Thursday, 21 February 2019

Woman may lose home after learning New Brunswick Medicare won't cover Florida cancer surgery

https://twitter.com/DavidRayAmos/with_replies





Replying to and 49 others
Methinks Mr Flemming should fix this in a heartbeat before I raise a lot of Hell N'esy Pas?




https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/cancer-new-brunswick-medicare-1.5026696


 

Woman may lose home after learning New Brunswick Medicare won't cover Florida cancer surgery



898 Comments



  
David Amos
David Amos
Methinks Mr Flemming should fix this in a heartbeat before I raise a lot of Hell N'esy Pas?



Woman may lose home after learning New Brunswick Medicare won't cover Florida cancer surgery

Marilyn Steele's doctor should have checked domestic availability before seeing U.S. surgeon, province says


Marilyn Steele's surgery bills from the U.S. totalled close to $144,000. New Brunswick Medicare won't pay, saying her doctor should have investigated Canadian options for surgery. (Submitted)


Marilyn Steele says she has her life back — but she and her husband may lose their home — after she underwent cancer surgery in Florida at the family's own cost because her doctor told them he and his colleagues agreed the procedure couldn't be done in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia.

Steele, 73, a resident of Nashwaak Bridge, about an hour outside Fredericton, had surgery in Tampa within days of her diagnosis in December. She now has $144,000 in surgery bills that the province of New Brunswick refuses to pay.

Her roller-coaster ride of pain and panic began on Dec. 7, when Dr. James Belyea gave her the news she had anaplastic thyroid cancer — a rare cancer that he said would kill her in months.

Steele said Belyea told her and her family there was nothing he could do for her, and then painted a terrifying picture of what she could expect at the end.

CBC News
Fredericton woman prepares to sell her home to pay for cancer treatment
 Family may lose home after learning Medicare won't cover lifesaving surgery 1:24
"The tests were showing that the tumours were invading my carotid artery," Steele said from Toronto, where she's just finished 40 rounds of radiation treatment.

"And he said the very last thing would be that that artery would rupture. And it would be very gruesome for my family to watch."

Steele said she asked the doctor, "'What about me?'" and that he responded: "'You'll bleed to death.'"


Steele is dealing with anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare, fast-moving form of the disease that would kill her in months. (Submitted)
That's when Steele's daughter Lesley began asking questions as Belyea explained the horrifying diagnosis.

Steele's tumour was wrapped around the base of her carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain, neck and face. Lesley said Belyea, an ear nose and throat specialist, and head and neck surgeon, told them he showed her mother's CT scan to other doctors but no one in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia could help.

"He just said, 'I would highly, highly encourage you to seek care elsewhere,'" Lesley said. 
The only other option offered to her was radiation and chemotherapy, which may have extended her life three to 12 months.


Dr. Gary Clayman is the Tampa, Fla., surgeon who performed the cancer surgery on her within days of her diagnosis in Canada. (Submitted)

48-hour deadline


Lesley said Belyea hadn't suggested where the Steeles should look for care. Being a veterinarian, she immediately started calling her own medical contacts and searching for anyone who might save her mother's life. Her search turned up surgeons in the U.S. and Europe, so she turned to ones in the U.S.

By the next morning, Lesley said, she had received a call back from Dr. Gary Clayman, a thyroid cancer surgeon in Tampa, who said he would see her mother, but it had to be soon, as the cells with her type of cancer divide rapidly.

"We had from 8:30 in the morning Saturday morning until Monday morning at 8 a.m. — so 48 hours we had to get to Tampa," she said.


A letter saying travel is never covered under New Brunswick Medicare unless all domestic options are exhausted. (CBC)
At the clinic in Florida, the Steeles pooled their credit cards, hoping their limits would cover the costs.
By Wednesday, Steele had undergone a successful seven-hour surgery, followed by 40 rounds of targeted radiation in Toronto, then daily chemotherapy pills for life.

Midway through radiation treatments in Toronto, Lesley heard that New Brunswick Medicare would not pay for any of her care in the U.S.

Prior approval


On Dec. 10, before Steele underwent surgery, Belyea had written a letter of support to New Brunswick Medicare for the family's choice to head to Florida. The letter said Steele "was not considered a surgical candidate in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia," mainly because the surgery was too complicated.

Belyea noted Clayman was one of the world's leading surgeons for the complicated surgery.
However, Dr. Zeljko Bolesnikov, the medical consultant to New Brunswick Medicare, read Belyea's letter on Jan. 3 and wrote back that out-of-country services are only covered if there is proof no Canadian centres could perform them.

In Steele's case, there wasn't any proof Belyea had tried to find out if other hospitals in Canada could do the procedure, Bolesnikov wrote.


After surgery, Steele needed 40 rounds of targeted radiation in Toronto and will have to take daily chemo pills for life. (Submitted)
In a second letter to New Brunswick Medicare, Belyea said he was unaware of any legislation that required him to call every centre in Canada to see if a surgeon could do the work.

"In the time it would've taken for Marilyn Steele to be assessed at every academic centre in Canada, she would have almost certainly died of airway obstruction or had distant metastasis," he wrote.

Bolesnikov replied that three hospitals — one each in Toronto, London, Ont., and Edmonton — could have done the surgery. He also said all other provinces agreed they wouldn't have approved a referral outside Canada.

From the Steele family's perspective, New Brunswick Medicare's refusal to cover the surgery appears to be punishing the patient for a doctor's failure to know or communicate Medicare rules. The family has appealed the decision.

"I'm very frustrated at what appears to be a technicality between someone claiming to not know the process and someone claiming that the process has to be followed in order for something to happen," said Lesley.

"Those two sides don't involve my mother at all."

Marilyn is receiving a monthly payment from New Brunswick Medicare for her medical stay in Toronto, and a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $16,000 for the family.

Who pays?


The questions remains whether the Steeles are responsible for the out-of-country bills because their doctor didn't get pre-approval from New Brunswick Medicare.

Bolesnikov said it shouldn't have been left to the Steele family to check out other possibilities for surgery. Doctors, he said, are trained to check multiple centres of excellence.


The Steeles may have to sell their home in the country to pay for Marilyn's lifesaving surgery. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)
"You can't be a surgeon without knowing who does what in your field," he said in an interview.
In one of his letters to Belyea, Bolesnikov also said families should be made aware that "going outside the country will be their own responsibility."

Belyea did not return calls from the CBC.

Dr. Ed Schollenberg, registrar of the New Brunswick College of Physicians and Surgeons, said he hasn't seen a case quite like this one, where the cancer is extremely fast moving.

He said normally a wait of a few days or a week doesn't matter and allows time for pre-approval from New Brunswick Medicare. Schollenberg also said it has lists of doctors and their specialties, and can generally do the checking for the doctor.

