JULY 24, 2020 – As I write this, Bill Morneau still has a job.
While it is hard to imagine that anyone feels this finance minister should still be a cabinet minister, his arrogance is keeping him in the job. Do not count on Trudeau who suffers similar ethical lapses doing anything- he is just as bad if not worse.
This is from the Prime Minister’s Mandate letter to Morneau.
“As Minister, you must ensure that you are aware of and fully compliant with the Conflict of Interest Act and Treasury Board policies and guidelines. You will be provided with a copy of Open and Accountable Government to assist you as you undertake your responsibilities. I ask that you carefully read it, including elements that have been added to strengthen it, and ensure that your staff does so as well.”
“Give particular attention to the Ethical Guidelines set out in Annex A of that document, which apply to you and your staff. As noted in the Guidelines, you must uphold the highest standards of honesty and impartiality, and both the performance of your official duties and the arrangement of your private affairs should bear the closest public scrutiny. This is an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.”
If Morneau has significantly breached his mandate letter obligations and if Trudeau won’t fire him for doing so, who then takes the fall?
If we rule Trudeau and Morneau out, the weakest person in the power structure is Bradish Chagger. While only a junior minister, she did handle the file. But does anyone think that she acted alone?
Junior ministers do not bring $912 million dollar files to cabinet without being backed by other senior ministers and PMO. To do so without advance approval would run the risk of committing political suicide and banishment to the back benches.
Chagger knew she was OK to bring this forward. There had to be discussions with PCO, the department and of course almighty PMO.
Now of course PMO has to find a scapegoat. Chagger who is just a junior minister looks like the one and while her mandate letter says she is to “Support the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion to enhance the Youth Employment Strategy and the Canada Summer Jobs program” don’t expect that senior minister (Carla Qualtrough ) to take a hit either.
Trudeau will hang tough until he does his smoke and mirror routine before the committee. The Liberals can then spin that he was open and accountable and blah, blah, blah. I can write these talk points in my sleep. After that, he can go back to taking personal days off.
Once the Liberals see who the next CPC leader will be, he can do a small shuffle, demote Chagger maybe push Morneau sideways and get ready for the next election.