Gamechangers

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Trudeau rejects ethics report: “I disagree with some of his conclusions.” OK, which ones?

Exactly which conclusions by Ethic Commissioner Mario Dion does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau disagree with? It’s a question that needs to be answered — and hasn’t yet.

In his first public response to a report that found he violated ethics laws and the constitutional convention of non-interference in prosecutions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians he “fully accepts” the report of Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion but “disagrees with some of his conclusions.”

“Where I disagree with the commission, amongst others, is where he says, and takes the strong perspective, that any contact with the AG [Attorney-General] on this issue was improper,” he told Canadians.

But nowhere in his report does Dion — with a “strong perspective” or otherwise — say “any contact” with the AG on the SNC issue was improper. Nowhere. Not once. That attribution is completely false.

But Trudeau said his straw man was only one conclusion “amongst others” that he rejects. What are the “others”? He hasn’t said.

Surely its not the finding that SNC-Lavalin had “significant financial interests” in getting the trial cancelled.

Surely its not the conclusion that Trudeau “used his position of authority over Ms. Wilson‑Raybould to seek to influence” to get her to cancel the SNC corruption trial.

Perhaps he disagrees that some of his communications with Wilson-Raybould “were contrary to the Shawcross doctrine and the principles of prosecutorial independence and the rule of law”?

Because if Trudeau rejects “some of the conclusions” it must be some of these — because they were the summary conclusions by Ethics Commission Mario Dion. And on the basis of those conclusions, Dion found Trudeau violated the Ethics Code’s prohibition on Trudeau using his position to influence a Minister’s decision to further another person’s private interests.

If Trudeau is going to says he rejects the conclusions of this report, Canadians deserve to know exactly which conclusions he’s talking about. Because, by telling us he rejects the conclusions of the Ethics Commissioner but not saying which one, Trudeau is undermining confidence in the Ethics Commissioner.