He said the Department of Health has intervened to overrule some provincial Medicare decisions, but generally they involved coverage for expensive drugs.

Patient's health 'the priority'


New Brunswick Health Minister Ted Flemming did not agree to an interview, and said in an email he can't talk about specific cases.

"I can tell you that there is a formal process in place for out-of-country Medicare coverage which we are in the process of going through now. The health of any patient is always the priority."

Marilyn Steele speaks just above a whisper because of her surgery and radiation.

"We're not rich people," she said. "We're both retired on a small pension. And the only asset that we have is our home. And it's a very modest three-bedroom bungalow in the country."

Despite fears she will soon have to sell the house to cover her medical costs and perhaps move into an apartment, Steele smiled at the thought of returning to New Brunswick.

"Oh, just [to] look out my front window at the snowbanks. I just want to be home."









Top civil servant slams SNC-Lavalin media report as erroneous, 'defamatory'

https://twitter.com/DavidRayAmos/with_replies





Replying to and 49 others
Methinks I should dare anyone to ask me why I am well aware Michael Wernick was Deputy Minister of Aboriginal and Northern affairs under Harper Anyone can Google Michael Wernick and David Amos N'esy Pas?


https://davidraymondamos3.blogspot.com/2019/02/top-civil-servant-slams-snc-lavalin.html





https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/lametti-justice-committee-snc-lavalin-1.5027617




Top civil servant slams SNC-Lavalin media report as erroneous, 'defamatory'





6136 Comments



Daryl McBride 
Daryl McBride
Liberals investigating Liberals and limiting witnesses. What happened to Canada?


Peter Boone
Peter Boone
@Daryl McBride The Liberals must take Canadians to be fools to proceed with a farce of this magnitude. Unfortunately there may still be plenty of fish on their hooks.

Gordon McPherson
Gordon McPherson
@Daryl McBride

I know.

"You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it."

Smith John
Smith John
@Daryl McBride

"Canada is back!"

Tarl Cabbot
Tarl Cabbot
@Daryl McBride

Limiting witnesses?
How so?

Oh, yeah, wait a minute . . .

The lawyer (David Lametti) will undoubtedly provide reams and reams and reams of unintelligible "fie" print testimony.
That's what lawyers do.

Nico De Jong
Nico De Jong
@Smith John
what he meant was Liberals are back - at the trough, and at their schem ing and conniv ing ways.
Oh, and Liberal arrogance on steroids is back.

Chris Harris
Chris Harris
@Daryl McBride

You sound surprised.

Bernie Hunter
Bernie Hunter
@Daryl McBride

Correct. And no more Quebec Prime Ministers.

Art Rowe
Art Rowe
@Tarl Cabbot

LEFT or RIGHT?
That is the question, which side of his mouth is he speaking out of?

Artie Gibson
Artie Gibson
@Daryl McBride

The Cash Filled Brown Paper Bag Association rules.

Jamie Gillis
Jamie Gillis
@Daryl McBride

The uselessness of having Lametti there is rather apparent, from what I can see. Anything to do with the heart of the matter, that is anything between JWR and the PMO, he is only saying he confirm whether any particular meetings even occurred, let alone comment on them. I would think the only questions of possible use might be when he was notified that Trudeau wanted to make him the new AG, if he had any information as to why JWR was being removed, and if the SNC Lavalin affair was brought up in those discussions or other meetings since.

Tarl Cabbot
Tarl Cabbot
@Art Rowe

It is like a game of "Survivor"
Lamentti will protect himself first, and then the PMO, and then SNC

I am sure none of those three lean neither left nor right, but aim toward self preservation, power and profit.

Jamie Gillis
Jamie Gillis
@Jamie Gillis

saying he can't confirm*

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Daryl McBride

If this is such a massive travesty of justice, and our government is just so compromised, why don’t you take a crack at explaining why SNC Lavalin didn’t get what it wanted in the end?

I’ll go get my popcorn.

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Peter Boone

The Conservatives must think Canadians can be cowed like sheep if they think this obvious political attack will resonate all the way to the election...

...scratch that...with all the foreign attacks via social media, shady practices of right-wing funded PR firms, and the willingness of the Conservatives to appeal to the worst in people, it just might.

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Chris Harris

He sounds poorly informed...

...or maybe just well funded.

Doug James
Doug James
@Daryl McBride
This is the new open and transparent Liberal government promised! Do you realize how totally closed and shadowed it was before? Now if we can only get those pesky independent internet sites to stop reporting their version of truth, we could all be full of bliss!

Ryan Tasker
Ryan Tasker
@Daryl McBride
Welcome to politics 101... you don't actually have to have proof of wrongdoings to take down your opponents, you simply have to accuse them of something then watch as they scramble.

Leslie Rowen
Leslie Rowen
@Daryl McBride

Justin Trudeau is what happened to Canada. The good news is that the broken parts can be replaced in October.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Daryl McBride

When the witch hunt starts to fall apart as truth comes out conservatives will continue to ignore the facts and sling mud no matter.

Sam Uekel
Sam Uekel
@Daryl McBride

Cons would do the same thing. The sooner lap dogs from either spectrum of the political scale realize this the sooner they can make clear headed decisions come election time.

Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson
@Daryl McBride Are we pretending this is something new in Canada?

Bryan Danielson
Bryan Danielson
@Daryl McBride

the answer you're looking for is defined in your statement.

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Ryan Tasker

...or in this case, watching as they provide comprehensive, logical answers to ludicrous, baseless charges from anonymous sources...

...fanned by opposition parties obviously and shamelessly trolling for votes.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Daryl McBride

Michael Wernick served under Harper as Deputy Minister of aboriginal and northern affairs for 10 years...

Waiting for cons to call him out as a "Liberal" as their witch hunt falls a part

Karen King
Karen King
@Matt Thuaii

OMG yes, this has nothing to do with SNC and all to do with the desperate cons...

roger murphy
roger murphy
@Troy Mann

Switch hitter?

Edward Peter
Edward Peter
@Daryl McBride
The Head Of the Privy Council, is a 37 year apolitical person, has worked for Both governments, so saying he is Bias, is just wrong.
He said the G&M report is full of holes, and he was there.
Lisa did not Grill anybody, just tried to get people to agree with her view, which they did NOT.

Gerald Girard
Gerald Girard
@Daryl McBride

Let the woman speak.

Edward Peter
Edward Peter
@Tarl Cabbot
I should have watch the Questioning on CPAC, like I did. 

You are wrong.


Jack Slate
Jack Slate
Wernick testimony seems to be self serving as he admits to having a discussion with JWR on the snc file and the "context" of the prosecution. Sounds like he's just defending himself rather than having this all seeing proof that nothing wrong was done.

