Ethics laws are fine and dandy but they have to have teeth if they are to be of any effect on the behavior of politicians.
At the end of 2017 Justin Trudeau was awarded the dubious honor of being the first sitting Prime Minister in Canadian history to be found in contravention of the Conflict of Interest Act. Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson ruled that in accepting a lavish vacation on a private island along with a private helicopter ride Justin Trudeau had clearly broken the law.
What was the punishment for Trudeau’s arrogant disregard for conflict of interest laws though? A finger wagging.
Today Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has concluded that Justin Trudeau has broken the Conflict of Interest law yet again when he tried to use his position as Prime Minister to bully Jody Wilson-Raybould.
” I find that Mr. Trudeau used his position of authority over Ms. Wilson-Raybould to seek to influence her decision on whether she should overrule the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to invite SNC-Lavalin to enter into negotiations towards a remediation agreement.
Because SNC?Lavalin overwhelmingly stood to benefit from Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s intervention, I have no doubt that the result of Mr. Trudeau’s influence would have furthered SNC-Lavalin’s interests. The actions that sought to further these interests were improper since the actions were contrary to the constitutional principles of prosecutorial independence and the rule of law.
For these reasons, I find that Mr. Trudeau contravened section 9 of the (Conflict of Interest) Act.”
What does this mean though?
Diddly squat unfortunately.
When commoners such as ourselves are found to be breaking laws, we are fined or imprisoned.
When Prime Minister Trudeau is found breaking laws, he gets a scolding.
There is only one way that Trudeau can face consequences for his flagrant disregard of Canadian laws while in office as Prime Minister and that is for the electorate to remove Trudeau from the office of Prime Minister.
Canadians have an opportunity just over two months from now to act as judge, jury and executioner on Justin Trudeau in the general election. They likely will not get such an opportunity for some years to come.
Let’s hope that the electorate lashes out and removes this scofflaw from office this fall.
If you think Trudeau’s arrogance is bad now, just imagine if the electorate gives him a second mandate despite his multiple breaches of the law. He will feel empowered and justified in using his office to pressure anybody for anything that appears to be in his personal interest.
If re-elected, Justin Trudeau will see himself as being above the laws of the land and unfortunately he will be right.