An editorial by Mel Roithenburger.
SHOULD THE FEDERAL LIBERALS find themselves a new leader?
Should Finance Minister Bill Morneau resign?
Should the country go to the polls again to elect a new government?
In normal times, the answer to all those things would be yes, but these are not normal times. These are COVID-19 times.
Opposition parties are beating the drum of self-righteousness, demanding the heads of Justin Trudeau and Morneau, and threatening to force an election to settle the matter.
Just what there is to settle is the question. Trudeau and Morneau have both apologized. It’s entirely possible the prime minister saw no conflict of interest in the fact members of his family received speaking fees from the WE charity.
It’s equally possible that a finance minister with personal wealth estimated by some sources at $40 million might overlook $41,000 worth of expenses for which he apparently was not invoiced.
More details on how this happened will likely come out when Trudeau testifies in front of the finance committee, but the point is — no matter what the explanation — it shouldn’t have happened. Trudeau and Morneau should have known better, and it’s hard to fathom that people in the two most powerful political positions in the land did not.
Yet these things keep coming up and they keep apologizing. Time for the country to move on, but it can’t because the virus is in charge right now.
For all their blustering and indignation, the Conservatives, NDP and Bloc won’t force an election in the middle of this pandemic. Logistically, it would be a nightmare but, more importantly, we need to focus our energy on COVID-19.
They know this. Justin Trudeau knows this. So the storm will pass, and we’ll resume waiting for the next one.
Despite the unappetizing alternatives, major political change is needed. But it will have to wait.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.