David Amos
Content disabled.
David Amos
@Troy Mann "Michael Wernick served under Harper as Deputy Minister of aboriginal and northern affairs for 10 years"

Methinks I should double dog dare you to ask me why I am well aware of that fact N'esy Pas?

Edward Peter
Edward Peter
@Leslie Rowen
By a young man, that is running what position 4 premiers handed him and a Faulty news story, great Platform.

Gerald Girard
Gerald Girard
@Daryl McBride

The fact that SNC-Lavalin were able to lobby for changes that would save them from prosecution is really all I need to know how this played out.

David Amos
David Amos
@Troy Mann "Waiting for cons to call him out as a "Liberal" as their witch hunt falls a part"

In the "Mean" time methinks anyone can Google Michael Wernick and David Amos N'esy Pas?

Scotty Davidson
Scotty Davidson
@Daryl McBride Omnibus budgets happened, change our laws with no debate or input to or from Canadians.



bill laplante
bill laplante
@Matt Thuaii Because she got fired for the decision



Karen King
Karen King
@bill laplante

nope, no one got fired, just posting what you are told??

Matt Parks
Matt Parks
@Daryl McBride: You can't honestly think any other party would've done things differently? Every single federal government, at least in my lifetime, has had some kind of a scandal like this and tried to cover it up.... What happened to Canada? Nothing. Same old, same old.

David Allan
David Allan
@Daryl McBride

That's one way to declare you don't understand how committees are formed in parliament.

Welcome to Canada.
Learn how your country works.

David Allan
David Allan
@Daryl McBride

He's a Conservative.

Michael Wernick

Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
In office
May 5, 2006[2] – July 11, 2014

Bob Hull
Bob Hull
@Daryl McBride

They learned well from Secret Steve and the gang.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Jay michael

Baseless accusations are weak

Phil K'Mee
Phil K'Mee
@Daryl McBride

Liberals.

David Amos
David Amos
@Troy Mann "Baseless accusations are weak"

Methinks you ignoring my replies is even weaker Too bad so sad for all that one went "Poof" already N'esy Pas?



Art Rowe
Art Rowe
@Daryl McBride
Canada's top public servant says he is worried someone will be assassinated during the coming federal election campaign given the disturbing tenor of recent public discussion.
Humm, more serious than discussing just SNC.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride

"Top (INDEPENDENT)civil servant slams SNC-Lavalin media report as erroneous, 'defamatory'. SEEMS we have Russaians meddling in elections again

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride

IF JESUS himself said " SNC-Lavalin media report as erroneous, 'defamatory'", these conservatives wouldn't believe, mostly because they wouldn't want to believe.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride
AS for Gerald Butts walking , who knows , long time friends can have spats that damage their relationship.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride

Either way, unless he was Trudeau was to take a gun and shoot someone like Donald says he can with impunity, Canadians will forgive him, because the thought of a Harper government back in power is too much to bare.

Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid
@david mccaig how much do you make as a liberal spinster?

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Dennis Quaid

Quote "david mccaig how much do you make as a liberal spinster?"

My friend I wish i could get paid for this, but liberal government are more honest than most and don't need MANUFACTURE consent like some party's do.

David Amos
David Amos
@Dennis Quaid "how much do you make as a liberal spinster?"

Whereas your brother owes me a favour let me know if you get an answer will ya?



Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid
@david mccaig That implication is very interesting, it would be nice if there was some truth to it, however, like the current liberal government, it's shrouded in deception and lies.



Fred Rickert
Fred Rickert
@Artie Gibson

Wrong party. That was the Conservatives.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Daryl McBride

Conservatives wanted answers and when they dont like the answers they get they attack an honorable man. 

Based on conservatives attacking him here, I hope the RCMP are protecting him 

I quote: 
"Those are the words that lead to assassination," he said. "I'm worried that somebody's going to get shot this year during the political campaign."

Gloria Wangler
Gloria Wangler
@Daryl McBride Liberals are guilty and Canadians know it.


John Smith
John Smith
@Troy Mann Yes what a dramatic and over the top attempt to inspire fear and sympathy with that assassination comment. So pathetic

James Rielly
James Rielly
@Gloria Wangler Nobody "knows".Gee!what are you,judge ,jury and witness?

David Amos
David Amos
@Daryl McBride Methinks somebody should take this old lawyer off to the funny farm for a rest or at least turn off the mike Nesy Pas?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker-michael-wernick-partisan-going-be-shot-1.5028503

"I worry about the rising tides of incitements to violence when people use terms like 'treason' and 'traitor' in open discourse. Those are the words that lead to assassination. I'm worried that somebody is going to be shot in this country this year during the political campaign," Wernick said.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride

If conservatives cared one IOTA about Canadians they'd never allow a wreaking ball like Doug Ford to represent their party, but they don't and that's why in all their frustration , Ontarians were forced to support Doug Ford.



Jack Black
Jack Black
@Daryl McBride

Its called 'democratic backsliding'

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride

I come here everyday to counter what I think is a deliberate misinformation campaign and unwarranted attacks on OUR elected government, and what's more I believe the majority is being done by people who aren't even Canadians.

John Oaktree
John Oaktree
@Daryl McBride

OMG!!! The Liberals are following the same rules the Conservatives did when they were in power!!!

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride

I'D like to APOLOGIZE to OUR Prime Minister for calling for him to step down , I got caught up in the wave of manufactured hysteria by infotainment outlets that call themselves NEWS



Dave Robertson
Dave Robertson
@Daryl McBride There is no evidence at all of any wrong doing. Now Doug Ford on the other hand has scandals on a weekly basis. Why is he still in office?

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Daryl McBride

AND I take OFFENCE tthose that come here every and take POT SHOTS at our ELECTED government, for nothing more than to be contrary. I also take great offence at those that come here and imply all politicians are self, , WHICH couldn't any further from the truth. This whole THEME to villainize politicians, is a deliberate attempt to undermine all democracies, for the pleasure of those who'll most likely benefit by it.

Scotty Davidson
Scotty Davidson
@Dave Robertson He changed our criminal code in a omnibus budget so corporations can break our laws and avoid prosecution. Perhaps you think subverting democracy like that isn't wrong, but I and many others do.



Scotty Davidson
Scotty Davidson
@Dave Robertson It was wrong when Harper did it, it is worse when Trudeau does it... he campaigned on running a open and transparent government. 500+ omnibus budgets are not transparent.















Don Cameron
Don Cameron
Lametti was hand selected by Trudeau to 'smooth the way' for SNC to get their DPA.

I don't expect the committee will get much that's useful out of him. He's Trudeau's boy.


Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Don Cameron

You will say that about anyone who doesnt say exactly what you want to hear. That is precisely why this is a witch hunt.

JWR as Attorney General had the responsibility to report any crime committed to the RCMP and she didnt. If she felt the pressure from the PMO was "improper" while really cares if a law wasn't broken?

Are we to be so naive to think the Prime Minister isn't going to make a case for following his directive?

This is the dumbest "scandal" ever

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Troy Mann

If Canadians truly believe this isn’t a glorified election ad for the Conservative Party, at the cost of eroding trust in our justice system...

...naive is exactly the right word.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Matt Thuaii

Conservatives under the Harper banner have never cared about eroding trust in our justice system. 10 years of Harper scandals and judgments against him were all because of "liberal activist judges legislating from the bench"... There entire motive is to eliminate trust in the justice system so they can remove our freedoms and rights..

Sheer has already stated clearly he doesnt care about any judge standing in the way of a pipeline, they will bulldoze through no matter what the courts say or the people do...

Neil Turv
Neil Turv
@Matt Thuaii

The real question is how did they get the independent indigenous senators, the NDP and the Globe and Mail to work for them.

One of those questions none of the hyper partisans on the Liberal side can answer, along with what happened to Trudeau's promise not to bury things in Omnibus bills, why did Butts coincidentally resign right after this allegation broke, etc. etc.

I'm not saying Trudeau's guilty, but pretending the reaction (from all sides of the political spectrum) is unwarranted baseless smearing all for the gains of the Cons is about as believable as someone claiming Harper is a nice, affable guy.

Hold your leader of choice to the same standards you hold those you don't support.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Neil Turv

Michael Wernick was deputy Minister of aboriginal and northern affairs for the entire Harper tenure...

Are you going to say he is a liberal? Are you going to say the first non partisan witness is lying under oath?

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Neil Turv

That’s the real question? First, I’ll happily shatter your claim that no one can explain it, because I can (not that I’m hyper partisan, which is just as ludicrous a claim as that “question” being “real”). Indigenous senators care about Indigenous issues. They want to make this an “indigenous” issue (even though Jody Wilson Raybould does not), because if it is, they get to talk about it, even use it for their own purposes (whatever those are). The NDP is on board because they’re politically “lost in the wilderness”, and they’ll run with any wedge that gets them votes (like any party would)...and as for the Globe and Mail? You don’t understand why a media outlet (especially one struggling for relevance in the internet age) would run a story they know will ignite the exact situation we’re watching unfold? During the lead up to an election?

None of these parties are working for anyone; just like the Conservatives, they’re all in it for themselves.

Edward Peter
Edward Peter
@Don Cameron
If you believe that then all the people elected are on the take, and you should find our self an Island.

Karen King
Karen King
@Troy Mann

cons don't care about the law it seems, Andy keeps calling for the government to go over the law...the con way

Karen King
Karen King
@Neil Turv

Butts resigned simply because he has always advocated that if there is an accusation about someone they should step down until cleared, showing at least he is not a hypocrite

David Allan
David Allan
@Don Cameron

Who better to do that than a member of the Conservative Party of Canada?

He's a Conservative.

Michael Wernick
Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
In office
May 5, 2006 – July 11, 2014

Edith Grey
Edith Grey
@David Allan
Do you know what a Deputy Minister is? Again, we go to civics - maybe even the grade 5 version. Deputy Ministers are civil servants....not political appointees. The Minister is the politician. Deputy Ministers do not get switched out if party control changes.

Darren MacDonald
Darren MacDonald
@Edith Grey He was also deputy clerk under Janice Charette during Paul Martin's term so he was a Liberal using others' logic. Maybe he is a Libervative.

Jack Slate
Jack Slate
Whether Warnick is con or lib is irrelevant. What is important to note that Warnick called JWR in December to give her "context" regarding the negative results of not giving snc a pass. He's knee deep in this scandal and his testimony appears motivated by his own self-defence.

Neil Turv
Neil Turv
@Matt Thuaii

I'm sorry but the mindset that "everyone who dares challenge my narrative is colluding and in it for selfish gains." Is exactly why I find this so amusing and why the claims you are not a hyper partisan.,

The notion that any one major party in Canada is inherently evil, bad or out to destroy Canada....Any party, puts you into the hyper partisan category.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Don Cameron

The thought of another ANTI SCIENCE ANTI CLIMATE change right wing government back in power, will make any REASONABLE Canadian , give Trudeau the benefit of the doubt.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Don Cameron

IN the MEANTIME lets hope the NDP can get the act together, because so far under SINGH , they've done nothing but hide from controversy.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Don Cameron

SEEMS everyday virtually ALL the top posts are DISPROPORTIONATE attacks on on Prime Minister, making reasonable people to think this ISN'T representative of the MAJORITY of people who voted for the Liberal Party of Canada.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Don Cameron

Personally I think the disproportionate number of attacks on our Prime Minister are coming from boilers rooms churning out misinformation and outright belligerence toward our government , probably coming from the Russians or the same mechanism that bringing down the Venezuelan government or both.


david mccaig
david mccaig
@Don Cameron

YOU"D THINK by the tone and number of attacks on this site everyday, Justin Trudeau hasn't a friend or a supporter, this despite most of the time his poll numbers bouncing around the near 40% AND THAT makes you wonder whats going on.

David Amos
David Amos
@Don Cameron "Lametti was hand selected by Trudeau to 'smooth the way' for SNC to get their DPA"

Methinks you may be correct much to the chagrin of Mr Mann and his cohorts N'esy Pas?

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@David Amos

I support the use of DPA to protect innocent Canadian jobs and investors

David Amos
David Amos
@Troy Mann Methinks you mean Vestcor N'esy Pas?



david mccaig
david mccaig
@Don Cameron

ONE of the reasons we here in Canada and the United States have such APATHETIC bunch of wilfully uninformed voters , is because in the US CIVICS CLASSES have all been done away with and here in Canada its anemic to say the best AND in both cases I think this deliberate.

Roy Decoy
Roy Decoy
@Don Cameron And so is the new Ethic Commissioner...both from PQ













Troy Mann
Ben Robinson
What a circus this has become. The Trudeau Liberals are playing Canadians for fools.


Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Ben Robinson

Conservatives love a good witch hunt

Ben Robinson
Ben Robinson
@Troy Mann ... So this is all about ... nothing?

Time will tell. But, there sure is a LOT of smoke.

Ryan Tasker
Ryan Tasker
@Ben Robinson
This is the game of politics, kiddo.
It doesn't change regardless of who is in power... the game just cycles.
Get used to it. The electorate is played for fools every 1 to 4 years... and most of the electorate are so politically unintelligent, they fall for it.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Ben Robinson

Smoke is easily manufactured by propagandist

Jennifer McIsaac
Jennifer McIsaac
@Ben Robinson

I think it is the Conservative opposition and the media that are playing Canadians for fools as there is absolutely no evidence of malfeasance.

