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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

J. EDWARD LES -- The Hammer and the Dunce

"This Little Piggy" -- a lightly revised version

This little piggy went to market.

This little piggy went home.

This little piggy had roast beef.

This little piggy had none.

This little piggy… went WE, WE, WE all the way home.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Sultan of Sunny Ways and Grand Pooh-bah of Transparency, is being formally investigated by the Ethics Commissioner for the third time since becoming PM — this time after being caught shoveling oodles of taxpayers’ cash to his best bros at the WE Foundation.

Or is it the WE Charity?  The ME to WE Social Enterprises?  The WE Real Estate Empire?  The “Me Me Me” Charade?

I’m with most Canadians; “WE” aren’t sure. It’s been tough to keep track since this stink bomb exploded.

When they were assembling the pieces of their byzantine “charity” enterprise, the Kielburgers seem to have adopted as guiding credo Sir Walter Scott’s famous aphorism: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

One thing is clear amidst the rancid stench of this scandal; courtesy of Mr. Trudeau, the brothers were to be gifted with $43 million of taxpayers’ dollars as reward for showering another billion or so of those taxpayers’ dollars on students to help them “volunteer”.

That Mr. Trudeau thought he could get away with brazenly lining the pockets of his friends with our money is gobsmacking.  It’s a fair bet that he didn’t think we would notice, given his administration’s frenzied printing of pandemic money to “support” Canadians.  Stacked up next to a mind-shattering $343 billion budget deficit, what’s another lousy billion bucks?

The PM’s thinking is clouded, perchance, by cabin fever.  After being dragged kicking and screaming earlier this year to the realization that the COVID-19 pandemic was an enormous threat to the Canadian people; after belatedly sealing our borders and restricting international flights — a.k.a. “closing the doors AFTER the fox is in the henhouse” — the PM retreated to the safety of Rideau Cottage.

And there he has been ever since.  He simply refuses to leave.

Perhaps he’s shell-shocked.  Or just scared. 

Consider: after all the early blathering by his administration that “Canadians remain at low risk” even as thousands were dying around the world and the virus was streaming unchecked into our country, Trudeau’s home province of Quebec now boasts one of the highest per capita COVID death rates in the world at 700 deaths per million — higher than any country outside of Belgium, and higher than all but a handful of U.S. states.  (Canadians who love to feel superior to our American neighbours: put that fact in your bong and smoke it).

A sliver of real leadership by the PM, a smidgen of awareness, a tad less foot-dragging in those early days of the pandemic — and there’d be far less Quebeckers in caskets.

At long last, after painfully enduring the hammer of lockdown to stop the rampant spread of COVID, Canadians are bravely learning to dance with the virus.  The country is opening up.

But the prime ministerial dunce remains holed up in his cottage — emerging, of course, for the most essential of posturing activities, like taking a knee with a packed crowd of social-distance-violating Black Lives Matter protesters (the less said about the PM’s serial blackface history, the better).

A functioning Parliament has simply ceased to exist. 

The PM rules by decree — a natural fit for a man who is on record in 2013 as saying: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime.”

Until recently, Mr. Trudeau appeared on the steps of his refuge each morning to address a gaggle of reporters and cameras assembled under what National Post scribe Rex Murphy has dubbed the Tent of Commons.  (One wonders what the PM does with the rest of his day… I picture him wandering the house, endlessly searching for his scruples).

It was weirdly fascinating to watch him on his front porch. Every time he opened his mouth billions of dollars poured forth -- like an ATM with a goatee.

The gusher of money isn’t his, mind you.  Nor is it yours, for that matter, dear taxpayer.  Nope.  It’s your children’s money, your grandchildren’s money, your great-grandchildren’s money.  They are the ones who’ll be saddled with the tremendous pain of paying and paying and paying for the Prime Minister’s “largesse”.

So carried away was the PM by the tsunami of cash he had unleashed, he thought he could slide a billion-dollar contract and $43 million in “fees” into the jeans of his friends and we’d be none the wiser.

