We now have two legal cases where individuals who were trying to do the right thing — former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould and Vice-Admiral Norman — were treated unjustly by their own government.
By our government.
By a government that ignored some of the most fundamental precepts of the rule of law, including prosecutorial independence and the obligation to disclose, in a timely fashion, relevant information sought by the accused in a criminal trial.
As Norman’s lawyer, Marie Henein, said last week of the Trudeau government after the beach of trust charge against her client was stayed: “There are times you agree with what happens in a court, there are times you don’t, and that’s fine. But what you don’t do is you don’t put your finger and try to weigh in on the scales of justice, that is not what should be happening.”
Canadians will never know the full story of what happened in either of these cases if Trudeau is re-elected with a majority government, because if that happens, as is the case now, the only person who can order an independent inquiry into the actions of Trudeau’s government is Trudeau.
Based on his public statements to date, Trudeau has no interest in doing so because he believes his government did nothing wrong.
Trudeau has commented twice — albeit not in Parliament where he’s been avoiding question period — on the staying of the criminal charge against Norman.
On Wednesday, the day Norman’s charge was stayed, Trudeau said in Ottawa: “The process involved in a public prosecution like this is entirely independent of my office. We have confidence in the work done by the director of public prosecutions.”
On Friday, in Edmonton, Trudeau said: “I think Canadians understand that judicial processes, police investigations and court proceedings are all entirely independent of the government of the day and certainly of the Prime Minister’s Office. That is the way it should be. The processes in this case have unfolded in a proper manner, completely independent of government, as they should have.”
So, according to Trudeau, “nothing to see here folks, move along.”
Except what the Lavscam and Norman cases actually revealed is that the legal processes Trudeau says worked, worked despite his government, not because of it.
Trudeau has been reduced to repeating “talking points” that appear to have been written for him.
Note how both of his statements on the Norman case contain the phrase that prosecutorial decisions were “entirely independent” of his office.
That’s not the issue. Henein didn’t accuse the prosecutors of wrongdoing. She said senior officials within Trudeau’s government withheld relevant information to the defence and the prosecution regarding her client.
That brings to mind Trudeau’s repeated claim no one in his office “directed” then attorney general Wilson-Raybould to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to SNC-Lavalin on the day (Feb. 7) the Globe and Mail broke the story.
Except the Globe hadn’t said she was “directed,” an allegation Trudeau gratuitously described as “false.” It said she was improperly pressured to do so by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Which leads to the question of what this government will do next, if it wins on Oct. 21?