THREE YEARS AGO, almost to the week, Justin Trudeau informed the world he no longer believed in Canada. Our country will be the “first post national state,” he told the New York Times. “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.”
Freshly-minted as prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in 2015, foreshadowed his ambition to transform Canada. And by his owns words, and the action of his government since then, it’s clear the country he was elected to serve is not the Canada he has in mind.
Has this prime minister committed treason? And not just in the court of public opinion? And, if so, is there a process for his removal from office before he does more harm to the country, and himself?
Justin Trudeau, self-declared champion of the world’s first post-national nation state, is obsessed with world governance and has abrogated his responsibilities as prime minister of Canada.
The prime minister recently sent an entourage of over 100 people with Minister Catherine McKenna to participate in the climate summit in Poland. Contrast this against the relative handful of negotiators sent to Washington, this year, to remake Canada’s trade agreement with the Americans.
Justin Trudeau also declared a federally-mandated climate change policy in the ‘national interest’, a blunt legislative object that trumps provincial and municipal authority. Meantime: the prime minister refuses to use the very same federal tool to declare a pipeline crossing provincial boundaries to be in the national interest.
A CASE FOR REMOVAL FROM OFFICE?
We asked a constitutional lawyer for advice. To follow is an account of our to-and-fro exchange (edited for clarity):
CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: I’ve looked at this ‘national interest’ issue previously. Basically, it’s not so much Trudeau, but parliament [that’s in question]. If they really wanted this [pipeline] built, they would just invoke the Peace Order & Good Government (POGG) power, which is the “national concern” or interest branch. It is a legislative power, meaning it rests with parliament.
Parliament of course cannot be forced to legislate. They have parliamentary privilege and are immune from review in failing to do so (except in the narrowest of circumstances).
What I find frustrating is that if parliament wanted to, they could pass legislation titled the Trans-Mountain Act stating that the pipeline is authorized to be built; that the Trans-Mountain Act operates notwithstanding any other statute; and where a statute conflicts with it, it prevails.
BEYOND POLARITY: This makes sense. When has Canada’s parliament used POGG power for this end? Why isn’t anyone asking Trudeau or Parliament to do this?
CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: I don’t know why the Opposition isn’t asking. Frankly, they should just table legislation and keep doing so…
Parliament invoked POGG for a carbon tax. I don’t see how you couldn’t for a national pipeline.
BEYOND POLARITY: Why isn’t federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer or Alberta’s UCP leader Jason Kenney pushing for it? Using POGG power…
CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: …no one knows what POGG is, for the most part, other than us lawyers. They just say “invoke national interest” without understanding what that takes. I’ve become terrified knowing how little elected officials know about law and the legislative process…
BEYOND POLARITY: So it could be treason? Trudeau’s saving the world but letting Canada’s economy fizzle out. Pretending that provincial premiers in British Columbia and now Quebec have the right to block pipelines in the national interest?
CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: Think of Sir John A. MacDonald [Canada’s first prime minister]. What he did with the railway, for right or wrong, got things moving. The powers of government are the same now as they were in 1867. Flick of a pen, it’s done.
BEYOND POLARITY: Has any prime minister or leader ever been charged with treason, or alleged to have been seditious in Canada?
CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: No prime minister.
[The] closest would be treason — [Manitoba Metis leader] Louis Riel comes to mind…
It’s a political problem [today] not a legal one.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
For one, stop playing a game that’s designed for Albertans to lose.
BC’s John Horgan and Quebec’s new premier Francois Legault are not the problem and have no authority to block pipeline construction in the ‘national interest’. It’s federal jurisdiction.
And since Opposition members are elected to hold the federal government to account, parliament and the prime minister needs to have their feet held to your fire.
Phone, email, write your MP. And do it often, please.
25 thoughts on “Has Trudeau committed treason?”
Thank you Donna. I thoroughly enjoy your intelligent well researched articles. Keep them coming!
