Gerald Butts’ testimony reveals major problems for the Trudeau government
Gerald Butts, the former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a two-time national debate champion, is testifying today to the Justice Committee about what occurred during the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
You can read Mr Butts’ full statement by clicking here.
Within the first moments of the testimony, Mr. Butts made a fairly problematic statement: “Clear direction was to ensure thousands of jobs at risk were at top of mind. PM was sure to direct that final direction was with DPP and Attorney General alone.”
This is problematic as the language around deferred prosecution is quite clear.
Jobs are not a factor to be considered. You can read more on that here.
Butts goes on record to again say that the cabinet shuffle had nothing to do with the decisions made by Jody Wilson-Raybould to not obstruct justice, but instead was directly related to the decision of MP Scott Brison to step down.
He parroted Prime Minister Trudeau’s argument that Trudeau wanted to move as few ministers as possible, and that Treasury Board was vital for the basic functions of government.
In the testimony, Butts attempts to clear the air on moving Wilson-Raybould to Indigenous Services. According to Butts, Jane Philpott, one of Trudeau’s most trusted cabinet members who has since stepped down from her position due to the fall out surrounding the SNC-Lavalin affair, believed that Wilson-Raybould was an excellent choice for the job due to the importance of handling the Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework.
Interestingly, Butts alleged that they worried JWR might see it as a demotion, and wondered if she would see it as an SNC-Lavalin related move.
This is quite hard to comprehend given the eventual assignment of Seamus O’Reagon to that same position and the actual management of the portfolio being under Carolyn Bennett position.
Butts also stated that he is “fully aware that two people can experience the same event differently,” going onto say that he “does not see” how the discussion between the parties involved could “constitute pressure of any kind.”
The former adviser also said that he believed the former AG had a duty to look at new evidence, while also stating that he could not think of any new evidence.
It should also be noted that amongst all of this, the Liberal majority on the Justice committee chose at the beginning of
Both votes as come as no surprise, as parliamentary privilege has not been waived once since confederation, and handing over of texts would open up a lot of transparency. None the less opening both could have seriously helped their case. Waiving parliamentary privilege would lift Butts’ immunity.
This is a breaking news article and will be updated.
The Liberal government has won a minority under Justin Trudeau, returning to the House of Commons as the party in power.
While the government has celebrated victory in what can only be described as a disastrous campaign after it became public the Prime Minister had worn blackface more times than he could remember, the nation should be wary about the rather large number of broken promises coming back with the Trudeau Liberals.
According to the Trudeau Metre, the Liberals broke 67 promises throughout their first term, accounting for 29 percent of all promises made.
These broken promises include massive campaign planks such as electoral reform, failing to properly restore the veteran’s pension system, and the continuation of massive deficit which put a balanced budget potentially decades into the future rather than 2019.
With the minority governments in Canada rarely lasting more than two years, it will be interesting to see what the government attempts to do in order to keep both previous promises made and new ones brought forth during the campaign. The Liberals must make compromises with other parties.
With both the NDP and Greens cash-strapped but needing wins, and the Conservatives facing an inner-party revolt against the current leader, we will likely see a relative calm as parties adjust followed by a truly harsh period as weakened parties attempt to regain ground lost in 2015.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Senate point men have tendered their resignations. Senator Peter Harder, the Government’s Representative in the upper chamber, and Government Liaison Senator Grant Mitchell made the announcement Friday.
“The start of a new Parliament is the best time to welcome a new face in the role of Government Representative,” Harder said in a statement.
“With the Senate now well advanced on the path to becoming more independent and less partisan… it simply made sense for me to pick this moment: a new cabinet has been sworn in, new Senate groups are emerging along non-partisan lines.”
According to Harder, his term as the Senate’s government rep will expire on Dec. 31, 2019 while Senator Mitchell said he would remain in his liaison role, previously called Government Whip, until Trudeau finds a replacement for Harder.
“Serving in this role has truly been a highlight of my career. It has been a privilege to have been so directly involved with Prime Minister Trudeau’s initiative to create a more independent Senate,” said Mitchell.
For nearly 150 years, senators were appointed by the sitting prime minister, and for the most part showed unbroken partisan loyalty to their caucuses. But that all changed in April 2014 when Trudeau cut existing Liberal appointees in the Upper Chamber from the national caucus.
The decision has factionalized the Senate with both Senate Conservatives and Liberal castaways coalescing in various groups, including the Independent Senators Group and a pair of nascent upstarts; the Canadian Senators Group and Progressive Senators Group.
Harder, who is a “non-affiliated” senator entered the upper chamber in April 2016, as the first “independent” appointed senator under a purportedly, non-partisan selection process. Mitchell was appointed to the Senate in 2005 by Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Known as the “chamber of sober second thought”, the Senate is intended to provide regional oversight for government bills as well as the power to introduce laws unrelated to spending.
Pierre Poilievre is a six-term Member of Parliament, former Minister of Employment and the current Conservative Shadow Minister of Finance.
Lots of advice is pouring in for Conservatives these days.
Much of it from people who have never or will never vote for the party. They have concluded that the Conservative Party, which won the most votes in the election, is so unpopular that it must abandon its entire platform and the 6.1 million people who voted for it. The Globe and Mail, for example, has called for the party to drop its weird obsession with fiscal responsibility and low taxes.
Likewise, this headline recently blazed the pages of the Toronto Star: “Conservatives will pay for Andrew Scheer’s anti-tax stance.” Low taxes are not compatible with “a big-tent party in 2019 Canada, and we know from the past few weeks of federal election campaigning that voters are not won over by the concept,” wrote the paper’s federal finance columnist Heather Scoffield. “It’s an anti-tax, small-government dogma that hearkens back to Stephen Harper and channels Jason Kenney and Doug Ford,” she wrote, referring to three leaders who won majorities on tax-fighting platforms.
