“Lovely words,” is how in part Christie Blatchford describes the conduct of the Clerk of the Privy Council in the waning months of the career from which he has now resigned over the SNC Lavalin affair.
I’ve stated several times that the central focus of the SNC affair is the pursuit of justice. This is the thing most often overlooked. Justice is a profoundly moral principle. To lift any other concern above it is to make the wrong choice between the good and the evil and to make concessions to the profit of the latter.
To justice now add integrity. Integrity is knowing your own mind and not trying to fake it.
According to Blatchford, “. . . Wernick saw himself, as a man of improbably high non-partisan standards, . . ..” Wikipedia describes this top clerk’s job as providing policy-sensitive advice to a politically-sensitive Prime Minister’s Office. Properly understood this means the Clerk of the Privy Council is only an impartial and trusted advisor.
Blatchford’s article and all of the news, including Wernick’s statements to the parliamentary justice committee show quite clearly that the top clerk was a major part of the pressure campaign against Jody Wilson-Raybould regarding the proposed SNC Deferred Prosecution Agreement. As Blatchford puts it, “even by Wernick’s own testimony he was certainly an active part of it.”
Wernick has resigned because he’s been called out by the opposition. If the Liberal government goes down to the opposition in the election he would be out of a job anyway, no doubt. So much for the impartiality of a “policy-sensitive” advisor, whose career depends on a “politically-sensitive” Prime Minister’s Office.
There’s more corruption and underhanded dealing to be revealed in the years ahead. So far, the reaction of those in power can be seen in the attitude of Mr. Wernick. Blatchford observes the following:
When Conservative MP Lisa Raitt asked him, this at his second committee appearance, if he could understand how Canadians might be disturbed “to see that former clerks who are now chairs of boards of SNC-Lavalin have easy access and immediate access into the central office of this government,” Wernick replied, “No.”
So insulated from what ordinary Canadians might think about the government and big business nexus, Wernick apparently didn’t care much either. Just, “no”.