The loose mosaic simply needs to be identified as a unique Melting Pot of what its really like to be identified as a Canadian with so many rich ethnic cultures. Let’s identify ourselves!
When Justin Trudeau said ‘there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada’, he was actually articulating a uniquely Canadian model of nationhood that presently exists. Since the 1990’s there has been a great need to increase the population in Canada to keep our pensions for retiring baby boomers and increase our gross national product as Canadians were simply not having children and not even replacing themselves. Also over time we have found that new immigrants work together as a family unit and pay taxes and earn a living much quicker than the average Canadian. Even Harper knew that we needed at least 250,000 new immigrants each year to keep Canada stable. The fact that we are a mosaic and allow other ethnic groups to sustain their identity seems to work well to reduce any friction between new immigrants and natural born Canadians. The rigid populist thinking will not be tolerated in Canada but we do need to “integrate” all immigrants into our country and insist on acceptable of Canadian values through our legal system. This same integration model must be adhered to by our indigenous populations as they are Canadians too. I like that our indigenous population is establishing a strong identity but I don’t like any group to be separated and treated differently than all other Canadians. When you segregate and separate people and put them on reserves and treat them differently then they tend to form an aggessive dependency. Our aboriginal people do not want to be treated any differently and hate the fact that they are dependent on the rest of Canada for health care and education and just about everything…Who wouildn’t be mad? So we need to help them speed up the integration process as Canadians with every opportunity. Although the Trudeau model of nationhood is one with no core identity most Canadians do know what a mainstream Canadian looks like. Well with one fifth of Canadians identified as a visible minority that will continue to be what we see as a Canadian with 250 different ethnic origins or like anyone else in the world. We are culturally diverse and this diversity is diffused across Canada in pockets everywhere and not just in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Tremendous diversity in Canada is the charm of being called Canadian. Such rich cultural integration woven into the Canadian mosaic. No one is segregated or separated and everyone is a Canadian! A great example of Trudeau’s nation state is harambecover celebration in Vancouver. A free 3 day event and parade with African Canadians and our Indigenous population. How amazing! How Canadian! We are so lucky to have a tolerant nation of Canadians who are mostly colour-blind and open our arms to such wonderful diversity. Whatever this is it certainly is working very well. I think our Prime Minister has minimized the Canadian experience as he is not able to view the complexity of what a Canadian truly is in the world community and so Justin has lost his ability to differentiate the Canadian experience from any other nation with different cultural norms that are unique to the majority of people in any country. We are a new nation that has adopted many cultures into one unique mosaic while still retaining a Canadian cultural identify. I invite anyone to identify the many attributes that are unique to Canadians. Although identified as a mosaic we truly are a melting pot into one identity called Canadian that is so unique and so amazing!!
A Viewed from an Ivory tower built on privlage and ignorance? Surrounded by Ethnic Ghettos.?
Why gaurentee income? It called technology and it replacing workers.
Continued attack on Nuclear Family over last 30 + years, No incentive to grow own family.
$1 billion for last year alone on a budget of $178 million for 2 years ?
This article is does not mention if Omission of information to promote an agenda would be considered Terrorism under definition of the Act.
Or if Finacial support was given to support above.
We treat people who illegally come to Canada better than our actual Canadians.
