From the same party that allows FGM, elbowing female MPs in the chest, Big Abortion and parkas for Yazidi rape victims:
While the Trudeau Liberals like to tout a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment — as in turfing offenders out of caucus — the prime minister appears more than willing to keep alleged indiscretions within his own inner circle on the down-low.
As in hush-hush.
Only now are we hearing, via the French-language television network TVA, that the deputy director of operations in the Prime Minister’s Office has been on forced leave since early November.
While it was perfectly acceptable for Trudeau to publicly oust two Liberal MPs from his caucus for sexual harassment to score political and feminist points during his election run — please stand up Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti — the prime minister was apparently not so willing to expose PMO senior staffer, Claude-Eric Gagne, to the same kind of public humiliation.
Why, exactly, is Gagne being investigated?
And what is the nature of his alleged misconduct?
Well, the PMO isn’t saying.
In fact, it initially wouldn’t even identify Gagne and, even after Gagne’s name was eventually confirmed, the PMO would not release any details of the allegations, other than it involved “inappropriate behaviour” involving an undisclosed number of women.
One? Two? More ? No comment.
When asked by the media for details, the PMO’s director of communications, Kate Purchase, used a time-honoured line to add nothing.
“Given the investigation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment further in order to protect the integrity of the process, and ensure fairness for the parties,” she said in an email.
Indeed, it pays to have friends in high places, although there is always a snitch lying in the weeds.
But keeping this all hush-hush for almost two months, particularly with sexual harassment allegations at the top of the news and flying every which-way in virtually every industry, was no mean feat.
So, congrats to the PMO. You almost pulled it off.
Also - sure it was debunked. Sure it was:
A French-language television network in Quebec apologized Friday for its now-debunked report that a Montreal mosque tried to have women banned from a nearby work site.But, for members of the Muslim community, the apology may not be enough to repair the damage caused by the widely shared and ultimately false story.The original story was broadcast on Tuesday. It quickly sparked outrage, especially within the social media networks of Quebec's far right. One of the mosques mentioned in the report was bombarded by threats of violence."We don't want another tragedy. We're getting close to January 29th, people were afraid," said William Kobartly, a lawyer for Ahl-ill-Bait mosque, referring to one-year anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting, where six men were killed.
(Sidebar: I feel an Ibn Warraq quote coming on ...)
From the same party whose ineffectual leader loves China but can't get it to see things his way:
In the tightly-knit world of Vancouver’s wealthy Chinese immigrants, Paul Se Hui Oei stood out for his ties to some of Canada’s most powerful politicians and his mastery of cultivating guanxi, or personal relationships, that attracted legions of Chinese clients eager for his assistance in gaining a legal foothold in Canada.
But behind closed doors, the authorities say, Oei, a prominent immigration consultant and philanthropist, ran an elaborate fraud scheme, pocketing millions from investors, including many Chinese citizens led to believe their investment would help them secure permanent residency in Canada. Instead, the authorities say, he spent the money on luxury cars, beauty pageants and donations to political parties.
From the same party that promised transparency and action:
“I’m co-operating with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner,” has been the rote non-answer for a year now, whenever someone is under fire in the House. The commissioner’s office serves as a kind of half-alibi. Finally, the office itself deflects responsibility from government in a very wide sense. It offloads the crucial matter of ethics to a third party. It gives ministers, members and the prime minister an off-ramp for explaining choices and practices for which they bear primary responsibility. It puts judgment of the conduct of House of Commons members “offshore.” The House itself, its members and ministers and the PM, are the authors and judges of ethics and conflict. The commissioner’s office therefore is not only inefficient, it is also an impediment to the very function it was dubiously manufactured to remedy.
The TRC spent five years documenting the stories of residential school survivors. Its final report is both a record of what it labelled “cultural genocide,” and a demand for action.
But two years later, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s insistence that “no relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous peoples,” the federal government is getting mixed reviews on its promised implementation of the TRC’s 94 calls to action.
Come on, Justin! Big Aboriginal is depending on you!
I judge a system that allows withered old husks and friends of Liberals to decide the law:
“We’ve done a lot on judicial education in this area. Sadly, there’s the odd case which has shown some regrettable problems. But you should remember that thousands of sexual assault trials are held in Canada every year, and if there’s one that goes wrong, we should not judge the whole system by that.”
But your Liberal friends handed these rulings down, Bev.
It's not enough for China to own Alberta. It must own the Canadian Arctic, as well:
Talks with Finland to build a telecommunications cable on the polar seabed could give China a new entry point to shaping the development of the warming Arctic.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and state-owned China Telecom Corp. are among those participating in discussions about building a 10,500-kilometer fiber-optic link across the Arctic Circle. The proposal, which also involves Finland, Japan, Russia and Norway, aims to create the fastest data connection between Europe and China as soon as 2020.
Besides speeding China’s communication with European financial centers and data hubs, the project is among Beijing’s most ambitious forays into the hotly contested region. In June, China included the Arctic in President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road trade-and-infrastructure initiative and is drafting a broad strategy on its plans for the area.
This is a country that censors information from its own people.
Trudeau HAS put Canada back ... in the US' shadow:
Whatever anyone thinks of Donald Trump or his policies, he has drastically deregulated, facilitated increased energy production and reduced petroleum imports (down to a third of the country’s needs and falling steadily), and reinforced the incentive economy; and he is setting out a clear range of policies. ...
These events will have their consequences in this country beyond fluctuations of the trans-border brain drain. This country’s federal deficit is too high, and wildly beyond the government’s promises of comparative frugality. The current version of the proposed small business tax is only marginally preferable to the insane original bill presented for quick passage in the summer. (The Senate of Canada has done itself proud and shown its value by proposing that the whole concept of monitoring the legitimacy of “income-sprinkling” within family businesses by federal tax inspectors, for the purpose of collecting less than $200 million dollars a year for a government running an annual deficit of almost $18 billion, be abandoned.
I'm not even sure Justin knows that there is a North Korea:
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet a Canadian cabinet committee when he visits Ottawa next week.
Tillerson’s schedule includes a session with the ministerial committee on Canada-U.S. relations.
Sources say he will travel to Ottawa on Tuesday to discuss the North Korea crisis, as well as a range of other international and bilateral issues.
He also plans to meet Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
And now, some festive music for a festive Friday: