Canada is embroiled in a crisis of confidence as to the Trudeau government’s commitment to the rule of law, and the convention of the Constitution that the Attorney General should not be subjected to pressure in respect of the conduct of criminal prosecutions.
The Telegram asked all seven federal Liberal MPs for comment on this crisis gripping the country. To his credit, Scott Simms responded to requests for comment, saying that while he voted against a resolution in favour of a public enquiry, he is not ruling out changing his vote in the future.
None of our other federal Liberal representatives, including our federal Cabinet member Seamus O’Regan, felt the crisis merited their comment. We can now call this group the Silent Six, an attitude they typically adopt when anything controversial involving important issues arises.
My opinion, as a lawyer and parliamentarian, is this:
If an AG states he or she felt pressured by improper intervention by the Prime Minister and others to change a prosecutorial decision, and the AG has grounds for so stating, then the improper interventions occurred, and the Prime Minister’s resignation must follow.
Over and above this, no one who watched the former AG give her testimony before the Parliamentary Committee this week could doubt its power, sincerity, objectivity and meticulous documentation. Against this, the Prime Minister has disputed her interpretation of events, but without himself giving evidence.
If former AG Jody Wilson-Raybould states on good grounds that she experienced improper interference, that should be the end of the matter. The rule of law has been violated, and the only remedy commensurate with the gravity of the offence is resignation at the highest levels.
I invite any Newfoundland and Labrador Member of Parliament who has a contrary opinion to reveal it to the public in these pages.
Leader, Official Opposition