When Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled his final budget before October’s federal election, it was supposed to be the white horse that the Trudeau Liberals would ride to certain victory.

Thus far it has been lost in distraction, all but unnoticed.


The House of Commons, for example, was locked up with all lights on overnight in a marathon voting session regarding some 250 motions concocted by the Conservatives to punish Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his gang of idol worshippers for abruptly shutting down the justice committee delving into the Lavscam scandal.

Lavscam, of course, is the Stink That Won’t Go Away.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises to vote during a marathon voting session as it continues into the night in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Because all the motions being tabled concerned the budget, and therefore money, every vote was a confidence vote.

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This had every Liberal in caucus whipped into pulling an all-nighter in order to keep their government from immediately falling.

Then, in the midst of the filibuster, Maclean’s released an exclusive interview by its chief political writer, Paul Wells, of former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott, who resigned from Trudeau’s cabinet over the SNC-Lavalin imbroglio and in solidarity with Jody Wilson-Raybould, the turfed justice minister and attorney general who created the aforementioned stink by refusing to roll over for her handlers like a good lap dog.

The devil in the budget’s details was secondary.

It’s been lost in the helter-skelter of bitter political gamesmanship, which is bound to happen when a prime minister and his tight inner circle try to pull a fast one in order to get a sweetheart, preferential deal for a Quebec-based engineering firm facing criminal corruption charges, and a company with a history of being overly generous in its donations to the Liberal Party.

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The Philpott interview added little zest to the filibuster, with Tory MP Pierre Poilievre rising to toss in a few zingers and bait the Liberals.

What Philpott said, in essence, is that the Trudeau and his conspirators, in her opinion, had crossed the ethical and constitutional line in disallowing Wilson-Raybould to finish telling her story as the main actor in the drama.

Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef rises to cast her vote during a marathon voting session in the House of Commons Thursday March 21, 2019 in Ottawa. The Parliamentary session began Wednesday and continued through into Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

“My sense is that Canadians would like to know the whole story,” Philpott told Wells. “I believe we actually owe it to Canadians as politicians to ensure that they have the truth.

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“They need to have confidence in the very basic constitutional principle of the independence of the justice system.”

The good doctor is onto something here. Imagine Canadians being owed the truth? What a novel concept.

Philpott also said that Liberal-spread rumours that she only resigned because she was a friend of Wilson-Raybould was an insult.

“I don’t make decisions on any policy – and definitely not on a matter of principle – based on friendship,” said Philpott. “I made the very difficult decision to step down because my conscience demanded it.”

As for the budget, the main thing Canadians want to know is what’s in it for them? What’s in the budget that will make them go to the polls in October and re-elect the Liberals despite their scandals, their ethics breaches, and Trudeau’s faux feminism?

The short answer: Not much.

The clock reads one minute to midnight as Liberal MPs Brenda Shanahan, left, Randeep Sarai, Ramesh Sangha and Darrell Samson rise to vote during a marathon voting session as it continues into the night in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Meanwhile, back at the House of Commons, the filibuster continued well into daylight.

The Liberals could have ended it at any time and at any hour by agreeing to let Wilson-Raybould finish her story without restrictions.

But they didn’t.

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BONOKOSKI: MP all-nighter over Stink That Won’t Go Away



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