Gerald Butts looks like such a gentle, soft spoken man, it's hard to imagine he's the son of a coal miner from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
And during his testimony before the justice committee today he never once lost his temper, or raised his voice.
But what he did do very effectively was blow the fake scandal out of the water.
By effectively dismissing Jody Wilson-Raybould's claims that the beasts in the PMO had pressured her cruelly, and above al by demolishing her timeline.
The Prime Minister’s former principal secretary says Jody Wilson-Raybould was not subjected to inappropriate pressure and suggested her concerns about improper interference in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution only happened after she was demoted in a cabinet shuffle in early January.
If you don't get the full impact of that first paragraph, before the Globe goes on to bury the lead, then you should read this story by Konrad Yakabuski, where he compares Butts to Mark Anthony at Caesar's funeral.
There are different ways to take down your enemies. One is to go low with a character assassination so vicious that you persuade no one else but those who are already on your side. This is the Donald Trump way, and it amounts to a declaration of war.
Then there is the Mark Antony approach, as evidenced in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. His famous eulogy in Act III of the play offers a master class in how to demolish your adversaries, all while praising them as “honourable” people.
Except that while Butts did praise Wilson-Raybould he also buried her up to her neck.
As far as Mr. Butts was concerned, the former justice minister and attorney-general gave no indication that she felt there was anything inappropriate about conversations she had with all of the above individuals regarding SNC-Lavalin until she learned she was being moved out of her “dream job” in January.
She then turned on Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Butts, with whom she had shared a leisurely two-hour-plus dinner at the Château Laurier Hotel only a month earlier, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. She charged she was being demoted for refusing to intervene on the SNC-Lavalin file.
And if that's too wordy then you can read my concise summary...
So SNC-Lavalin wasn't a big problem for Jody Wilson-Raybould until AFTER she was shuffled. Thank you Mr Butts. Case closed. End of the fake scandal.— 🇨🇦 Simon 🏴🍀 (@montrealsimon) March 6, 2019
For that's all that really needs to be said, and hopefully will be my last word on this sordid episode.
Of course, Andrew Scheer's grubby Cons, their sleazy media stooges, and other toxic Trudeau haters, will attempt to keep the fake scandal alive by blowing air into every orifice.
But all that will do is destroy what little credibility they have left. And judging by their long faces tonight even they know it's over.
Sadly, the decent Justin Trudeau has taken a small hit in the polls, from all the Con media propaganda that was aimed at him for what seems like forever.
But if we now focus on attacking Scheer and his little Rebel attack poodle Hamish Marshall, like we never have before...
It won't be long before we bring them and their ghastly Trumpling party down to earth with a sickening thud.
And Justin Trudeau will go on to win the next election.
As I was always sure he would...
I hope the picture has been filled in now and we can move on to a new canvas. A totally manufactured scandal. Yes the PMO wanted to save SNC laval. Who would not?
The Prime Minister needs to expel JWR and Jane Philpott from the LPC. Hold a presser and express regret this is the road they have chosen to take and thank them for their service. He needs to make clear this isn't a women's/indigenous issue but rather one of trust and respect. You can't sit with the party you were elected under when you do not believe in the platform or the leader. JWR also neglected to mention she was offered Indigenous affairs. This was missing from "her truth" despite the importance the PM placed on the file. I am sure the CPC will welcome them with open arms and as heroes until they outlive their usefulness. These two have demonstrated they cannot be trusted and no one likes turncoats. They rarely go onto be re-elected.
Please, please, PLEASE let this nightmare be OVER already!!!
I haven't slept in three weeks!!!
I can tell you are feeling a lot better Simon, now that you are making them laugh all over Twitter. I wasn't as confident as you, but you were right and I was too gloomy. I'm still angry at the way the MSM believed Wilson-Rabould when her story didn't add up, and it was obvious she was just pissed of at Justin for removing her as Justice Minister. I don't think I'll ever trust them again.
Simon its nice to be optimistic but senior level whistle blowers usually cannot be dispatched that easily. Like squirrels they collect their golden nuggets before anyone suspects they have defected. When stitched together the truths, out of context truths and solicited truths present a believable story especially if it is amplified by the Fox North media conglomerate and satellite drones. Depending on how well they can maintain story line momentum stay tuned for round 2 or the dramatic exit.
Sorry Simon, but Butts scored an own-goal today by admitting that he asked Wilson-Raybould to break the law. Butts told the parliamentary committee, “When 9,000 jobs are at stake, it’s a public policy problem." Both he and Trudeau have been quite clear that they wanted Wilson-Raybould to consider the national economic interest.
The trouble is that the Criminal Code explicitly forbids prosecutors from considering the national economic interest as a factor in deciding whether to offer a DPA. It's a damn good thing for this country that two strong women, Kathleen Roussel and Jody Wilson-Raybould, refused to go along with the PMO's corrupt demands that they break Canadian law.