Both CPC and Liberals …
Please enlighten us on a few things. You have wrote some much I’m having a hard time finding out where to start and where this all end. It appears you have as much hatred for Harper as us Alberta have for your little pet Trudeau. Not sure what the appeal is , or what the little thing you have for him is all about but… I am just an uneducated simple man from Alberta who you keep insulting when you rant on about Harper and Kenny and how they destroyed Canada. I have so much to say and so little time, it is Xmas eve. You know the one Christian celebrate the birth of Christ. Well there’s my main point if you will. We are a Christian society that means Jesus’s and all his disciples and so forth. That’s how I was brought up as most Canadians have. Well it is your little uneducated not even a full fledged teacher who is attempting to destroy our way of life. Oh and Kenny has a bit more education than you buddy. Anyway one of the very first thing your buddy did was to flud our country with 50,000 Immigrant of which over 70 percent were able body young Muslim men( can I say men here ?) Access to information document can attest to that. Canadians have no problem with immigrant is right… but when you lie about the numbers, lie about the gender, lie about the education levels, and the big one… lie to the whole world about how you have done such a good job vetting them “ Maybe some day we will let you in on our secret to vetting “ Hog wash these are not Refugees fleeing from war, oh excuse me they are refugees fleeing from going to war and defending their country!!! You can call me racist call me whatever you like but this I know ..Islam is a religion not a race. Islam is a supremacist religion I’m sure you are farmiliar with the word, it something your buddy holds dear to his beliefs. Anyway, in Islam there is no melting pot, there is no little fairy tale two solitudes. It is cut and dry they dominate. They dominate all walks of life. because that is what islam is suppose to do. Well I have no problem with that. Just do it in your own country not here. We are not fools which you seem to think we are. We are realists and your UN seeking little buddy there is destroying the very fabric of our society. He is ignoring what is going on in Europe and what has been going on for 1400 years all over the world. So we watch as his Muslum ministers, with ties to all kinds of supremist groups, Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR attempts to destroy our democracy from the inside. Accusing citizens of being bigots and racist while the whole whole calls to clens the world of Jews and Christian spew from their mosques. Then your little buddy there covers for the lies of his cabinet minister, about where she was born which is against the law in Canada. I’m not spending anymore time on this right now my blood is boiling and it’s xmas. A time to forgive and forget which will never happen with this treasonous man at the helm of our once mighty ship. But I’ll be back with my bad grammar, uneducated rants and complete and utter disrespect for your PM. Merry Christmas to you and yours
Peace Order and Good Government would have been the WRONG decision and only led to a hornets nest of legal cases and alienation of many provinces. Harper destroyed the very process needed to safely pass pipelines in Canada! Kenney was part of this mess!
Donna you are falling into the Jason Kenney throw as much as you can at the wall and something will stick. Kenney is truly a foolish uneducated man who suggested this troublesome solution related to proposed federal legislation.
The federal case for legislative responsibility for and control over the Kinder Morgan project relies on the combined operation of sections 91 (29) and 92 (10)(a) of the Constitution Act, which removes from provincial jurisdiction interprovincial works and undertakings, and assigns those projects to the exclusive legislative authority of Parliament.
Unfortunately to become operative, the government must obtain a parliamentary declaration and legislation under section 92 (10)(c) that the pipeline project is for the “general advantage of Canada.” As you know there is a bill introduced in the Senate, S-245, which received second reading last week, which does this. Its single substantive provision simply states, “The project and related works are declared to be works for the general advantage of Canada.” The proponent of the bill, Sen. Douglas Black, a prominent Alberta lawyer, is urging rapid approval so that it may be introduced for passage in the House of Commons without further delay. BUT it failed! Why? Jason Kenney and the Harper government created another mess for Justin Trudeau to clean up. In the rush to get a number of pipeline projects done, the Conservatives gutted the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the environmental assessment process. These actions served to polarize the Canadian public around energy projects and policy. That polarization is certainly part of the reason that pipeline projects continue to be a source of division in Canadian society today. That division is part of the reason these projects continue to be delayed.
The inclusion of “related works.” would have also involved eliminating or overriding provincial, municipal or Indigenous rights in the exercise of their own constitutional authority including local environmental requirements, roads, local bridges, maintenance of property rights, etc. Subsequently passing this bill would almost certainly give rise to further court challenges. Section 53(1)(b) of the Supreme Court of Canada Act gives the federal government the right to refer to the Court “the constitutionality or interpretation of any federal or provincial legislation.” If a Senate-type bill was enacted by Parliament, such a reference could be made to confirm the propriety and scope of the government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline project.