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Ben Robinson

So far this looks positively pedestrian, no Liberals appear to have done anything wrong based on the facts so far, and yet the Conservatives and the internet brigades who support them can’t stop screaming their heads off about all this...

...me thinks they doth protest too much.

Edward Peter
Edward Peter
@Ben Robinson
How? The Cons are doing all the talking, that is where the skylarking is coming from, at the cost of your taxes.

David Allan
David Allan
@Ben Robinson

I prefer to wait until the actual facts come forth.

What cracks me up most about the right-wing is that when something like this comes out about themselves they call it fake news and say if the source were credible they wouldn't be anonymous.

Shoe, welcome to the other foot.

Karen King
Karen King
@Jennifer McIsaac

actually they are playing some as fools, fortunately there are still many that see what's going on.... as the cons dig the pit for themselves, I'll be happy once the election is over....seems some are willing to stoop too low for my taste...

Karen King
Karen King
@Matt Thuaii

nice to see there are some of us that know what Andy is up to....

David Allan
David Allan
@Ben Robinson

He's a Conservative.

Michael Wernick
Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
In office
May 5, 2006 – July 11, 2014

Ben Robinson
Ben Robinson
@David Allan ... Yes ... facts. Those truths that the Trudeau Liberals are obviously trying to hide.

How Liberals can continue to be sanctimonious about all of this is beyond me. Actually, with a Trudeau in the PMO, perhaps not.

Edith Grey
Edith Grey
@David Allan
You are making a seriously flawed assumption. Again, we go to civics - maybe even the grade 5 version. Deputy Ministers are civil servants....not political appointees. The Minister is the politician. Deputy Ministers do not get switched out if party control changes.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Edith Grey " The Minister is the politician. Deputy Ministers do not get switched out if party control changes."

The deputy Minister works in the department at the whim of the minister.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Ben Robinson

LONG BEFORE these SNC-Lavalin ACCUSATIONS came out, the same bunch that are here today go on about 'bad,bad, Trudeau is bad , really bad' and you've got to know any reasonable honest coherent political party would expect this from their members.

david mccaig
david mccaig
@Ben Robinson

Conservatives CROW about their minuscule poll numbers rising, when the truth they NEVER break 40%, not even close and that's taking into account the LEFT VOTE is SPLIT between the liberals , the NDP and the Green Party, which in the United States the Russian boiler rooms were supporting the American Green Party to siphon votes away from HILLARY CLINTON , not because the RUSSIANS love the Green Party, but because they knew any votes directed at an opposing party , no matter who, it is would be lost on the leading contender.

David Amos
David Amos
@Ben Robinson "What a circus this has become"

Methinks everybody knows how much I love the circus N'esy Pas?


James Holden
James Holden
@Ben Robinson

It's beginning to look like it was the Conservatives trying to play the public for fools by blowing this out of all proportion.

david mccaig
david mccaig 
 @Ben Robinson

And BELIEVE ME when I'm commenting I'm supporting a man who has made many blunders as far as I'm concerned , some INSINCERE like his two faces of supporting the Paris accord on climate change , then returning to not only give an OK to a new tar sands pipeline TRIPLING the Tar Sands output, but he bought it with OUR tax dollars( didn't see cons screaming about that one) and then turns to the tar Sands that are wreaking an environmental DISASTER in our far North and exporting one of the dirtiest most polluting oil on the planet, not to mention the Tar Sands are NORTH AMERICAS NUMBER ONE source of air pollution.



harry richard
harry richard
@Ben Robinson ... and using tax dollars to do it.

harry richard
harry richard
@harry richard ... maybe regular Haitians are correct

Mark Walen Cooper
Mark Walen Cooper
@Ben Robinson - the contract to build the Champlain bridge was awarded in April 2015 when Conservatives were in power. SNC-Lavalin faced criminal corruption charges over activities in Libya at the time. So where does this place everyone? Just saying.



Irv Millar
Irv Millar 
@david mccaig That is where a free press is essential. To earn the title of Journalist, the individual must first have a desire to be impartial in their reports. Once the Journalist compromises this ethical obligation to society, they become mere reporters of facts that they are told to report upon or create. Propaganda, disinformation or a litany of other negatives are the spawn of these non-democratic actions. Such actions can cause uncertainty or chaos and is a dark influence in our democratic process.









Tarl Cabbot
Chris Spiers
He has nothing of value since he was not the AG during the time of question.

What he does bring is more Liberal rhetoric


Tarl Cabbot
Tarl Cabbot
@Chris Spiers

Ya know, I tend to slant a bit toward the left. Kind of like sitting on the fence and slightly over . . .

But this pony show serves to reinforce my notion that it doesn't matter what flavour of political party has or doesn't have power.
It is the corporations, the elite, the parasites of society who run the government.

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Tarl Cabbot

If you’ve lost the ability to see the difference between the parties...if you’ve truly lost faith in our government thanks to this manufactured scandal...

...you haven’t been paying nearly enough attention.

Tarl Cabbot
Tarl Cabbot
@Matt Thuaii

Matt, you are part right. I am in the side lines, and while I do see differences in the various party ideologies, I do have trouble differentiating the long term visions amongst them.

One thing is very clear to me.
Not much will change in the life of a typical Canadian regardless of who sits in the big chair on the hill.

Money makes money, and the small people scramble for any crumbs that might fall about then turn it over as taxes to under pin the big game of politics.

Neil Turv
Neil Turv
@Tarl Cabbot

Well said, the reality is you give any party power and people within that party will abuse it. What is happening now is no different from uncountable previous scenarios under any government.

- Media outlet files a report, protects the source (cornerstone of journalism and a free and fair society.)
- Opposition partie(s) use it to enhance their own appeal, make the sitting government look bad.
- Insecure supporters of the accused insist it's unique, unfair and baseless.
- Ideally the appropriate investigative bodies looks into it and reports the findings.

It happens to every sitting government, and will continue to happen when the next guy replaces Trudeau, whenever that will be.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Chris Spiers

How about Michael Wernick? Deputy Minister of aboriginal and northern affairs for the entire tenure of Harper...

Clearly a "liberal" right so you can keep the witch hunt going

Matt Thuaii
Matt Thuaii
@Tarl Cabbot

Look up the definitions of “left wing” and “right wing”.

The difference is, some politicians and parties believe they deserve to be in charge (and whether or not how they get there is ethical or moral, that’s how it should be).

Edward Peter
Edward Peter
@Chris Spiers
Why did the Cons want him as a Witness, they know the game?

