Over the past week, Canadians caught a glimpse of the real Justin Trudeau - and what they saw was truly disturbing.
Former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before the House of Commons Justice Committee.
She laid out the sequence of events that led to her ouster from the Justice portfolio, and the relentless pressure campaign that was brought to bear on her by the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, senior PMO and Finance political staff, and the head of Canada's public service.
Here is a quick summary of the situation that has led to this unprecedented crisis for the Trudeau Liberals:
SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec-based engineering company, was caught engaging in bribery and other corrupt practices in Libya in order to win construction contracts from dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The company even paid for prostitutes for Gaddafi's son as part of their bribery campaign.
SNC-Lavalin hired an army of high-priced lobbyists to convince Prime Minister Trudeau that a criminal prosecution was too dangerous for the company and that another option - a deferred prosecution agreement - was preferable. A deferred prosecution agreement would mean that SNC-Lavalin woulda admits its guilt and pay a hefty fine to the federal government, but it wouldn't result in a 10-year ban on federal contracts for the company.
After intensive lobbying, the Trudeau Liberals passed legislation to allow for deferred prosecution agreements in the last budget, clearing the way SNC-Lavalin to avoid criminal prosecution. There was, however, one more hurdle remaining.
The Director of Public Prosecutions - an office established by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a response to the Liberal AdScam and sponsorship scandals - reviewed the situation and determined that a criminal prosecution was warranted given the seriousness of SNC-Lavalin's misdeeds. The Attorney General (Jody Wilson-Raybould, at the time) had the power to overrule the Director of Public Prosecutions and instead offer SNC-Lavalin the deferred prosecution agreement.
After consideration, Ms. Wilson-Raybould decided not to second guess the Director of Public Prosecutions and allowed the criminal prosecution to continue.
And that's when the Prime Minister and his team decided that Ms. Wilson-Raybould needed "convincing" to choose the deferred prosecution agreement route.
Convincing, in this case, meant an unprecedented pressure and lobby campaign that involved the Prime Minister and his team threatening Ms. Wilson-Raybould with political punishment if she didn't give in to their demands.
When asked about it, Prime Minister Trudeau, his (now resigned) Principal Secretary Gerry Butts, and even the Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick (head of Canada's public service) all denied pressuring Ms. Raybould-Wilson.
The fact remains that they pressured her for months, despite her making it clear that she wouldn't be changing her position.
Many have found the behaviour of the Prime Minister and his senior team to be completely unacceptable. In fact, senior Liberal Minister Jane Philpott (one of the Liberals' few competent Ministers) resigned her post citing the poor ethical behaviour of Justin Trudeau.
She refused to be associated with his actions and statements any longer.
And this is where we learned something about the real Justin Trudeau.
You see, the Liberals have worked hard to craft an image for Prime Minister Trudeau. He's a modern, compassionate, feminist man whose top priority is to heal the divisions in our country - particularly with Canada's indigenous peoples.
This is the Justin Trudeau they want you to see.
However, the real Justin Trudeau is something different.
He's a man who applied significant pressure - both directly and indirectly - on a female Cabinet Minister, not listening to her when she clearly said "no" to his request.
He's a man who shuffled out Canada's first and only Indigenous Justice Minister when she wouldn't play ball with his crony plan to help out politically well-connected SNC-Lavalin.
He's a man who then lied, point blank, about not putting pressure on Ms. Wilson-Raybould, and continues to mislead Canadians about what really happened despite it being on the public record.
In short, he's just another dishonest, ethically bankrupt Liberal Prime Minister who genuinely doesn't understand the difference between right and wrong, who lies when he gets caught, and who undermined every single one of his efforts to advance equality for women and indigenous people when he needed to help out political friends of his in Quebec.
Justin Trudeau, the only Prime Minister in Canadian history to have broken ethics laws while in office, has now lost the moral authority to govern Canada.
He should apologize for lying to Canadians, and for interfering in Canada's independent judiciary.
And then, he should resign the Office of Prime Minister.
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