Its not very likely that the Supreme Court accord would allow full authority to the feds on all related aspects of the project, precluding continuing court interventions on peripheral matters by opponents, For example:, the B.C. government, portions of the B.C. Indigenous community, B.C. municipalities, the Green Party and perhaps others opening a big can or worms to act within their own areas of legal/constitutional authority, primarily based on their property and civil rights? No government in their right mind would wade into that quadmire…Well except Jason Kenney who suggested this and of course Donna who just followed him into this same mess by suggesting it in this random criticism of the Federal government. You really must address the mess left by Harper and his side kick Kenney. Donna, don’t you think that just the uncertainty of all these law suits including the possible unpredictable length of court proceedings, support the case for continued, intensive mediation – the present decision by the Federal government under Justin Trudeau? I think its time to stop all the conspiracy nonsense and work together to help the process before we shoot ourselves in the foot.
The bill failed in October..got my timeline wrong..but the only reason we are in this mess is because Stephen Harper was the worst PM in our history and did more damage to our country and democracy than any other Prime Minister by throwing out scientists and denying climate change and gutting the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the environmental assessment process. History will show this man was truly a fool and birds of a feather seem to fly together. I am so disappointed in your Donna playing the pretend to disagree with the Feds game to create support. More fake news!
Canada needs a few Black Swans to appear in the spring when the lakes are open. What other hope is there?
This is NOT how most Canadians interpret Trudeau’s Post Nation statement. First lets look at the definition:
“Postnationalism or non-nationalism is the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to cross nation and self organized or supranational and global entities.” We have seen the cross-nation self interests of Ford in Ontario and Horgan?Weaver in B.C. so what Trudeau has said is accurate. Of course there is also the carbon tax challenges as well. He is dead on being both cross nation and self organized. Globally we cant tie into Trumps irresponsible poor judgement pushing his nation trillions in debt to buy votes of corporations. The Conspiracy gang now say we are just doing, to a fault, following the United Nations Climate Change goals…All that irresponsible reporting….Only in Alberta do people see Trudeau as in some manner dictating this to happen….So much fake news makes me sick.
I spoke to Kent Hehr yesterday. He is a lawyer and an Albertan first. Also as a Liberal member of Parliament he called to reassure me that the proper process to move the Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline forward WILL BE MET and they will be successful. Of course he said this is just in his professional analysis and from speaking to all the parties involved. This will be a magical moment in Canadian history that was only stalled due to the Harper government gutting all environmental policies and throwing scientists out of government with great ignorance. As Jason Kenney was a strong member of the Harper team and is going to thrown us back to the dark ages by bringing back goal to create electricity again we are to assume that Alberta will also go back into the dark ages if this foolish impulsive man becomes our Premier.
Sorry, bringing back COAL to create electricity. The Oil and Gas industry has progressed way beyond Kenney’s Ostrich head in the sand ideas. The industry has been very responsible and most oil and gas companies SUPPORT the carbon tax and have already innovated by turning methane and co2 into electricity and into useable products. I see no redeemable qualities in this man who simply does not think and has no vision for Alberta except to go back in time. I hear he also wants to be the new CEO of Canada in reference to fire arms so we can all carry a gun under the wilderness protection policy. Yupe arm all Albertans. I listened to other members of FIRE talk about what they wanted Jason to do when he became CEO. Here are their thoughts: 1. Remove the requirement to go to a firing range to practice and just allow Albertans with 2 acres or more to put up a dirt BERM and fire into that to practice 2. No more restrictions on carrying a gun in a locked box. Put it in your shoe or in your purse ready to use at a moments notice. Real Texan/Albertan thinking. I am pretty sure that most Americans would love to have our careful thoughtful fire arms policies. Sure hope this foolish man does not get voted in.
