David Marsden: Trudeau should resign from office (with poll)

It’s unusual to call for a person to lose their job. We’re all human, after all, and mistakes are bound to occur from time to time.

It’s hoped that missteps and shortcomings serve as learning lessons that make us all better at our jobs — and in all walks of life, for that matter.

In the case of Justin Trudeau, however, it’s clear the prime minister must resign. He no longer has the moral authority to continue to lead this country.

That is a fact. And if the Liberal party chooses to offer up Trudeau for a second term as its leader during this fall’s federal election, it deserves defeat.

At its heart, the matter is about character. Trudeau tried to meddle in Canada’s justice system to achieve a positive outcome for Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.

The prime minister says he accepts and takes responsibility for the findings of Canada’s ethics commissioner, but there is no apology from Trudeau.

It is not a trivial point that someone accused of a misdeed would admit to improper behaviour, but express no remorse whatsoever.

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Surely, Trudeau can’t imagine for a minute Canadians will accept a leader who attempts to meddle in the outcome of legal proceedings that should be fair and transparent. He can’t believe that in 2019 that such inexcusable interference is acceptable.

SNC-Lavalin is accused of corruption related to the alleged payment of millions of dollars to public officials in Libya to secure government contracts between 2001 and 2011.

The prime minister justifies his inappropriate intrusion into our justice system by saying he was concerned about the impact a criminal prosecution could have on the company.

“My job as prime minister is to stand up for Canadians and defend their interests. Yes, it is essential that we do that in a way that defends our institutions and upholds prosecutorial independence, but we need to talk about the impacts on Canadians right across the country of decisions being made,” Trudeau said.

“I can’t apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs.”

It’s ironic Trudeau would talk about employment, given his passion for killing jobs in the energy industry, but that’s not the point. Canadians should have confidence that people in public office will be of good character and they can be trusted to respect rules and guidelines.

Trudeau has proven he can’t be trusted to always act ethically, and that prohibits him from being prime minister. Indeed, it’s the second time he’s run afoul of ethic rules, having accepted a lavish Caribbean vacation from the spiritual leader Aga Khan in 2017.

Trudeau came into office promising to do politics differently. In that regard, he has delivered, but not in the fashion voters necessarily anticipated. He has espoused support for women, but then treated two former female cabinet ministers, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, shabbily by having them kicked out of the party’s caucus.

Now, the ethics commissioner has concluded Trudeau improperly tried to influence the criminal prosecution of a major company.

Even his most ardent supporters must realize Trudeau must go.

David Marsden is managing editor of the Red Deer Advocate.

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