Karen King
Karen King
@Tarl Cabbot

hmmm, not so sure, some of the issues I am concerned about are in jeopardy under the cons...for example the right for a woman to chose whether or not to have an abortion....Andy is against that but says he will not make changes, but he will probably stop funding like Trumpy....these are the big differences between the parties.

Normally I go with the best person when I vote but for the last decade it's been simply anti con as from where I sit they are going to do the most harm to the majority of people.

David Allan
David Allan
@Chris Spiers

Do you know what the Privy Council is?
Grade 10 civics.

Neil Turv
Neil Turv
@Karen King

If any government touches abortion rights on a federal level I will eat my hat, and I'm so confident about that I'll eat every other persons hat who wants to donate it to my meals.

Scheer might pay lip service to back benchers to appease SoCons, but every politician knows how to count and if you look at the latest Canadian polls for Pro Choice vs Pro Life it's not a battle worth fighting.

Kerry Thurston
Kerry Thurston
@David Allan

He’s only ‘privy’ to Cabinet discussions .....and not PMO private discussions.
That’s really basic.

David Amos
David Amos
@Chris Spiers "What he does bring is more Liberal rhetoric"

I agree

David Amos
David Amos
@David Allan "Do you know what the Privy Council is?"

Have you ever spoken with Paul Shuttle? Trust that I have.

Chris Spiers
Chris Spiers
@David Amos

So that and a quarter lets you make a phone call

David Amos
David Amos
@Chris Spiers True but would that lawyer talk to you?












Chris Spiers
Mark Lack
The Liberals on this committee have let down the people of Canada.


Charles O'Neill
Charles O'Neill
@Mark Lack Unfortunately allegiance to the party is more important than allegiance to the country

Ryan Tasker
Ryan Tasker
@Charles O'Neill
Ha! You people think you vote for a local representative? Hasn't been that way in well over 100 years. They're all smitten to their party.

Jennifer McIsaac
Jennifer McIsaac
@Charles O'Neill

Yes, that is why the opposition are making such a meal of what is a case where there is no evidence of wrong doing.

Meantime Canada suffers,

Aaron Morris
Aaron Morris
@Jennifer McIsaac

The opposition is making the biggest deal of the fact that the Liberal's are suppressing testimony from the only one who can really say what happened.

That is indisputable.

Karen King
Karen King
@Aaron Morris

no it's not Jody is doing her own suppressing...if you think Trudeau is not dying for her to clear this up you are sadly mistaken...

Jack O Hill
Jack O Hill
@Karen King

"no it's not Jody is doing her own suppressing...if you think Trudeau is not dying for her to clear this up you are sadly mistaken..."

Both Martin and Harper waived privilege. Time for Trudeau to do the same, if he is so keen to have her speak her peace.

David Amos
David Amos
@Mark Lack "The Liberals on this committee have let down the people of Canada."

Methinks most of peoplekind expected this nonsense N'esy Pas?











Troy Mann
Bob Lashram
What a farce...


wal wiseman
wal wiseman
@george bath fake news, nothing to see here. Move along...lol

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Bob Lashram

Total farce all based on an anonymous source. Witch hunts are called witch hunts because they are a farce.

Byron Whitford
Byron Whitford
@Troy Mann

God you guys sound like Trump.

David Amos
David Amos
@Bob Lashram Welcome to the Circus













Troy Mann 
AnneClarke
You have to be pretty daft to believe anything will come from Lametti testifying, he wasn't even there! Liberals investigating Liberals, how stupid do they think we are?


Ronald Canell
Ronald Canell
@AnneClarke thats why he is testifying

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@AnneClarke

How about Michael Wernick? You going to call Harpers deputy Minister of aboriginal and northern affairs for 10 years a liberal?

Edith Grey
Edith Grey
@Troy Mann
Again, we go to civics - maybe even the grade 5 version. Deputy Ministers are civil servants....not political appointees. The Minister is the politician. Deputy Ministers do not get switched out if party control changes.

Erin Holloway
Erin Holloway
@Edith Grey Deputy Ministers may not be political appointees but they often are changed when governments changed. Compare a list of deputy ministers before and after any election - at both the federal and provincial levels - and you will see deputy ministers moving from one department to another or even leaving public service all together. The last provincial election in Alberta is a good example. Many of the long serving deputy ministers left the government after the NDP government was elected.

David Amos
David Amos
@AnneClarke "Liberals investigating Liberals, how stupid do they think we are?"

Methinks they think we are as stupid as they are N'esy Pas?













Jerry MaGuire 
Jerry MaGuire
RCMP investigation the only way forward. Yesterday's info confirms JWR was contacted after prosecutors decided SNC would not qualify for any deal. Criminality.


Jeff hunt
Jeff hunt
@Jerry MaGuire your faith in the ponies is misguided.

Jennifer McIsaac
Jennifer McIsaac
@Jerry MaGuire

Rubbish. There is no crime in anyone contacting JWR if they did not pressure her.

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@Jerry MaGuire

RCMP investigations require evidence not anonymous source.

Karen King
Karen King
@Jerry MaGuire

so this all turns out to be nothing that would be a tremendous waste of resources, can't you at least wait until Jody has her say??

Aaron Morris
Aaron Morris
@Karen King

We would all love for Jody to have her say, except for the PMO whom won't waive privilege as they are all terrified.

David Amos
David Amos
@Jerry MaGuire "RCMP investigation the only way forward."

Methinks there is no need for the RCMP to investigate political party infighting The court of public opinion held on polling day this October should resolve the matter anyway N'esy Pas?













Daryl McBride 
Daryl McBride
Lametti should resign as well, clearly not working for Canada.


george bath
george bath
@Daryl McBride
what would make it clearer for you?

Daryl McBride
Daryl McBride
@george bath Watch the show, embarrassing.

Gary Norton
Gary Norton
@george bath some actual answers.

Gord Gundersen
Gord Gundersen
@george bath He has to answer who is the client that can waive privilege, but he won't, so it seems he is not working for Canadian who want answers. Either he knows and will not answer or he is incompetent and needs to step down so someone who knows who the client is can give us an answer.

James Fitzgibbon
James Fitzgibbon
@Daryl McBride

Because you disagree with him, he should resign. And who are you, exactly?

Troy Mann
Troy Mann
@James Fitzgibbon

Daryl wants everyone to resign other than conservatives and for there to never be an election after conservative assume power.

David Allan
David Allan
@Daryl McBride

Everyone you don't like should resign.
Regardless of reality.
Understood.

David Amos
David Amos
@Daryl McBride "Watch the show, embarrassing."

Methinks whereas our taxes are funding this circus you might as well kick back and just enjoy the show N'esy Pas?












Maxim Verite 
Maxim Verite
For years I've said Trudeau is probably a nice man, but just not bright enough for the job.

