Early this morning in the National Press Theatre, something happened that the Canadian public has been waiting for now for a while. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a press conference, at which he was expected to address the SNC-Lavalin scandal that’s embroiled his government for four weeks now. As I mentioned yesterday on the radio, rumour was there might be a statement of contrition coming from the PMO or the PM himself. So, what exactly did the PM have to say? What new did he bring to the table? Well, not a lot as it turns out:
In no part of this press conference did the words “I’m sorry” escape his lips. Not a word of apology, and as the Q&A session went along, he sounded less and less the less apologetic. Folks, that doesn’t cut it and I’m floored that those words.
What blows my mind even more about this is that in response to a straight-up question from Global News on if he does apologize, he made a quip that he’ll be going North to make an apology to the Inuit and that’s it. Imagine how the folks receiving that long overdue apology later today feel to hear the Prime Minister make any reference to that in this context, let alone in the kind of dismissive, smirky way that he is sometimes known for. That quip must make some people think twice about the sincerity of the only apology coming later today, and I doubt he intended to do that.
I have to admit that this whole story has been so fascinating to me, and it’s mostly based on the governments continued butchering and terrible handling of it. What exactly did the Prime Minister accomplish today? He didn’t stop this story, which is now running live on every news network and radio station wall to wall today. He brought next to no new detail to this story, which it should also be said seems to be a third version of this story that the PM is telling; it’s moved a long way from “the Globe and Mail story is false”. And in the process, he’s added more fodder for the Opposition to go at him with.
As this day goes along, I would think that we should expect more shoes to drop. I am personally looking forward to hearing what the reaction of the Liberal caucus, and specifically Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, will be. That will be the telltale sign as to where this story goes. Did this press conference help to ease the worries of Liberal MPs or did it just raise their anxiety? The hours to come will prove that one way or another. But the early quotes from at least one caucus member, quoting the PM’s statement this morning, isn’t that good for them:
Yep, this didn’t take care of it and after another bungled attempt to stop this story, you can’t help but wonder how many more chances do they get to fix this. How many strikes do the Liberals get here? Today could have been the last one, but only time will tell us that for sure. Stay tuned folks.