The current Julie Payette saga is emblematic of the Justin Trudeau PM experience for any Canadian that has been paying attention.
In 2017, Trudeau recommended Payette as the choice for the next Governor General of Canada. For a frame of reference, Stephen Harper (the PM before Trudeau) had actually used a non-partisan selection committee for the selection of Payette’s predecessor and made that committee, the “Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments”, a permanent one on November 4th, 2012, but it was disbanded by Trudeau after he defeated Harper in 2015. So, Payette is Trudeau’s choice whether he would like to admit it or not.
At the time of the recommendation, there were articles promoting her selection as well as articles questioning her selection. In July of 2017, Susan Delacourt wrote an excellent piece on memory (specifically digital memory) and its place in politics.
The piece of memory that I want to focus on is the iPolitics report regarding Payette’s expunged assault charge from 2011. Other outlets reported it, but many cited iPolitics as the first, so I will give them the credit.
I remember reading about this at the time and did not really have an opinion. I remember seeing people opining that it was ridiculous to bring these allegations up as they had been dropped, expunged and thus ardently denied by Payette. However, I do remember that my “shit detector” was very aware of the fact that there was nothing being said by her ex, William Flynn. Ultimately, I chose not to pay too much attention to it as there only seemed to be a little smoke and chalked it up to people trying to find chinks in Trudeau’s armour.
There are allegations that Payette and her friend (and secretary) Assunta Di Lorenzo, have created a toxic climate of harassment and verbal abuse at Rideau Hall. Like before, Payette ardently refutes these allegations, but, unlike before, I can no longer ignore this.
The records of the allegations from 2011 are expunged, so we’ll never know anything. However, if Justin Trudeau had left the non-partisan advisory committee in place, maybe there could have been more of an investigation done into it. Maybe they would have realized the smoke may become more in the future.
Everything about this story is representative of Justin Trudeau’s time as Prime Minister. He ignored previous processes by dismantling the non-partisan selection committee (you know, like outsourcing administration of a government program to a third-party to circumvent Opposition strutiny), he ignored the smoke from potential allegations of abuse in Payette’s past (you know, like neglecting to recuse himself from the selection process when there are CLEAR & TRANSPARENT conflicts of interest) and now there is a fire (you know, like averaging an Ethics investigation every 2 years).
If the Liberals would like a majority government, Trudeau needs to step down as leader. He is totally clueless and acts like a spoiled, rich, white kid that’s been caught red-handed (think “Don’t you know who my dad is?”). I did not vote for the Liberals and I will not be voting for them or the Conservatives in the next election. Unfortunately, NDP has been unable to continue the momentum starting by the great Jack Layton. Jagmeet Singh has done a better job than it looked like he would at the beginning, but I’m pessimistic in this current landscape (due to underlying racism and fear of “socialism”). However, as I said, the Liberals cannot continue with Trudeau at the helm. Eventually, the fire will be too big for Trudeau’s ego…