/The germ that ate their brains

The germ that ate their brains

because of our northern latitude, or perhaps because we thought we had
been vaccinated, we expected Canada to escape the epidemic.


we haven’t. It is here, perhaps swept in on wind shifts created by
climate change. Or, maybe it came with the same cough or sneeze that
started this winter’s measles outbreak.

Whatever, sadly its arrival has been confirmed by observers on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.


the clinical abbreviation for Political Brain Eating Disease, has been
raging in much of the western world, notably the United States and
Britain. Canada, however, appeared to be immune.

Canadian economy was burbling along with a relatively stable employment
rate. Its politics were calm compared with the Mad King disaster in the
U.S, or the Brexit lunacy in the U.K.

prime minister, the boy in long pants and rolled up shirt sleeves, was
saying good things and gaining attention and respect in a world gone
increasingly mad. All appeared to be . . . well, sensibly Canadian.

Then P-BED struck in the form of the SNC-Lavalin affair.


came the humiliating demotion of Jody Wilson-Raybould from justice
minister and attorney-general to veteran’s affairs minister. The prime
minister said it was not a demotion. He had to move her because someone
had resigned from cabinet, making a shuffle necessary.

me pause this narrative to say that as someone who did two journalistic
tours of duty on Silly Hill, being removed from almost any other
cabinet post and being sent to veterans affairs is a massive demotion.
Anyone who has worked on the Hill knows that.


Not long after that, Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet. The prime minister said he could not understand why.

Gerald Butts, the prime minister’s principal secretary and close
adviser and friend, resigned. There were allegations that senior
officials in the prime minister’s office pressured Wilson-Raybould as
attorney-general to shelve criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin, a
leading global engineering firm from Quebec.


said in his resignation letter that he did not pressure
Wilson-Raybould. He did not give a reason for his resignation but tossed
in this non sequitur: Our kids and grandkids will judge us all on one
issue above all others – climate change.

probably true, but what climate change has to do with his and
Wilson-Raybould’s resignations, SNC-Lavalin and the prime minister’s odd
statements on the whole mess is anyone’s guess. My guess is P-BED.

most obvious manifestation of brain eating disease occurred last week
when Michael Wernick, who as Clerk of the Privy Council is the country’s
top bureaucrat, testified before the House of Commons justice

Wernick admitted there was
pressure put on Wilson-Raybould in the SNC-Lavalin affair but none of it
was unlawful or inappropriate. He left the impression that she is to
blame for much of the muddled controversy.

more like a politician than a bureaucrat he also said – completely off
topic – that violent language is being used in public discourse and he
fears someone will be shot during this fall’s federal election


Hopefully that bit of
hysterics will not prompt some deranged person to go to an election
rally with a gun. And, hopefully his comments on SNC-Lavalin will not
encourage other bureaucrats to think they can get involved in partisan

Wernick’s delirium about a
shooting was a political shot at Senator David Tkachuk, a Conservative,
who earlier told the United We Roll protest caravan in Ottawa “to roll
over every Liberal left in the country.”

That was a figure of speech made in the context of this fall’s federal election, Tkachuk said later.

prime minister then jumped in to say that Wernick is brilliant and
people should heed carefully what he says. Perhaps he wants Wernick to
run for a seat in the election.

people really need to heed is how to halt the spread of  the brain
eating disease raging in Ottawa. It will continue to spread as the
SNC-Lavalin scandal develops and will worsen as the federal election
campaign approaches.


All that we poor
voters can do is watch election candidates closely and make sure they
know how negative partisanship can eat their brains. Question them
closely and confirm that they have been vaccinated.