Now, he's convinced me he's not a nice man at all.

And, he's still not qualified.


george bath
george bath
@Maxim Verite
nothing else credible to attack so go after the PM

Stephen McIntyre
Stephen McIntyre
@Maxim Verite - Oh.. you've got a feeling. Let's go with that. Who needs evidence?

John Smith
John Smith
@Maxim Verite Hopefully you'll remember in the future that often times those who appear overly nice are simply using it to mask their true nature.

Maxim Verite
Maxim Verite
@Stephen McIntyre

Evidently not the Liberals, since they're so actively suppressing it

Tom Abbott
Tom Abbott
@george bath
Nothing else credible....are you for real. Read the news. George...its full of credible government ethics blunders.

John Smith
John Smith
@Maxim Verite beware those that don the mask of purity and virtue to disguise the fact they are conniving and wicked. It's how priests got away with abusing children for so long(still do) it's how JT tricked many into handing the wheel to a man without morals or conscience.

Fenn Edwards
Fenn Edwards
@Maxim Verite

The exact same can be said about Stephen Harper.

David Amos
David Amos
@John Smith Oh So True





Top civil servant slams SNC-Lavalin media report as erroneous, 'defamatory'

Privy Council Office clerk Michael Wernick delivers blunt testimony at justice committee


Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick appeared before the Justice Committee meeting in Ottawa, Thursday February 21, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)


Canada's top civil servant has refuted a bombshell media report that alleged political interference in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, claiming it included "errors" and "unfounded speculation" and was "defamatory."

Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick was referring to a Feb. 7 Globe and Mail report that touched off a political scandal and triggered the resignation of cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's principal secretary, Gerry Butts.

"I'm here to say to you that the Globe and Mail article contains errors, unfounded speculation and, in some cases, is simply defamatory," he said.


The article — citing unnamed, anonymous sources — said that Trudeau's aides attempted to press Wilson-Raybould, while attorney general, to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, and that exasperation with her lack of co-operation was one reason for shuffling her out of the justice portfolio.

Wernick said he never witnessed any inappropriate pressure on Wilson-Raybould by Trudeau or any officials in the PMO.



CBC News
Full statement by Michael Wernick

 ‘I'm here to say to you that the Globe and Mail article contains errors, unfounded speculation and, in some cases, is simply defamatory,’ Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council, said. 5:31


"At every opportunity, verbally and in writing in December, the prime minister made it clear that this was the decision for the minister of justice to take. She was the decision-maker," he said.

Wernick, who met with representatives of SNC-Lavalin on Sept. 18, 2018 — after the company had been turned down on its request to avoid criminal proceedings — said the firm was "making the rounds" to make a pitch to avoid prosecution. He said he could not remember whether the company advised him that it had been told the Public Prosecution Service of Canada had rejected its request.


In a Dec. 19, 2018 call with Wilson-Raybould, Wernick said he provided information on the SNC-Lavalin file based partly on reports in the business press warning the company could close or move if the prosecution went ahead. That could have major implications for employees, suppliers and pensioners, he said.

"I can tell you with complete assurance that my view of those conversations is that they were within the boundaries of what's lawful and appropriate. I was informing the minister of context. She may have another view of the conversation, but that's something the ethics commissioner could sort out," he said.

Wernick repeatedly insisted there was no inappropriate pressure placed on Wilson-Raybould at any time — but if she felt that she was being put under pressure, she could have filed a complaint with the ethics commissioner or reported any perceived wrongdoing to the prime minister.

In his opening remarks to the committee, Wernick said he's worried about the state of politics in Canada right now, citing the threat of foreign interference in the coming election and the use of words like 'treason' and 'traitor' in political discourse.

"Those are the words that lead to assassination," he said. "I'm worried that somebody's going to get shot this year during the political campaign."

Earlier today, Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti told the committee he has never faced inappropriate pressure from the prime minister or anyone in the PMO, and would take action if any official tried to direct his actions improperly.

In the hot seat as the first witness in justice committee hearings on the SNC-Lavalin affair, Lametti said he would not "speculate" on "what others might or might not do" but would only explain how he would respond to political pressure.

"I would take, under the circumstances, a number of different actions," he said.

Trudeau appointed Lametti to the post in a January cabinet shuffle that demoted Wilson-Raybould from the Department of Justice to Veterans Affairs.

She resigned from that position a week later, just days after the Globe and Mail reported that she had been pressured by officials in the Prime Minister's Office to stop criminal prosecution against SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec-based global engineering and construction firm facing charges of bribery and fraud related to contracts in Libya.
The Globe and Mail said PMO officials pressed her to direct the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to draft a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) — a legal tool resembling a plea deal — for SNC-Lavalin.

The Liberal government changed the Criminal Code in 2018 to introduce such remediation agreements as an option for cases of corporate wrongdoing in Canada.

Lametti said the legislative regime was addressing a perceived "gap" in the law and is meant to hold corporations to account while protecting bystanders who could be harmed by a criminal prosecution and possible bankruptcy — such as a corporation's employees, subcontractors and third-party suppliers.

Similar compliance tools — which can impose fines in lieu of prosecution — are also available in the U.S. and the U.K.

Lametti said he only had general knowledge of the SNC-Lavalin case before he was appointed to cabinet and did not discuss it with Trudeau before his appointment.

Nathalie Drouin, deputy justice minister and deputy attorney general also appeared at the committee.
Conservative deputy leader and justice critic Lisa Raitt pointed to a Globe and Mail report published today which says Wilson-Raybould told federal cabinet ministers Tuesday she believed it was improper for PMO officials to press her to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

Wilson-Raybould took the unprecedented step of requesting permission to address cabinet, and was allowed to do so after vigorous debate among ministers.
Raitt said if the account in the Globe and Mail is accurate, Lametti has a responsibility to act.

"If he believes a former attorney general was improperly pressured — he has testimony of that from her, as was being reported by the Globe and Mail — then he has a greater burden than being loyal to the cabinet. At that point in time he's got a loyalty to the country," she told CBC News.

Polling fallout


The political fallout since the Feb. 7 Globe and Mail report has been heavy for the Trudeau government.

The opposition Conservatives and NDP have called for a public inquiry and have demanded Trudeau waive solicitor-client privilege so Wilson-Raybould can speak freely on the matter during her appearance before the committee, expected sometime next week.

The CBC's Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polls, shows the scandal is taking a toll on the Liberals. It puts the Liberals and Conservatives neck-and-neck in voting intentions and virtually tied in the number of seats each party would be likely to win if an election were held today.

On Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould abstained from a vote in the House of Commons on an NDP motion calling for an inquiry because she was personally involved in the matter. She said she can't waive client-solicitor privilege on her own.

