Lent will begin in seven days, meaning that for over six weeks no political comment will be found in my regular space.
Thus, what follows are my final thoughts on L'Affair du Lavalin that has engulfed Ottawa for a month. I plead truth as my defence while discussing this tragicomedy.
It bears reiteration that we now know the former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, was contacted by the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, former principal secretary Gerald Butts and the clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, regarding the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
These three men maintain that what they did does not constitute "undue pressure" on the attorney general. Yet it is also known that even after her clear refusal to intervene in the case, the topic kept being brought up. Within three months, Wilson-Raybould was no longer attorney general.
Wernick spilled the beans before the House Justice Committee. In his own words, his conscience was clear about actions he, the prime minister, and Butts took, yet from Wilson-Raybould's point of view, it might have seemed excessive; but don't worry because, "the shields held."
There are no polite words to describe the anger that has grown to an inferno in my soul over what this statement reveals. I have done my best until now to be more fair and balanced in 2019 - but I must admit that in this moment, that vow feels like "pearls before swine."
Prima facie, this scandal is unprecedented, for if the facts as we know them now play out to their logical conclusion, "obstruction of justice" was attempted by the highest officials of our federal government, both political and bureaucratic. Even if that turns out not to be the case, the fact that this scenario got within mere spitting distance of such a sordid event demonstrates an incomprehensible lack of good judgment. There are no words of condemnation strong enough.
I invite rebuttals and comparisons - it's about time some real history got learned around here instead of baseless self-flagellation. But it's already certain none of these will stick, proof being current newsmakers are reciting legalistic jargon instead of litanies of past political sins.
Indeed, I see no other proper penance than the resignation of the prime minister himself if he hopes to save his party. The Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Commonwealth Federation no longer exist, both reformed into new political vehicles. The Liberal Party of Canada has never rebranded, despite baggage spanning from the customs scandal to adscam, a fact that has befuddled Tories and Dippers for decades. One can only pray this is the final reckoning.
All of this might seem an exercise in hubris on my part. Obviously, we haven't heard from Wilson-Raybould, due to testify today at the same House Justice Committee as Wernick did last week. Maybe, as many claim, her words will clear up this mess and exonerate everyone.
Perhaps, but I wouldn't bother taking bets on this because the former attorney general's hands are tied: she already has to answer for her late resignation, her public silence with private discussions in cabinet and caucus, as well as her delayed testimony, which requires 30 minutes for an opening statement. If Wilson-Raybould does anything but state categorically that she felt pressured, a riot will be started by the committee members, both government and opposition.
Lastly, in the event that the prime minister wiggles out of this one, the Grits refuse to say they are sorry and this entire affair becomes old news, there is still one trial that none of these people can escape: the federal election, which will take place Oct. 21.
It is not my place to tell you how to vote. But I will tell you that people do not learn from being rewarded for their contemptible behaviour.
Whatever your politics, I encourage you to show your displeasure for our current overlords at the ballot box. It's not like they listen to us otherwise.