Send him an email recommending just that.
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't bother contacting him via social media. It's a garbage fire and I doubt he reads it anyway. I know I wouldn't if I were him.
Now's the time for Gerry to go on the media offensive, then. Get ahead of the story before Jody and friends pull another shit fit.
I can assume he knows about Warren's involvement in this, no?
Agreed. The scandal is fake. It's nothing more than an intra-party ugly ideological squabble and a most unfortunate vendetta by someone who perceived she was hard done by. Absolutely nothing illegal. JWR's silence and failure to effectively, and on the record (I.e formally in writing) express her displeasure before she was removed as AG is proof that this is nothing more than sour grapes tinged and perhaps informed by her (laudable!) First nations activist principles. Unfortunately, the PM is not totally clean here, for by installing his cabinet with diversity and new ideals (about time!!!) it was incumbent on him and his PMO to be aware of his own rhetoric... to actually govern differently, with a more open awareness of what the ideals he spoke actually would mean in practice. It's not fatal for him, if he can be contrite and recognize his failures here. Again, nothing illegal. Unfortunately, it isn't going anywhere because of the forces progressism is up against (big business Cons and their owned media). Simon, love you, but you will be writing about this again and again, and you know it.
Hi anon...No you're wrong, as are the other talking point Cons. So listen carefully please because I'm not going to repeat it. From the notes of Kady O'Malley on the testimony of Michael Wernick, The "national economic interest" means that you can't let a company off the hook because it helps your country over another. It does NOT mean economic factors are off the table when it comes to a DPA. Additionally the "public interest" can also be taken into account when considering a DPA. So Butts broke no laws, but he did expose Wilson-Raybould as somewhat of a fraud. The fake scandal is over get that through your head....
Hi Steve...The fake scandal will stagger on because the Cons thought it could help them win the election. But it has been mortally wounded, it's bleeding internally, most Canadians are getting tired of it, so sooner or later it will fall flat on its face...
Hi anon@8:57 PM....I know it's tempting to consider expelling JWR and Dr Philpott, and I entertain that idea at least fifteen times a day myself, I think it would be a mistake. It's certainly what JWR would love so she could continue her farcical role as a martyr. And as for Dr Philpot she is just besotted with JWR and would gladly follow her if only be the Thelma to her Louise. Better to let them just sit there, occupying and keeping two liberal seats. And just let them be treated like any other backbenchers. My guess is that while they might stay for the election they will quit soon after from sheer boredom, and the problems will be solved in a much quieter way....
Hi Jackie...please relax, there is no reason to lose sleep over a fake scandal like that one. The only thing you'll end up doing is killing yourself, and that would be a tragedy for all of us, since you would be sorely missed. So my advice is to take a break from social media, go for long walks, watch nice relaxing stuff on TV , listen to your favourite tunes, and above all get plenty of sleep. You'll be amazed how much better you will feel, and when you return we'll all be still here to welcome you back...
Hi anon...yes I am feeling a lot better than I have been in the last week or so. I also met a 99-year- old woman at the hospital, and she was cracking jokes like a professional comedian. And when she left a nurse said that's why she's such a healthy 99-year-old and I had to agree. Laughter is really good for you, and after a winter like the one we've been having I'd say essential for survival....☃☃☃☃☃
Hi RT....I don't deny that Thelma and Louise may be planning something, but Wilson-Raybould just took a hell of a hit to her credibility, so her impact will never be what it once was. The budget will be coming up soon, and Canadians will get a chance to talk about something real, instead of a fake scandal that has zero impact on their lives. And finally, I may be an optimist, but only because I think we have so much to be optimistic about. Income from a land with more than its share of dour old men, who try to smack me as I dance around them laughing, but usually end up laughing themselves. This dour country is a much larger challenge, but one at a time I will win you over..l😎
Hi Jackie...Gerry's work is done. He is a very smart guy but he was part of the problem. He can help from a distance, but what we need now are attack ad specialists. The Liberals have just released their first two ads, or will release them soon. And all of us must prepare to smear Scheer until he is buried in his own excrement. As for Kinsella don't worry about him, he's blown whatever credibility he had left, and he will not get it back...
Yes, they are busy trying to claim law breaking based on s.715.32(3) "the prosecutor must not consider the national economic interest, the potential effect on relations with a state other than Canada or the identity of the organization or individual involved." So prosecutors should not consider relations with other countries, but relations within Canada are what they are concerned with. They are not concerned about "national economic interest" selling stuff to other countries, they are concerned about a 10 year ban on selling stuff to this country.
The Cons never seem to mention the other 8 factors to be considered, along with just about anything considered relevant as the 9th factor, which is only constrained by s.715.32(3) to avoid anything to do with foreign relations when the offence was corrupting foreign officials.