He was wrong.

But no matter.  The prime minister has “apologized”, you see.

As always, he meant well.  It’s about our youth, after all.  Think of the children!  Move along folks – in the parlance of our times, this is a nothingburger.

Except it isn’t.  It’s a giant stinking Kielburger.

But it’s one that the PM was unable to smell.  Maybe he acquired COVID-19 from his wife and was suffering from anosmia, the tell-tale loss of smell peculiar to the viral infection.

Far more likely: the man is so elitist, so out of touch with the mores that govern the lives of everyday Canadians, that he can’t recognize corruption when it’s staring him squarely in the face.  Or worse, he just doesn’t care — and he’s banking on Canadians not giving a fig either.

And by “socially distancing” himself from Parliament and the tough questioning a functioning House of Commons would bring, he threatens to once again evade proper repercussions for his actions.

As noted, this will mark the third time the PM has been investigated for an ethics violation, an unsavoury milestone unprecedented in all of Canadian history. But one would be a naked fool to think that these are his only transgressions. 

If you believe that this ethically-challenged man is so unlucky that every time he crosses the line he gets caught, I have ocean-front property in Saskatoon I’m positively itching to sell you.

The Prime Minister and his family weren’t the only piggies mucking about in the sty that is WE. None other than Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been slurping greedily from the organization’s trough.

Mr. Morneau’s tour as Finance Minister, it must be said, has been a true journey of discovery.  In 2017, for instance, he “discovered” that he owned a villa in the south of France.  Now he’s “discovered” that the WE organization gifted him and his family with $41,000 in vacation expenses.  That was just for accommodations and meals and such, he assured us.  The tab for flights to Ecuador and Kenya for his family (more than $53,000) was paid for out of his own pocket.  More than $94K for two vacations — when the Morneaus seek out some R&R, they don’t hold back.

But, again — no matter.  Caught red-handed — but not red-faced — with his hand in the coffers of WE, Mr. Morneau sat down and stroked a cheque for $41K to the WE conglomerate.  No harm done.  Plus, channeling his boss, he offered an apology of sorts:

A mistake was made on my behalf,” he replied to Conservative finance critic Pierre Pollievre when questioned about his ethics.

Who on God’s green earth even says that?  “A mistake was made on my behalf.”  Who does he think he is, the King of bloody England?

Ah, but that’s just it, isn’t it? These sorts of people do think they are kings and emperors, utterly unbeholden to the rules of ordinary plebs like you and me.

Who among us, by the way, can sit down and casually cut a cheque for $41,000 for an overlooked expense as casually as the average Canadian shells out for a double-double at Tim Hortons?

Mr. Morneau, that’s who. 

It’s small potatoes for a man who married into the multi-billion-dollar-large potato fortune of McCain Foods; chump change for a man who inherited the reins to giant human resources firm Morneau Shepell from his daddy.

How this pompous, out-of-touch, painfully incompetent man remains as Minister of Finance is mystifying.

More mystifying still is that Justin Trudeau survives as Prime Minister of Canada; the rising tide of scandal in his administration would have long ago sunk any other politician’s ship to the depths of the Mariana Trench.

Most mystifying of all is the fact that Canadians continue to lavish Mr. Trudeau with support — at a level that would reward him with a majority government if an election were held today.  Perhaps they’re all afflicted with COVID-induced loss of smell.

It leads me to wonder, though: who is the greater dunce? The Prime Minister, or collectively the many Canadians who continue to turn a blind eye to his corruption?

To reiterate: three times (that we know of) this PM has run flagrantly afoul of the ethics rules.  Twice he’s gotten away with it.  Will he slither away a third time?

We all know the old adage: Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you.

But fool us three times? Then shame on all of us.

I’ll bookend this diatribe, fittingly, with another Mother Goose ditty well-fitted to this PM:

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;

He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house.


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