Today the Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, gave a sensational opening statement before the Justice Committee.
In it he said that “I’m worried that somebody is going to be shot in this country this year, during the political campaign.”
What Mr. Wernick and the Liberals are currently doing is painting the investigation into the SNC-Lavalin accusations as a figurative witch hunt.
In truth, the Clerk of the Privy Council would like us to believe that Canadians who want some answers are an angry peasant mob with torches and pitchforks ready to tear apart the political experiment that is Justin Trudeau’s “post-national” government.
Simply put, he is being an alarmist. For him, reasonable questions regarding the activities of the Prime Minister’s Office are going to lead to political assassinations. It’s hard to believe the Clerk of the Privy Council is being serious with such fantastical thinking.
Instead of encouraging a level-headed and methodical inquiry into SNC-Lavalin, Mr. Wernick would rather see Russian spies and political provocateurs around every corner.
This kind of attitude will get the investigation nowhere. What a sour note to start a justice committee meeting on…
The truth is, hidden in Mr. Wernick’s comments is a back-handed reproach of the opposition (an opposition that has across the floor bi-partisan support for an inquiry). For a supposedly non-partisan bureaucrat, it seems that the Privy Council Clerk has already picked a side.
“I worry about the reputations of honourable people who have served their country being besmirched and dragged through the market square. I worry about the trolling from the vomitorium of social media entering the open media arena.”
It’s the same language that Iqra Khalid used in the first Justice Committee meeting where she accused the Conservatives of using social media as a weapon to “bully” Liberal parliamentarians.
It’s also quite contradictory for the Clerk to say that social media is a threat to “the open media arena”. What does that even mean? Isn’t the ability for people to engage with and challenge political discourse, the very definition of an open media?
You see, it’s easier to blame the elusive “social media” menace than to pinpoint at real people with real lives. Mr. Wernick is doing a disservice to Canadians by blaming them for their outrage rather than pressing those involved in the scandal to spit out some truth.
It is also unclear whose reputations he’s talking about? Perhaps he means Gerald Butts, or Justin Trudeau himself? The fact is that nobody, especially not the “vomitorium of social media” has dragged their reputations through the mud, Butts and Trudeau are single-highhandedly responsible for that.
The only thing that might salvage those crumbling reputations is some honesty from those two, at least for the country’s sake.
Of course, it is right and just to presume innocence in the face of unsubstantiated claims but to do so, witnesses need to be called and names need to be named.
Canadians everywhere should take Wernick’s words with a grain of salt. Nobody is going to be assassinated, but at the end of the day, the truth will prevail.