But these are the same people who tell us of Trudeau having a "certain admiration for China's basic dictatorship". They never seem to mention Trudeau then mused about how much the then current PM Harper would like such a system because he was always touted as "getting things done". Giving a standard professorial answer, you always give different sides to the answer, bad ones first and finally he said the most admired system was in one of our own Territories where it is not a one party state like China, or a multiparty state, but a no party system. When asked again on a later occasion, he answered the Mother of all Parliaments in the UK as another example of one he actually admired.
For something with a bit more nuance:
And anon 10:57, "scored an own-goal"? Could you pick up the phone>? 2017 wants its meme back.
Gerry is the Warren of his generation. Remember WK in his prime, "the flintstones is not a documentary"? And Stock was stymied and a laughingstock.
Meanwhile JWR and Philpott are kind of stuck, they quit Cabinet but apparently the government benches are still good enough for them. Their principles required leaving Trudeau's cabinet, but not the party he leads? Really?
I think Gerry really demolished JWR by revealing she was offered control over the Indian Act which she has fought her entire life against, and was supposedly the reason she entered politics. Somehow her principles precluded completing her life mission, and actually doing something for the people who supported her all this way.
Instead she has been duped into a Ford style takeover attempt. Remember how the Ontario PCs were favourites to win the 2018 election even if they ran a piece of furniture? So anyone who could oust the leader and take over the party would become Premier. Just look at the Patrick Brown ouster, and guess which Prince of Darkness' fingerprints were all over it, warming up for the big show now.
15 times a day? Wow. I agree, they can stew on the government benches. But I disagree with them being bored. Somehow JWR was so underworked as a Minister that she actually noticed 11 people suggesting she consider independent counsel on SNC. So one suggestion a week. Maybe I am in the wrong business, because someone pitching me once a week would barely register. Now considering dumping them after pitching oneself 15 times a day, that would actually be remembered.
As much as I agree that this is all about a disgruntled employee who wants to inflict maximum damage on JT for him having the audacity(and absolute right) to demote her from Justice, I doubt that this is over. The Cons will want her to testify again and I'm sure they'll try to get her BFF "Jilted Jane" to toss a few more knives JT's way.
I hope I'm wrong but we all know how the Cons love to flog a dead horse(giddyup!). What's really sad here is that JWR failed to weigh the consequences of her actions by proceeding against SNC when a DPA was an option and would have sufficed. I certainly would have slept better at night knowing I tried to save thousands of jobs while still reining in an oft times legally challenged company. Those are questions she should be answering, especially what part of the potential loss of thousands of jobs are you okay with?
Seeing as how the law has yet to be interpreted by the courts, my interpretation is as good as Wernick's. And since Wernick is not a lawyer I give his opinion no weight at all. Strange how you label critics of Trudeau as Cons. You'll notice the Cons never criticise Trudeau for eating away at the rule of law by introducing DPAs. They love the idea of one law for their corporate masters and one law for everyone else.
I think Philpot should be back in cabinet. She was betrayed as much as the Canadian public was but anyone can make a mistake.
Butts was hilarious. Quietly, gently he told Lietch to stop butting in ; and she did. He did the same to an annoying reformatory little shit who also shut up . No wonder Kinseeout is chewing a hind leg off and raging impotently about Butts.
I suspected Butt's evidence would show that JWR initiated the meeting and she did. Not a lie but a sin of omission.
The meeting was not tense with pressure as her thanks you note shows but a two hour , wide ranging mutual conversation during which she was able to set most of the agenda. Not a lie , merely a sin of omission.
She said there was no paper trail but she sent an electronic thank you the next day. Not a lie but merely a sin of omission.
The really nasty act was JWR's edict to hide information from the Privy council a body we expect and need to be fully informed.
How did she think she would ever get away with this.
Also while the reformatories are bleating and wailing about asking JWR to return to call Butts a liar again , they make no attempt to allow Butts to rebut her rebuttal.
I will second Simon's suggestion. This "scandal", so far, has all the markings of a "tempest in a teapot".
No criminal charges, no missing money or suspicious payoffs. It is a bit of Con/Media hysteria. I suspect most Canadians, digging out after the last storm or even tending their roses in Victoria are not really interested.
Losing a second minister is a nasty blow but not horrendous outside of Ottawa unless accompanied by accusations of real malfeseance.
Oh, an acquaintance asked me if I had seen the job ad? The liberals are advertising for cabinet makers.
Everybody who has testified has been saying the same thing, as far as I'm concerned. Here are my observations, for what it's worth:
1/ There exists a conflict of interest built into our very structure of the justice system. The optics of this are terrible but this is not the fault of the sitting government as it has always been this way.
2/ The Conservatives are literally pieces of shit for saying this undermines our credibility when it comes to the Huawei case. The supposed pressure being applied was about choosing two legal paths, whereas the Meng Wanzhou case has only one possible legal path.
