Finance Minister Morneau has to go.

(Before warming to today’s topic, I would like to thank the readers who sent their comments on yesterday’s topic. I thought at least five per cent of Canadians could name our last five prime ministers. I now think it might be only two per cent who can name Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin, Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau—without checking with Google.)

 

But today, we are trying to make the case for prime minister Justin Trudeau to fire his finance minister. Bill Morneau does not seem to realize that, as finance minister, he is in the position of Caesar’s wife. A finance minister is not only required to be above suspicion but an error in judgement cannot be tolerated.

Nor can the credibility of a finance minister be salvaged with an apology. He can hardly forget that one of his daughters works for the We Charity. His other daughter got Craig Kielburger co-founder of the charity to say something nice about her book. The ages of your children hardly matter, you never stop worrying about them or wanting to be proud of them.

But this was a conflict of interest that Morneau took into cabinet and did not recuse himself. How can Canadians ever trust him again? Finance is a game without mulligans.

This does not apply to the prime minister. Justin Trudeau has had more ‘gotcha’s’ than the previous four prime ministers. Between the visit to the Aga Khan, the embarrassing boondoggle in India, the blackface in Vancouver, the SNC Lavalin affair and his mother’s retirement fund from the We Charity, Justin is teetering on the knife edge. While he gets us through the pandemic, that decision remains with the voters.

If any other political party had a half-respectable leader that the voters could get behind, Justin Trudeau and his apologies might be history.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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