has declared herself a dedicated Liberal on principle. 

guess there's a shut down on smears. the Liberals musta realized they are still digging their grave.  

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/jody-wilson-raybould-the-liberal-party-is-not-something-i-understand-anymore/

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