I think its time as a westerner and a Progressive Conservative to of course push the now Liberal government to save our oil and gas industry with more pipelines because the old Harper/Scheer way will never work. Can you imagine gutting the enivonmental policies again and throwing out scientists and denying Climate Change while the earth gets hotter and hotter. How stressful it would be to have eiither Jason Kenney or Harper like government back! It was both the millennials and the female vote that dumped Trump in the mid terms and the same group will dump Kenney in the upcoming 2019 election. This uneducated man will go the way of the dodo bird! After getting outplayed by Doug Ford following his drop the carbon tax idea that Ford dropped himself only months later…Can you image being in a position to help the world and instead in the name of needing attention and being divisive you go in the opposite direction?? Just to get voted in thinking that we are too stupid here and will simply vote for a Populist…Sell that whole Populist idea died with TRUMP…he is a goner and going OUT OUT OUT! The largest number of female congress members and the largest number of millennials put Trump in his place already and ;with almost 40% millennials in Alberta they will soon dump this guy on his head too!
The oil sands is the Alberta oil and gas growth engine for the next 20 years or more. No debating that, its simply the truth. The oil sands companies are the biggest supporters of carbon pricing and have stated so many times. I would say that this is a a pretty good argument for maintaining the carbon price regardless of which party forms government in May.
Here’s another lawyer who says the same. https://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/create-pipelines-certainty-legal-options-dwight-newman-inside-policy/
Thanks Donna. Yes Dwight Newman takes us up to the part where Harper destroyed any ability to do this by gutting environmental policies and many other related navigational policies leaving the next government helpless unless they put the guts back in the policies. A direct block by the Nutty Stephen Harper again messing with Canada. We all just wish Harper was never born and certainly never was Prime Minister of Canada or we would easily have had a pipeline built by now. Trudeau is actually working hard to reverse the mess created by Harper in order to normalize the playing field and get back to pre Harper throwing out all the scientists times. We certainly dont want Jason Harper Kenney taking us back in time to push the carbon limits beyond recovery. The real rally should be at the front door of the Harper home charging this clown with destruction of the legal process to secure pipelines across Canada. Harper is still in the background pulling the strings of Scheer and Kenney…We all know what happened last time…Not on my watch!!
Please excuse my ignorance about what Harper and Kenny did to the Fisheries Act. Is it the same act as the one that Dominic LeBlanc was minister of when he handed that contract to his wife’s cousin?
Jason Kenney never went past the first year of any program past high school. He is a quitter and certainly not educated but a pretend dilettante: Here is his education:
“He studied philosophy at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit university in San Francisco, California, but failed to complete the degree. ” Thats right from his own profile and information. Can you imagine a person with a High School Education trying to figure out any legal situation. No wonder he keeps guessing and when he guesses what the professional people, like the Premier of Alberta who IS a REAL LAWYER has already figured out and made decisions on he is still guessing because quite frankly HOW COULD HE EVER KNOW?? I am from Victoria and went to the University of Victoria while Jason Kenney went to St Michaels High School for the rich called St Michaels University High school. I would love to see his report cards! Clearly his idea to bring back Coal to provide electricity to Albertans is not what any Albertan would want! Clearly his idea to bring back the SGER that has so many holes in it that allow Oil and gas companies to get around paying taxes for huge amounts of Methane and CO2 billowing into our atmosphere is another backward uneducated decision. Clearly Kenney’s Emancipation law over the years and years of legal precedents for children and children’s rights is pure stupidity, clearly a man who uses people from his own department and invites SunMedia to a Citizenship ceremony hoping to fool them then refusing to apologize is another class less act! He was right there and could not get one pipeline through. His interference with the provincial government by going to India and wondering why Alberta isnt sending oil to Oil to india was one of the stupidiest events I have ever seen..He had no idea that eastern Canada was closer to India than western Canada and the shipping costs would make any sales too expensive in comparison to closer oil refineries. I see no intelligence in this man and certainly very poor impulsive thinking that is divisive and you can never trust. I would put him into the group of Ostriches who say there is no global warming or climate change so lets do nothing! he is totally out of sync with the planet earth!! Certainly hasn’t got my vote!
