Wedneday April 17, 2019

April 18, 2019

4 avril 2019



CHILD HAVEN INTERNATIONAL hosts its 34'th Ottawa Annual Fund Raising Dinner at 6 pm at Hellenic Community Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Dr., Ottawa. Child Haven operates Homes for over 1300 children and assists destitute women and seniors in India, Nepal and Bangladesh and has a child support program in Tibet in China. For info and tickets please visit or call 1-613-527-2829 or Pat Dunphy 613-745-1743.

ANNUAL SPRING BAZAAR at the Résidence Saint-Louis, 879 Hiawatha Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monies raised will go to purchase new equipment and articles essential for residential care.

ORLÉANS POUTINE FEST from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 10 and 11 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 12 in the Centrum Blvd. Festival Plaza. Come sample some of the very best poutine in Ottawa paired with some delicious craft beer, wine, and tasty coolers while enjoying live music in the beer garden.


VIEWPOINT: SNC Lavalin affair puts Liberal majority in jeopardy
By Fred Sherwin
April 8, 2019

When it comes to the SNC Lavalin debacle, the Liberal government has been trying to deal with for the past month or so, I have a somewhat different take on the subject than most.

First of all, I would like to make it crystal clear that Trudeau should never have tried to intercede in the SNC Lavalin bribary and corruption case currently before the courts. It was a terrible idea to even suggest a plea bargain, let alone demand such from the Attorney General.

Even though the Prime Minister was technically within his rights to make the demand, political interference are two words you never want to see in a headline. Which brings me to Jody Wilson-Raybould, the other antagonist in this drama.

By way of appointment, Cabinet members are there to serve at the pleasure of the Prime Minister. In this case, the PM had every right to ask Wilson-Raybould to make the SNC Lavalin case go away. As a member of Cabinet, she had two options – carry out the Prime Minister’s directive or resign from Cabinet. She did neither. Instead she waited until after she was moved from Justice to Veteran Affairs in a mid-January Cabinet shuffle, before resigning from Cabinet and going public with her story a whole month later.

Since then she has done everything possible to damage Trudeau and his government. It was only a matter of time before she was kicked out of the party altogether which inevitably occurred on April 2 along with former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott who made the critical error of suggesting publicly that she had lost confidence in the way the Trudeau government had dealt with the situation and Wilson-Raybould in particular. It was a direct swipe at Trudeau and she paid for it with her expulsion from the party.

Both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott have argued that the Justice Department and the Attorney General should be independent of government decisions but that’s a pipe dream. The Attorney General is a member of the Cabinet and as such is charged with carrying out the policies and directives of the government.

When Wilson-Raybould disagreed with Trudeau on how to handle the SNC Lavalin case, she must have known there would be repercussions, which is probably why she taped her phone conversation with Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick during which he tried to convince her to follow through with the Prime Minister’s request.

If Wilson-Raybould truly had the courage of her convictions, she should have resigned from Cabinet the day after Trudeau asked her to settle the SNC Lavalin case out of court. Inquiring minds would have wanted to know why she resigned and the story would have gotten out eventually. Instead, she wanted to make it a cause célèbre and the inevitable happened.

So what type of effect will this have on next fall’s election? That’s a very good question. It certainly won’t help the Liberals chances, which were already pretty grim. Support for the Trudeau government was already hovering at 36 per cent at the beginning of the year with the Conservatives trailing three points behind.

Since the SNC Lavalin scandal has come to light, their positions have reversed. According to the latest polls, Liberal support has dropped to 31.5 per cent and the Conservatives are ahead at 36 per cent. Based on those figures, if an election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives would have a 37 per cent chance of winning a majority and a 67 per cent chance of winning at least a minority, while the Liberals still have 21 per cent chance of hanging on to minority.

About the only good news for the Liberals is that the election isn’t being held tomorrow. If the SNC Lavalin affair happened in September, the Liberals would be doomed. But we still have a whole summer to go along with Labour Day and Thanksgiving. A lot can happen between now and then – both good and bad.

The chances of the Liberals holding on to majority status were always slim at best. The chances of them even retaining a minority government are at their lowest since they took office. If you are a glass half full person you might think that the only place left to go is up. History has taught us that while that maybe true in some instances, things could just as easily go from bad to worse. All it takes is one misstep and the glass is not looking very full anymore.

The Liberals can ill afford to make another misstep. In fact, it will take a near perfect election campaign just to hang to power.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at





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