Justin Trudeau was working from Mackenzie King's playbook when he appeared before the Finance Committee last week. The general consensus seems to be that he emerged (relatively) unscathed. But his problems are not over. Finance Minister Bill Morneau has not come through all of this as well as Trudeau has. Susan Delacourt writes that a cabinet shuffle may be in the offing:
A cabinet shuffle is looking increasingly likely too, sooner rather than later. As my colleague Heather Scoffield has written, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s shelf life may be limited in the wake of WE, given how his involvement with the charity has repeatedly put the government into awkward spots.
The shuffle may have been in the works for a while, but WE has turned it into a potentially disciplinary one as well. That means we are about to head into another few weeks (some say days) of Liberals sitting by their phone, waiting to get the good or bad news about cabinet. By happy coincidence for the PMO, that atmosphere tends to keep MPs in line, which may mute some of the grumbling that has been coming from caucus during the WE saga.
And there will probably be changes coming in the PMO:
There has been talk of [Katie]Telford needing to go — just as principal secretary Gerald Butts departed during the SNC-Lavalin drama of 2019 — but the chief of staff was talking very much in the future tense about her job during Thursday’s testimony, which likely means that she will remain. What may occur, though, is that the PMO will be out looking for some reinforcements to the team, to provide that “extra level of scrutiny” within the office.
There is always the possibility that more information will emerge. But, even if that doesn't happen, Justin will have to make changes. He'll have to shuffle the cards in his deck.