I do have a university degree from the University of Calgary and the University of Victoria and a graduate degree the University of Alberta so I actually am an educated man. I have also written over 20 educational books. Harper was also not a lawyer so his legal opinions are pretty limited. Most Alberta farmers will never forget in 2015 when Stephen Harper sold the Alberta Wheat Board to Saudi Arabia. Alberta died that day! Stephen Harper also from 2006 to 2010 had the worst debt load in the history of Canada and was absolutely a night mare when it came to financial matters. He had no idea what he was doing. Just look at his acceptance of the now billion dollar Phoenix financial system that runs Ottawa. Documentation exists that shows he was warned about this dysfunctional system and yet he not only purchased it BUT did not purchase the instructional modules that go with it leaving everyone in the dark. And the gutting of all the environmental policies and navigational policies until they were totally unuseable is not forgiveable as it is Harpers lack of respect for scientists that he attacked and threw out of any government function in Canada that lead to our present mess that is slowly but surely being cleaned up by Justin Trudeau. I dont see Trudeau as a leader but Scheer would truly be a Crap shoot! I am a Progressive Conservative and an Albertan and only wish the best for our province. Voting for a right wing supposed populist(Kenney) who uses Harper as his model is a big step backwards to a time of ignorance.
Kenney is not to be trusted on Equalization either:
On Equalization I can attach the two letter sent directly to both the Premier of Saskatchewan and the premier of Alberta in reference to changes to equalization. There could have been a discussion or reply as to the positions of both provinces but at least Trudeau had enough respect and thoughtful communication to include the provinces most concerned. BUT HARPER and FLAHERTY they just threw it was the provinces one Monday and said take it or leave it….Too bad! Here was the news at the time. We clearly never want a Harper style government back into power ever again:
“The Conservative government surprised Canadians by unveiling a long-term funding plan for health and social transfers, presenting finance ministers with a multi-billion spending plan that runs until the year 2024. No notice or any contact with provincial premiers, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty simply presented Ottawa’s spending plans to the provinces on a Monday at an annual gathering of finance ministers in Victoria saying we dont care what you think as its too late and discussion is off the table.
The 2004 deal – covering the health, social and equalization transfer programs – expires in 2013-14. The deal included annual 6 per cent increases for health transfers and 3 per cent increases to the social transfer. Mr. Flaherty announced that while the social transfer will continue at 3 per cent, the health transfer will move toward a formula based on economic growth.”
Kenney had a chance to do something if he was sincere about his big equalization concerns but clearly his never was and never will be. His entire leadership is a sham!
It’s a political problem [today] not a legal one. WRONG treason is NOT politics’s.”The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining – “The times are too grave, the challenge too urgent, and the stakes too high — to permit the customary passions of political debate. We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.” –JFK ……..the yellow vests will take care of Ju$tin and robert fletcher is a paid liberal hack
Robert Fletcher must be on the Liberal payroll or a benefactor of Trudeau’s Liberal slush fund, either way Trudeau has four visible legs.
I am not sure that I agree with authors’ reasoning when it comes to her reasoning when it comes to Trudeau being responsible for treason because he isn’t able to a pipeline built. By that logic so would Harper be guilty of such an offence as tried as hard as any prime minister has done to get Keystone and Gateway pipelines built and was not successful. In my opinion, it is far more important to engage in climate change than to try to keep a fossil fuel industry alive. We need to diversify our economy and help displaced workers move to other sources. We will need to keep using fossil fuels in the near future, while we look to develop other sources of energy. Frankly if Albertans would stop whining about being unfairly treated by Ottawa and focus on these problems, then that would be a far more constructive use of time.
For clarity, it should read authors’ reasoning when it comes to Trudeau being guilty of treason because he wasn’t able to get a pipeline. By that logic, Harper would be guilty as he wasn’t able to do it either. This is the problem when you let your emotions cloud your ability to think clearly.