Allegations against Trudeau’s government sparked a re-examination of the foundation of legal independence and impartiality in Canada. Photo credit: Getty Images/Andrej Ivanov
Justice in a post-national state is at the behest of the country’s Leader. Not that the country’s legal system has yet devolved into a totalitarian chokehold on justice, but unquestionably, in the last eight years, Canada has shifted from its foundational notions of “peace, order, and good government.” With Justin Trudeau, Canadians have witnessed a Prime Minister and his political operatives continuously operating above the law, actively politicizing the administration of justice, and shrewdly undermining the citizenry’s confidence in the country’s law and order.
Justin Trudeau’s perversion of Canada’s legal traditions is a most disturbing feature of his time as Prime Minister. The Trudeau Liberals’ abuses of justice have left Canadians less certain about the independence, impartiality, and fairness of its country’s law and order. With a cursory look at his eight-year record, one can easily judge this Trudeau regime as having recast Canadians’ expectations of “justice.”
Operating above the law
There are many accounts of the PM, his staff, and ministers operating above the law. The government’s most egregious affront to justice occurred in Trudeau’s first term, when Canada’s attorney general and minister of justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould was being relentlessly muscled by the PM’s Principal Secretary Gerald Butts and the Prime Minister’s Office. Wilson-Raybould stood firm but was ultimately punted from office when she refused to accept the directives to politically interfere in criminal court proceedings for bribery and fraud against Liberal-friendly engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.
PM Trudeau replaced Wilson-Raybould with a toady justice minister, David Lametti, who granted SNC-Lavalin its deferred prosecution agreement to avoid trial and its consequences. In the wake of this sleight of hand, the government continued granting millions of dollars to SNC-Lavalin in defiance of a damning ethics commission inquiry, resignations of two of the PM’s senior-most staff, a judicial ruling against the company, and a 10-year ban from government contracts. With complete disregard for all legalities, this cozy relationship has been a shameless display of unscrupulous power.
In another wayward episode, Canadians’ rights and freedoms were suspended when PM Trudeau weaponized the law and wielded a never-used-before Emergencies Act to squash a peaceful Parliament Hill protest against his government’s COVID-19 mandates and lockdowns. Using extraordinary powers designed to manage an urgent national crisis, the Trudeau government ordered the protest to be forcibly removed, dissenting voices arrested, and supporters’ bank accounts frozen and, in some cases, personal finances seized.
These measures were swiftly executed, and, in the end, Trudeau’s executive orders did not receive parliamentary approval, as the enacting legislation was withdrawn before MP’s voted on it. Trudeau’s assault on Canadians’ freedoms was never fully accounted for, for we are told the critical evidence that prompted the Trudeau cabinet’s decision is a matter of national security and to remain confidential. Today, the Freedom Convoy and the government’s covert maneuvering to shut it down are respectively recognized internationally as textbook studies of a peaceful protest and a calculated authoritarian response.
Politicizing the administration of justice
In the fall of 2015, the second-in-command of the Canadian Forces, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, was charged with breach of trust for leaking cabinet defence secrets on shipbuilding contracts. For years, Norman was stuck in a legal quagmire that sullied his reputation and dishonoured his career and character. The federal Department of Justice played games that stonewalled Norman’s defence lawyers. Then, at the eleventh hour, as the courtroom showdown was about to commence, the Crown prosecutors folded their case, and the charges against the vice-admiral were stayed. Norman was handed an undisclosed sum of money to keep his mouth shut. This whole judicial affair was swept under the rug to be forgotten.
But this miscarriage of justice and the fate of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman must not be forgotten. To fully appreciate the significance, reference The Niagara Independent’s news commentary from 2019: What the Norman Scandal Means for Canada’s Justice System and Norman’s Trial Now Shifts to Court of Public Opinion.
Both the SNC-Lavalin and Mark Norman examples raise serious concerns about a person’s expectation for fair treatment in our Canadian legal system. Consider what Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella stated when news of the Norman non-disclosure settlement deal broke: “As in the LavScam case (SNC-Lavalin), criminal prosecutions must always be independent of politics. If the likes of Trudeau can use the criminal justice system to reward friends (like SNC-Lavalin) and punish enemies (like Norman), we will have fully become a totalitarian regime. We are no longer a true democracy.”
