Trudeau Town Hall (Photo)

Prime Minister Trudeau speaking to a campus audience, Jan. 12, 2018.

To the editor,

The editorial begins its argument by intriguing readers, asking: "is the scandal really worth the level of scrutiny it has received?" Considering that the scandal in question arises from the very real possibility that the highest members of our elected government acted to subvert our judicial system for political gain, the only intrigue here is how to understand the rationale behind opening with such an easily answered question. Of course we should scrutinize potential immoral and possibly illegal actions from any of our elected officials.

And then, right out of the gate, the editorial board's first argument: this scandal has only reached such publicity because it involves Trudeau, who ran on transparency and honesty. Again, as answered to the previous question: we should scrutinize potential immoral and possibly illegal actions any of our elected officials. If it had been Stephen Harper, Jean Chrétien or Pierre Trudeau, it would have been equally scandalous. If it were Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer or New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, Liberal Party Members of Parliament would be calling for blood, and rightly so.

We then move on to a two-part argument by the editorial board: Trudeau was motivated by protecting Canadian jobs, and additionally, because of the importance of these jobs, the particular female and/or Indigenous identity of our ex-attorney general should not be a focal point in this discussion. To the first part, I would say: fair. The motivations of the prime minister and his upper echelon are a valid topic of discussion in this issue, and the protection of Canadian jobs is an argument on the side of the PMO's ethicality. The counterargument is that political optics and partisanship were the motivators here. This other side is one of the nuances that the editorial is supposedly asking us to examine, but fails to discuss or even mention. This is surprising, because it is not even really a nuance. It was and is the main talking point of critics during this scandal, and it is an extremely valid criticism, if true. To the second part regarding Jody Wilson-Raybould's cultural or gender identity being a non-issue, I will say this: Trudeau does not get to acknowledge that his gender-balanced cabinet is a step towards gender equality, and then dismiss the optics of his and his office's persistent questioning and dismissal of the well-informed legal decision of our country's most senior female lawyer. He does not get to campaign with promises of reconciliation and Indigenous advocacy without being criticized for essentially firing our, by all accounts, extremely competent Indigenous ex-attorney general, for no good reason.

The editorial ends on a note I can both agree and disagree with. Maybe this shouldn't be the only factor Canadians consider when they go to the polls to vote for their MPs in October. We should consider the ideas and positions of our local MPs, and their voting records. We should consider the party platforms of the Liberals, Green Party, New Democrats and PCs. However, if Wilson-Raybould's allegations are found true, and our prime minister and his closest associates are found to have meddled, influenced, directed or threatened her, some Canadians might find that too unpalatable to support a party that chooses such an unethical leader from its ranks.

— Alexander Xiao, bachelor's of medical sciences alum (2018)


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