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KNIGHT: Justice Committee sleight of hand

Lost in all the chatter about the federal budget and another jaw-dropping deficit was the Liberals shut-down of the hearings of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights

Lost in all the chatter about the federal budget and another jaw-dropping deficit was the Liberals shut-down of the hearings of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights into the dumpster fire that is the scandal with SNC-Lavalin and the government’s handling of it.

As Parliament was re-convened, the Prime Minister announced the resignation of the Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, the most senior bureaucrat, and the head of the Civil Service. He also announced the appointment of an anti-pipeline enviro-activist, Joyce Murray, as the President of the Treasury Board replacing Jane Philpott who resigned saying she had lost confidence in the government.

This is interesting in and of itself after spending $4.5 Billion of taxpayer money to buy the rights to the Trans Mountain pipeline. Estimates of spending of at least another $6 Billion to actually build the pipeline were discussed.  

Considering in her new position Murray will literally control the strings on the public purse, how likely is it that she will sign off on spending to actually build a pipeline she has campaigned against?

Or, more to the point, why would the Prime Minister who espoused the virtue of the government’s purchase of the rights put someone like her in that position? It shows he never intended to get the pipeline built or that he is an incredibly tone-deaf leader who doesn’t understand his subordinates.

On the same day the budget was released, Liberals on the Justice Committee released a three page letter saying they had finished their study of the alleged interference by the PMO and PCO with the former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould in the matter of the bribery and fraud prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, charges which were laid in 2015.

“As committee members, we have achieved our objectives with respect to these meetings,” they said in their letter. One can only guess their objectives had little to do with getting to the truth.

The Liberals quickly moved past that despite the objections of the Conservatives and NDP members of the committee who still want to hear Wilson-Raybould respond to the testimony of former Principle Secretary to the PM Gerald Butts and recently departed Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick.

The committee adopted a (Liberal) motion to study how they could amend the Human Rights Act to stem the “propagation of hateful acts and incitement of hate.”

In other words, they want to go after thought crime. On the heels of the motion M-103, the parliamentary motion decrying what the left call Islamophobia, the Liberals now want to codify that and criminalize it. The mosque murders in New Zealand are the springboard for this.

It is the ham-fisted solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from this Liberal government – ignore the actual crimes that they committed to favour their donors and friends and criminalize anyone who doesn’t comply with their way of thinking.

But don’t look at any of this, we have this budget designed to get us re-elected. Look over here. Squirrel!

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