Most disturbing about these examples, as well as the misuse of the Emergencies Act, and even today as we witness the court proceedings skewering Tamara Lich, is the fact that to this day, our federal government has refused to explain, justify, or otherwise account for what has happened. From the PM and PMO staff to ministers, MPs, Crown prosecutors, and senior government mandarins, the federal government is seemingly operating outside the country’s judicial system, playing fast and loose with the laws of the land. From Norman to Lich and the many in between, it has been Kafkaesque.
Undermining law and order
Increasingly, it is evident that the Trudeau government’s law and order agenda is failing the country. In fact, it is placing Canadians’ safety in jeopardy. The Liberals’ “soft-on-crime” sentencing and “catch-and-release” bail approach have resulted in escalating crime rates that have not been seen in nearly 20 years. Statistics Canada’s latest numbers (2022) report an alarming single-year 8.2 per cent jump in homicides, 15 per cent in robberies, and 39 per cent in extortion. Manitoba’s homicide rate has surged by 40 per cent – and despite the claims recently made by “unhinged” Liberal MP Ken Hardie, this grim statistic must be accounted for by Trudeau, Hardie, and their colleagues on the government benches.
Likewise, the Trudeau Liberals must be held accountable for the government’s inadequate response to crimes that have tested the conscience of the nation. For example, in the last two years, there have been 83 Christian churches across Canada that have been vandalized, burned down, or desecrated. The PM stated these crimes are “wrong” but reasoned, “it’s fully understandable, given the shameful history.” Trudeau and his government have made similar rationalizations for everything from BLM vandalism to illegal blockades by indigenous groups to pro-Palestinian demonstrations calling for an intifada in Canadian streets.
With respect to the administration of justice, the Trudeau government has now been caught multiple times appointing Liberal Party supporters to the judicial bench. In early 2020, the Globe and Mail uncovered a partisan federal Liberal network that vetted and selected judicial appointments, with weighted consideration given to their Liberal Party pedigree. Between November 2015 and 2020, more than 475 judges were appointed with the Trudeau government’s judicial application process. More recently, the government was exposed again when superior court judge applicants were linked to Liberal “cash-for-access” events. Loading the bench with Liberal candidates is sure to maintain a “progressive” approach to law and order for years to come.
Not surprisingly, an April 2023 Research Co. survey found Canadians divided on whether the justice system is fair: 45 per cent believe the justice system treats every person fairly, while 43 per cent of people disagreed (12 per cent were undecided). In a June 2023 Leger poll, four out of five Canadians (78 per cent) were critical of the justice system, stating that it is “too lenient on offenders who are found to be guilty of committing a violent crime.” Most concerning in this poll was the finding that less than a third (32 percent) agreed with the notion that Canada has a “firm and fair” justice system.
From the mentioned travesties of justice involving Jody Wilson-Raybould and Mark Norman to today’s Freedom Convoy trial, there has been so much more… Aga Khan, McKinsey & Company, Frank Baylis, Medicago Inc, the firings as well as the secret virus research at the Winnipeg Lab, the RCMP handling of Nova Scotia mass killings, Myles Sanderson, Dany Fortin, unchecked pipeline eco-terrorism, Jaspal Atwal, Omar Khadr, Joshua Boyle, WE Charity, the Trudeau Foundation…. Plainly, Justin Trudeau’s record on the nation’s justice files is nothing short of perverse.
This is the third of a six-part series that takes account of Justin Trudeau’s eight-year record pursuing his “post-national” vision for Canada.
Chris George is an advocate, government relations advisor, and writer/copy editor. As president of a public relations firm established in 1994, Chris provides discreet counsel, tactical advice and management skills to CEOs/Presidents, Boards of Directors and senior executive teams in executing public and government relations campaigns and managing issues. Prior to this PR/GR career, Chris spent seven years on Parliament Hill on staffs of Cabinet Ministers and MPs. He has served in senior campaign positions for electoral and advocacy campaigns at every level of government. Today, Chris resides in Almonte, Ontario where he and his wife manage www.cgacommunications.com. Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.