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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED: The hatchet job on Wilson-Raybould, by Michael Wernick (Clerk of the Privy Council and Canada’s top bureaucrat), is just cause for his immediate dismissal

The Canadian Press ~~ The National Post ~~ February 21, 2019

OTTAWA — Canada’s top bureaucrat launched a blunt and vigorous defence Thursday of the government’s handling of the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, declaring allegations of political interference to be false and even defamatory.

He challenged former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould’s assertion that solicitor-client privilege prevents her from responding to the allegations that she was improperly pressured by the Prime Minister’s Office to spare the Montreal engineering giant a criminal trial on charges of corruption and bribery related to government contracts in Libya.

“I’m here to say to you that the Globe and Mail article contains errors, unfounded speculation and, in some cases, is simply defamatory,” Wernick told the committee.

From everything he knows, Wernick said the Prime Minister’s Office handled the matter with integrity ...

Michael Wernick’s hatchet job on Wilson-Raybould is just cause for his immediate dismissal.

No public servant is ever in a position to attack an elected representative, or the Attorney General who heads the Justice arm of government, which is separate and independent of the Administrative and Legislative sections of government.

Wernick has no legal training and is not capable of discerning what constitutes pressure on or interference with the administration of justice. His contention that Wilson-Raybould has no solicitor-client privilege as part of her position as Attorney General is not credible.

“I’m here to say to you that the Globe and Mail article contains errors, unfounded speculation and, in some cases, is simply defamatory,” Wernick told the committee.

It is outrageous for the Privy Council Clerk to suggest that the Globe and Mail has published inaccurate information and defamation, and then to defame Wilson-Raybould, spewing unfounded speculation on the tenor and intent of meetings between the Prime Minister and the Attorney General.

Again, Mr. Wernick lacks the training and expertise to make such judgements.

It is frightening that the Privy Council Clerk feels comfortable telling the Justice Committee what the duties and responsibilities of the Attorney General are.

He is part of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and a shining example of unelected advisors and bureaucrats out of control and drunk on the power they think they have.

The Prime Ministers Office must be dismantled, and restructured, in accordance with our constitution. Sections 11 and 13 of the Constitution make it clear that the Privy Council is an advisory body to the Governor General in his or her capacity as the Executive arm of government -- not to the Prime Minister who heads the Administrative arm of government.

The post of Attorney General is not a government Ministry like others; the Attorney General heads the Justice branch of government which is independent, and separate, from the Administrative and Legislative Branches.

The consternation over meetings between the Prime Minister (and PMO) and Attorney General on SNC-Lavalin, is that there is no provision or justification for any meeting to occur.

The Justice arm is independent, or it is not, and any meeting to discuss a pending case or cases or an accused is inappropriate. It is clear and simple.  Wernick’s efforts to apply lipstick to this skunk does not diminish the odour.

Both the PMO and PCO appear guilty of interference with justice. His attempt to display ethical integrity is ridiculous. He cannot meet with SNC-Lavalin and also attend meetings with the Attorney General to discuss SNC-Lavalin and claim that there is no effort to influence justice. He deserves an A+ for audacity as severance pay. 

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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