Premiers Kenney and Ford won victories in the last 18 months, with many seats in urban centres. But never mind, we’re told that their low-tax messages are unelectable or out-of-date. As for Mr. Harper, the Parliamentary Budget Officer calculated that he “reduced federal tax revenue by $30 billion, or 12 per cent. These changes have been progressive, overall. Low and middle income earners have benefited more, in relative terms, than higher income earners.” The policy helped win Harper three elections (including a majority) and become the longest-serving Conservative Prime Minister since John A. MacDonald. (We wouldn’t want to repeat that track record, would we?)
Canada already has four parties—the New Democrats, Liberals, Greens and Bloc—clamoring for bigger and more powerful government. The media believes Conservatives should become the fifth. It would not be without precedent. Past “conservative” leaders have embraced higher taxes. How did that work out for them?
When Prime Minister Joe Clark’s budget hiked gas taxes, he lost a confidence vote and an election after only nine months in office. When President, George Herbert Walker Bush, broke his “read my lips: no new taxes” pledge, he lost to Bill Clinton. Alberta Premier, Ed Stelmach, raised taxes on the energy sector by jacking up royalty rates and was gone as Premier within ten months. Ernie Eves raised taxes soon after becoming Ontario Premier and promptly lost an election, reversing the back-to-back majorities of taxfighter, Mike Harris. In the early 1990s, the federal Progressive Conservative government introduced the GST and went from a majority government to merely two seats. New Brunswick Premier David Alward’s 2013/14 budget raised taxes by $200 million and in the following year’s election he lost his government and half his caucus. Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government announced hikes to income, gas and alcohol taxes in the 2015 budget and two months later lost to the NDP, finished third place and ended their 44-year dynasty, the longest of any party in Canada’s history.
It is true that there are many factors that lead to parties or leaders losing office. But is it just an extraordinary coincidence that voters have promptly driven out of office every federal or provincial conservative leader who raised taxes in the last three decades?
No. It is no coincidence. When conservative parties support tax increases, they get crushed.
The reasons are clear.
First, how can a conservative candidate who supports tax hikes criticize the socialist parties for doing the same? If all parties are going to cost taxpayers more, the election becomes a bidding war where parties compete to offer the most generous government-funded goodies—a bidding war left-wing parties with no fiscal responsibility will win every time.
What we can believably offer is a chance for hardworking and ambitious people to build better lives for themselves, by keeping more of their earnings.
That is who we are. Without our best product (low taxes), we lose our customers. We become a baker without bread or a logger without lumber.
“How boring,” groans the left. Ms. Scoffield, for example, laments that low taxes leave no “room for big thinking on how to confront the next economic downturn, or how to take care of an aging society, or how to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing unless the private sector takes front and centre.” Confront the next downturn through tax hikes? Care for an aging society by raising taxes on retirement savings? Make housing more affordable by taxing the business that builds homes, or the worker saving to buy one? These ideas fulfil the socialist fantasy of making people helplessly dependent on government, but betray people’s desire to fulfil their own potential and chart their own destinies.
Low taxes are not a “gimmick”, like 30 cents off paper towels. Rather, they allow free workers and entrepreneurs to choose what to do with the fruits of their labour and enterprise. Costing people less is just the means. Empowering them to do more is the end.
A dollar can only be in one place at a time. Who decides where it goes?
The person who earned it or the politician who taxed it; the entrepreneur whose investments produced it or the politician who faces no real consequence for squandering it?
Whose dreams are fulfilled in the end, the family saving to start a business, buy a home or afford to make lasting memories taking the kids somewhere special; or the politician who dreams of buying himself a legacy with that family’s money?
Conservatives must be the party of human aspiration and free choice. That means ignoring the big-government cabal and always standing with the hardworking taxpayer.
In a move reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party’s tea dumping, Quebec farmers have dumped their corn outside Prime Minister Trudeau’s Montreal office in protest on Monday. Farmers were upset that Trudeau didn’t step in and use parliamentary powers to send CN employees back to work.
The farmers were protesting the Liberal governemnt’s management of the CN rail strikes which had crippled the Canadian economy. The strike, protesting long working hours and the dangerous nature of the job went on for more than a week.
On Tuesday CN resolved the dispute with the workers’ union, Teamsters Canada, with a tentative deal. Employees were back at work by 2 p.m. on Tuesday and are starting regular operations by Wednesday morning.
The strikes cut off up to 85 percent of Quebec’s propane which is delivered by rail. The strike was particularly damaging to the protesting farmers because propane is needed to power grain dryers, which are vital to ensure that their corn crop can be dried and stored to be sold later. The Grain Farmers of Ontario released a statement urging the Candian government to end the strike as it was vital to ensure the farmers’ crops do not rot.
“This strike could not have come at a worse time for Ontario grain farmers. We are still seeing the majority of corn in the fields and harvest is progressing incredibly slowly. The corn being harvested is very wet and will require extensive drying to be viable, which requires the use of propane and our access is now cut off,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “This is devastating.”
The Quebec protestor’s, facing the same disastrous consequences of the strike as the Ontario farmers, held signs demanding the Trudeau and government to react to their need for propane.
In response to farmers’ demands to end the rail strike, Agricultural Minister Marie Claude Bibeau met with grain farmers in Regina to discuss how the strike was negatively affecting their farms.
She told farmers, “We still believe in the negotiation process. They are still around the table, and we are pushing both parties to come to an agreement,” and “This would be the best for every party and the fastest solution as well.”
With the recent tentative deal reached with the union representing CN rail workers, the propane should flow back into Quebec and the farmers crops will be saved.