Trudeau’s circle does it again.

It seems as though Justin Trudeau and his circle of friends are immune to learning from past mistakes. They no sooner manage to bury one of their gaffs and they come up with another. Now it is Justin’s good buddy, David MacNaughton, who has blotted his copy book.

McNaughton was Justin’s choice as Ontario campaign chair for the 2015 election. I expect I could have named four of five liberal apparatchiks who could have done a better job but Justin was pleased enough with MacNaughton’s effort to make him ambassador to Washington.

But, like his father before him, Justin tried for a repeat in the 2019 effort. It was when he tried to show how smart he was in his second campaign as leader that he ended up with a minority government.

When that happened to Pierre Trudeau in 1972, he brought in senior liberals and asked them for advice. On the advice of the party, Pierre brought knowledgeable party people into the prime minister’s office (PMO) and appointed Senator Keith Davey as the liberal party campaign manager.

Justin Trudeau did not ask for any advice and was soon enmired in the ‘WE Charity’ fiasco.

And what (temporary) civil servant does not carefully read his or her conditions of employment? MacNaughton has had more than enough temporary jobs in his career not to read the fine print. And yet, by not understanding the ‘conflict of interest’ law and by taking “improper advantage” of his position, he ran afoul of Mario Dion, the federal ethics commissioner.

MacNaughton was named Canadian president of U.S.-based spook-firm Palantir Technologies Canada just two weeks after officially leaving his position of ambassador. He had to wait a year before he could be selling the Canadian government the products of his new firm. It was just seven months later that he was in Ottawa offering their software capabilities for military planning and strategic analysis. (This is despite his claim that he was only offering a pro bono sample of the software to help with covid-19 planning.)

And anyone interested in computer analysis, planning and U.S. politics should read up on Palantir. It is fascinating reading.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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