3/ It should be a concern to all progressives in this country that Trudeau was looking for DPA in the SNC case. This is a company with a very long history of bribery and corruption. If corporations were to be considered people in Canada, as they are in the US, I'd be looking to bring back the death penalty.
I'm fully convinced that the Liberals did nothing wrong from a legal perspective, but the fact that the Liberals were looking to let some corporate jackasses off the hook? That's the real scandal here, and it needs to be more upfront.
Why did JWR turn down Minister of Indigenous Affairs?
I thinks she said that she has always opposed the Indian Act and will not take a position where she would have to administer it.
'Liberals were looking to let some corporate jackasses off the hook ?'
All corporate individuals involved in the Libya affair have been charged. So far its been 0/7 convictions with one remaining. The corporate charges does not involve individuals. Agree that SNC seems rotten to the core but perhaps a dpa with monitoring is still better than a criminal prosecution which still results in a fine and possible disbarment from federal contracts if they convict and nothing if they loose. It is likely that all large engineering firms (and others) who are major players in strong arm and third world countries have a certain element of corruption. It seems that the responsible executives learn the quasi legal ropes, make a piss pot full of money for the corporation and then are repatriated to head office bringing their bad but successful habits with them. From a worker perspective best practice global engineering skills are a real asset to Canadians, its a question of how we prevent the filth from following the executives back home. No easy answers but barriers and the notion we can do it all ourselves with many little engineering firms is not an smart answer.
Cabinet needs a relationship therapist in place?
She made classic female mistake of hinting and expecting guys to read her mind ... and when they do not - has a dummy spit (soother) and ongoing tantrum ... engaging in what we call the four horsemen of the apocalypse in couples ... PM takes responsibility for not minding the relationship more/better, but she abdicated her responsibility... too immature to be in such a high level serious position... she’s doing the proverbial taking keys to body of her beloved’s car ... Shame on her!!! LI
I respect your response, RT, and see your perspective. My comment was indirectly speaking to the oft-repeated threat of "job losses" combined with my own experiences with government contracting. People with skills do not disappear simply because their parent organization crumbles - they move on to other firms and those other firms grow to fill the void. SNC can be seen as either an important strategic national resource, or a barrier to growth for smaller (and possibly maybe even more ethical) firms.
Can you handle the truth about Butts?
From CPAC, an interview with an actual judge.
Hi anon....I don't think Gerry Butts can be compared to Kinsella in his prime, because he's not that ruthless. I wish Trudeau some ruthless take no prisoner advisers around him, because sometimes I think he's too nice to deal with the Trumpling Cons of today. But yes, I do wonder if somebody conned JWR into thinking she could become prime minister, and the way Kinsella has been acting I wouldn't be surprised if it was him. Warren and Jody, sounds like some cheap cabaret act....
Yes, your honour, your interpretation is as good as a that of a man who has served four prime ministers. And no, as someone who has always voted for the NDP, I don't consider all who criticize Trudeau to be Cons. But those who repeat Con talking points are difficult to tell apart....
Hi anon....thank you for your comment and that link. I found them both interesting, although I have to admit that in my current state of total exhaustion, by the time I finished reading the Advocats for the Rule of Law piece, I had smoke pouring out of my ears. But nuance is important and hopefully we can still rescue something out of this ghastly episode..l
Hi JD...You're probably right. I admit that I can sometimes be a little too optimistic. But mostly because I don't want to discourage other progressives. When I was a young teenager and I was part of a gang fighting some of the most hideous bullies you can imagine, I would go on about how we were going to whip their asses, while the others were writing their blood types on their arms. But after much blood letting and a couple of broken arms and black eyes, we did beat the bullies. So the Cons can do their worst, but we are going to take them down and piss on their graves...
Hi rumleyfips....I was amused to see the look on the faces of Cons like Poilievre and that weasel face Cooper. It was like they were staring at the devil or George Soros himself. But as you say Butts handled himself well, and killed them softly. Or at least slightly deflated the cult of Jody, before she lead the whole damn lot of us into the land of absolute madness. The fact that such a cult should spring up around her so easily, and be amplified by the media, is something all Canadians should be deeply concerned about...
Hi Kathleen....as rumleyfips says below, JWR says she couldn't accept the job because she's been fighting the Indian Act all her life. That's true, but she could have done a lot of fighting against it at Indigenous Affairs, even worked to abolish it. And I'm afraid that what is also true is that she considers Indigenous Affairs and Veteran Affairs beneath her, which if true would be absolutely appalling, and should be part of the narrative. Her loudmouth father has made it clear, it's the prime minister's job or ELSE...
So a judge is the source of real truth? Brett Kavanaugh is a reliable measurement for ultimate truth-telling?
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