An individual found a note on their windshield that said: “I accidentally hit your car and someone saw me, so I’m pretending to write down my personal information. Sorry!”
When it comes to apologies, our Prime Minister has apologized for more historic injustices than any of his predecessors. But when the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner issued his incriminating report regarding the SNC- Lavalin deal, he refused to apologize.
It’s interesting that conflict of interest guidelines for cabinet ministers were first introduced in 1973 by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Justin Trudeau’s father said, “The government believes that no higher standards should be demanded of anyone than of ministers themselves. Our policy leaves each minister with a heavy onus to conduct his personal affairs in a manner which must not conflict or appear to conflict with his public duties and responsibilities.”
Those words appear to remain relevant today. So relevant that the current Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner quoted them in a university lecture to students in Toronto last fall.
Those same higher standards would also apply to our government’s three-year campaign for a slot on the UN Security Council, in order to enhance Canada’s prestige at the UN. According to information obtained, under the Access to Information Act, since 2016, the Trudeau government has spent $1.5 million on this campaign. But that’s not all …
In an effort to strengthen Canada’s bid for the seat on the Security Council, Canada sent 250 military personnel to serve as UN peacekeepers in Mali, Africa, at a cost of $400 million. At the same time the government doesn’t want any deaths of Canadian peacekeepers to occur at election time, so they plan to remove the troops this month, even though their replacements won’t arrive until October, leaving Mali unprotected for several months. All of this has been done to acquire a seat for a two year period, when the five permanent nations on the Security Council have a veto over all resolutions passed by the Council.
Higher standards should come into play for the Prime Minister and his associates’ international flights. During seven of the most recent international outings, the food and liquor tally amounted to $730,923 (a little over $100,000 for each outing).
And could it be possible that higher standards apply when the total volume of Canadian imports from Saudi Arabia has increased by 66 percent since 2014, in spite of Saudi Arabia’s recent executions of 37 people and other abuses.
The lack of response regarding these issues and others reminds me of a note left to a child’s classmate which read: “Miss P. made me write this note. All I want to say is sorry for not being sorry, cause I tried to feel sorry, but I don’t.”
An old proverb says “The integrity of the honest keeps them on track.” If there was ever a time Canada needed to stay on track, it is now, and we should not need to apologize for upholding integrity as a primary Canadian value.
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