"I understand fully that Canadians want to know the truth and want transparency," she said. "Privilege and confidentiality are not mine to waive, and I hope that I have the opportunity to speak my truth."
Raitt said she is convinced public pressure will mount for a public inquiry.

During an event in Halifax Thursday, Trudeau said he remains "surprised and disappointed" by Wilson-Raybould's resignation from cabinet. He cited cabinet confidentiality and said the government is working to create good jobs and protect an independent judiciary.

"We will always do that in the right way," he said.

Lametti said the issue of waiving solicitor-client privilege is "complexed and layered." He said he is seeking a way to ensure transparency and fairness without compromising cabinet confidentiality or legal proceedings, but could not say if he would made a decision before Wilson-Raybould appears at committee..

Politics News
Trudeau asked about Wilson-Raybould in NS


 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a stop in Dartmouth and is asked about Justin Wilson-Raybould by the CBC's Paul Withers 1:54









https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker-michael-wernick-partisan-going-be-shot-1.5028503


'Somebody is going to be shot': Top bureaucrat says partisan mudslinging has gone too far

'I'm deeply concerned about my country right now and its politics,' Michael Wernick says

Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick waits to appear before the Justice Committee meeting in Ottawa, Thursday February 21, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Canada's most senior federal public servant says he is worried about the nation and the state of its political discourse — fearing it has sunk to such lows that it could lead to an assassination attempt during the next federal election campaign.

Michael Wernick, the clerk of the Privy Council of Canada — the man tasked with serving the prime minister and his cabinet — prefaced his testimony on the SNC-Lavalin affair with commentary on what he describes as a "vomitorium of social media" fuelled by unreasonable partisans who have been dangerously whipped up by politicians.

"I'm deeply concerned about my country right now and its politics and where it's headed," Wernick told the Commons justice committee today.

It is unusual for a civil servant of his stature to speak so candidly in such a public forum.

Wernick, a career public servant who has worked in senior roles under both Conservative and Liberal prime ministers, said he finds recent remarks by Conservative Saskatchewan Sen. David Tkachuk at a recent rally particularly distasteful.


CBC News
Full statement by Michael Wernick
 ‘I'm here to say to you that the Globe and Mail article contains errors, unfounded speculation and, in some cases, is simply defamatory,’ Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council, said. 5:31
While addressing the "United We Roll" convoy of Alberta truckers who travelled to Ottawa this week, Tkachuk said, "I know you've rolled all the way here, and I'm going to ask you one more thing: I want you to roll over every Liberal left in the country."

Tkachuk said that only then would two particularly controversial pieces of legislation — Bill C-48, the B.C. north coast tanker ban bill, and Bill C-69, the overhaul of environmental assessment legislation — be withdrawn.
"Because when they're gone, these bills are gone," he said.

While he didn't mention Tkachuk by name, Wernick made it clear that he was directing his comments at the senator.

"I think it's totally unacceptable that a member of the Parliament of Canada would incite people to drive trucks over people after what happened in Toronto last summer. Totally unacceptable. And I hope you, as parliamentarians, are going to condemn that," Wernick said.

In a statement to CBC News, Tkachuk said that while his comments "may not have been as artful" as he would have liked, he will not apologize for them.

The Saskatchewan senator said Liberals have "manufactured outrage" over his remarks in order to distract from the government's record on the oil and gas industry.

"When I said I wanted them to roll over every single Liberal, I meant it figuratively, not literally. I was referring to defeating every single Liberal in the upcoming election. I was not advocating violence and I think everybody knows that, except those for whom it serves a purpose to interpret them otherwise. Certainly the people at the rally knew what I meant," Tkachuk said in his statement.

"I know you've rolled all the way here, and I'm going to ask you one more thing: I want you to roll over every Liberal left in the country," Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk said at the United We Roll convoy rally in Ottawa, Ont. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
"It was a figure of speech. And just as the Minnesota defensive line, known as the 'purple people eaters', didn't actually eat people, and the Denver Broncos' 'orange crush' didn't actually crush people, and the Pittsburgh Steelers' 'steel curtain' offensive line wasn't actually steel, neither did I mean Liberals should be literally rolled over."

Wernick also took issue with the use of terms like "treason" and "traitor" to describe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

There were placards and signs at the "United We Roll" rally that accused Trudeau of treason over his perceived disdain for the energy sector and his government's policies on immigration and asylum — policies described by some of those protests signs as embracing "open borders."

A protester stands below Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, February 20, 2019. A convoy of angry Albertans and other westerners rolled up to Parliament Hill for a second day to protest federal energy and environmental policies. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
"I worry about the rising tides of incitements to violence when people use terms like 'treason' and 'traitor' in open discourse. Those are the words that lead to assassination. I'm worried that somebody is going to be shot in this country this year during the political campaign," Wernick said.

The senior bureaucrat also defended Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett against critics who have been claiming online that she's ill-equipped to handle the Indigenous reconciliation file, saying nobody else in Canada has done more to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples than the Toronto-area minister.

Wernick said he also fears the SNC-Lavalin affair — and allegations published in the Globe and Mail that senior members of the Prime Minister's Office inappropriately pressured former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to cut a deal with the Quebec-based company so that it could avoid criminal prosecution —  will shake the faith of Canadians in their public institutions.

"Should Canadians be concerned about the rule of law in this country? No," Wernick said.

"I'm here to say to you that the Globe and Mail article contains errors, unfounded speculation and, in some cases, is simply defamatory."

Wernick testified Thursday he did not inappropriately influence Wilson-Raybould to pressure the director of public prosecutions to sign a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau and his former principal secretary, Gerry Butts — who resigned this week in response to the allegations — have also denied any wrongdoing.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel chided Wernick for his remarks Thursday, saying he overstepped in criticizing Conservative parliamentarians and the convoy.

"To any public servant watching Wernick — do not use him as your model on how to be a non-partisan professional," she tweeted.

Rempel said his remarks were "purposely designed to deflect reporting" from the larger SNC-Lavalin matter. (The CBC News story about that portion of the meeting can be found here.)
It's not Liberals alone who feel unfairly targeted by partisan vitriol. Conservative MPs have flagged previous remarks by Butts himself, Liberal MP Adam Vaughan and Finance Minister Bill Morneau (who was accused of calling Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt a "neanderthal") as wholly inappropriate.

Conserative MPs also have cited the prime minister's description of them as "ambulance chasers" — for questioning the transfer of child-killer Terri Lynne McClintic to a Saskatchewan healing lodge — as an unfair partisan potshot.

About the Author

 

John Paul Tasker
Parliamentary Bureau
John Paul (J.P.) Tasker is a reporter in the CBC's Parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. He can be reached at john.tasker@cbc.ca.