TORONTO - Prime Minister Trudeau should promote Carla Qualtrough. Currently, she’s the Minister for Public Works and Government Services (PWSG).
It’s the Department that will ultimately handle how government contracts are assigned and monitored. In case you missed it, SNC Lavalin, as other contractors to the Government, need to cultivate her Department, learn the rules, assess how the expectations of government and the attendant vigilance required can be incorporated in any bid they might present.
Her Department will always be involved in any assessment of the underlying principles of good Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that may have to be met prior to and after the grant of a contract.
If a corporation will be debarred from government business, her Department will invariably be involved in the evaluation of proceedings – whether criminal or Deferred Prosecution Process (Civil Agreements in place of jail).
Minister Qualtrough, a former Paralympic athlete, in an interview with CTV’s Don Martin, Monday afternoon, gave - by far - the most cogent, most clear and most persuasive explanation on the process and substance of the SNC Lavalin “affair” that threatens the stability of the Trudeau Government.
It came thirteen days too late. The Trudeau Government could have saved itself a lot of grief had she been put in the public limelight earlier.
Instead, the public is now digesting four very uncomfortable issues that it might just as well have preferred to set to one side. The first of these is that Canada and Canadians, whether Corporate of private citizens, are prepared to adjust their perceptions of the “rule of law” and social accountability if dollars are at stake.
As MP Maxime Bernier says, “crony capitalism” is a blight on free enterprise and true democratic rights, including those human rights we support with all the pontification our self-righteousness can muster … against others.
Second, the “strategists” (what to do to improve Canada) in the Prime Minister’s O.ce” have proved themselves to be mere “tacticians” (how to adapt to crises) with extremely inept communications plans.
The chief among them, the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary has had to resign. For what is not exactly clear, but the public has filled in that blank with everything negative.
Third, the demotion and subsequent resignation of the former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, has laid bare some festering discontent from within Cabinet that goes beyond petty jealousies.
If there are some significant governance and ethical issues then surely the responsibility rests with the PMO and now with the Prime Minister – its “face” and principal, now only, asset.
Fourth, Canadians must now come to grips with a “politicized” Public Service. The Bureaucracy has two basic functions: guide the government with sound, researched, policy options; two, keep the government “out of trouble” for the sake of the country.
How a Clerk of the Privy Council (the top bureaucrat in the civil service) can be paraded before a House of Commons Committee to express personal opinions about personalities in Cabinet, or perceived dangers in the country that are best kept to a data-free discussion over a coffee, is mind-boggling.
If the “strategists” could get so many things wrong, what else have they “mucked up”?
Is it any wonder that their Immigration Plan is in total shambles and that their Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, could be so indifferent to the plight of children and families that he walks away from an interviewer when asked a simple question about the potential, unnecessary, deportation of the Demitri family? Citizens are fed up with intransigence and obstinacy.