This has been quite the week in Ottawa, between big snow storms and the political drama coming out of the PMO, and that just by the end of the day on Wednesday. So, you would think that with a long weekend coming before us, the government may have chosen to lay low for the next couple of days so as not to create more problems for themselves. Well, if you assumed that, it turns out that you would be wrong, and another layer has been piled onto this case.
This afternoon the Chair of the House of Commons Justice Committee Anthony Housefather decided to do a bit of a media blitz. That wouldn’t be abnormal for a lot of MPs on most days but given the SNC/PMO scandal that has been going now for a week, one would think that today may not be the day to seek out a microphone. That would be especially true for the Chair of any House of Commons committee, given that they are supposed to be neutral and usually don’t comment too much on matters before them. You’d think that staying quiet would be the order of the day, so as not to be seen as pre-judging a matter before you. But do you think that’s what happened here? Yeah… Nope. For some reason that seems to escape any normal, rational explanation right now, Mr. Housefather decided to go on CJAD in Montreal and say this:
Yeah, it’s bad, it really bad. And just to make sure that no one missed it, he later went on CFRA in Ottawa and said the same thing over again. I’m seriously gobsmacked at this turn of events because not only is he out there speaking when he just simply shouldn’t be, not only is he going after Jody Wilson-Raybould’s qualifications to have been Justice Minister, he’s also adding what seems to be about the eight or ninth excuse/explanation that we’ve gotten from government members so far.
And let’s be clear on one point; Jody Wilson-Raybould was the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada for three years. In that time, I feel very safe in saying that she had more than a few dealings with the Province of Quebec, in the province or at least with francophones. During those three years no one from the government benches ever raised the language issue publicly, nor has any member of the House of Commons that I am aware. So, I would take that as a serious sign that her lack of French was not an issue or a reason for this.
This is all making the government look really bad, and as each error seems to bring another, the compounding effect of these gaffes become harder and harder to ignore. This past week might have been the worst that the government has had yet, and its still only Thursday. Right now, it seems like the Liberals are not organized, not prepared and have yet to get a handle on this. This case of “Foot in Mouth” disease will only serve to show that this government is losing more and more control of this situation, while raising more and more questions about why they simply won’t let Wilson-Raybould speak. Moments like these, when piled on top of moments that happened earlier this week, give the impression that the government has something to hide. Whether if they do or not is quickly becoming immaterial, because the impression that they do is quickly building. And so far, all the blocks and labour used to build it have been supplied by the Liberals themselves. That long weekend can’t get here fast enough.