Yesterday was a bad day for Justin Trudeau. The ethics commissioner's report was a no holds barred condemnation of his behaviour in the SNC-Lavalin Affair. Chantal Hebert writes:
To read the ethics commissioner’s accounting of the events is to get the impression that the senior levels of the government essentially functioned as an arm of the engineering firm. The line between the two was not so much blurred as virtually invisible.
The commissioner’s conclusion that the prime minister violated the federal ethics law is unadulterated.
He finds no extenuating circumstances to absolve Trudeau of having applied improper pressures on the then-attorney-general to overrule her prosecutors in their dealings with SNC-Lavalin.
Dion rejects the rationale that the prime minister was only acquitting himself of his duty by trying to mitigate the economic fallout of a negative legal outcome for SNC-Lavalin.
He refutes the notion that because Wilson-Raybould ultimately stuck to her course, no line was crossed, noting that it is not the outcome of the arm-twisting that determines whether it took place.
There is a pattern here: Chretien, Martin and now Trudeau. If Trudeau loses the election in October, his tenure as prime minister will have, indeed, been short. This is the same old politics practised by a new face.
Will Canadians look beyond the face? Stay tuned.