The Gomery Inquiry marked the beginning of the end of Jean Chretien's government. But, Chantal Hebert writes, Justin Trudeau's government will survive the Rouleau Inquiry:
A decade and a half ago, the publication of the findings of the inquiry into what was known as the federal sponsorship scandal signalled the beginning of the end of a dozen-year Liberal tenure.
Justice John Gomery’s final report — and the blame it apportioned to Jean Chrétien’s government — led to the defeat of his successor’s minority government and set the stage for a Conservative decade in power.
But the political parallels between that exercise and the ongoing inquiry into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to use the Emergencies Act to deal with the blockades and anti-vax convoy that crippled the federal capital and the Canada/U.S. border last winter stop there.
Should Justice Paul Rouleau conclude in his final report that Trudeau failed to meet the legal threshold required to invoke the Emergencies Act, the prime minister’s minority government is unlikely to take a decisive hit over the issue.
For all intents and purposes, the case, it seems, is already closed in the minds of many Canadians and the popular verdict, notwithstanding Rouleau’s future conclusions, favours the ruling Liberals.
An Abacus poll published at the end of October showed majority support for the government’s decision in all provinces. The testimony heard since then was not, on its face, earth-shattering enough to reverse the trend.
And that's why Pierre Poilievre is keeping his mouth shut:
For their part, the Conservatives have been uncharacteristically discreet. That silence speaks for itself. Almost half of the Abacus respondents who self-identify as Conservative do not share the sympathies of the party’s latest leader, Pierre Poilievre, for the convoy and its members.
As Falstaff reminded us, "the better part of valor is discretion."