The Best Acting Award Goes To…Jody Wilson-Raybould, For Inappropriately Recorded Phone Call With Michael Wernick!

Jody Wilson-Raybould, the patron saint of self-promotion.

I am sick and tired of Jody Wilson-Raybould. I am tired of her constant deification at the hands of the opposition and some in media. I believe it is time for the Liberal Party of Canada to cut ties with both Wilson-Raybould, and Jane Philpott. Both have played the Canadian public, and media, for fools.

Jody Wilson-Raybould was a poor to mediocre Attorney General/Minister of Justice who has perfectly used the SNC-Lavalin story to become a cause célèbre for Conservatives and members of the media intent on tearing down Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government.

It is true that some of the damage to Justin Trudeau has been self inflicted: an inability to present a consistent and coherent narrative and reasoning for the cabinet shuffle. The PMO failed to get in front of the story, or understand how big the story was about to become. Justin Trudeau should have had Jody Wilson-Raybould removed from caucus immediately, but was instead able to cause significant damage from inside the party and caucus. That is unacceptable.

Justin Trudeau nor the PMO had any idea that a long game was being played, that this entire sequence of events had been prepared and coordinated long before Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the Justice portfolio. Everything, from the initial story leak to the Globe, to the resignation, to the testimony and beyond has been meticulously planned to devastate Justin Trudeau and to promote herself. No one saw that coming initially.

With the leaked tape there is no doubt of who Jody Wilson-Raybould is, and what the plan was all along.

Strap in, I have a few points to make, and few important questions to ask.

  1. If Jody Wilson-Raybould was surreptitiously recording phone calls with PMO/PCO, what was stopping her from recording other phone conversations of a sensitive and private nature in her role as AG/MoJ. How can trust ever be reestablished after this, especially in caucus?
  2. Jody Wilson-Raybould was the chief law officer of the Crown, the government’s lawyer and if the Secretary of the Cabinet is seeking advice or having a conversation with Jody Wilson-Raybould in her role as Attorney General, it should be like a lawyer helping a client with an expectation of confidentiality, those conversations are between them. Michael Wernick should have had the expectation of privilege in any conversation while they both occupied those roles.
  3. Jody Wilson-Raybould was called to the Bar of Ontario on June 16, 2016, and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario.
  4. Law Society of Ontario Rules of Professional Conduct 7.2-3: A lawyer shall not use any device to record a conversation between the lawyer and a client or another legal practitioner, even if lawful, without first informing the other person of the intention to do so.
  5. Jody Wilson-Raybould did not provide the tape to the Ethics Commissioner investigating the SNC-Lavalin affair, to the RCMP, or to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights during her initial testimony nor disclosed the tape. Why is that? She knew she possessed the tape. The truth is, Jody Wilson-Raybould knew that recording the conversation would considered to be unethical and inappropriate, and in fact acknowledged the inappropriateness of the surreptitious recording and withheld the tape for months because of the possible damage to her reputation.
  6. Jody Wilson-Raybould knew that she was speaking into a recording device, and Michael Wernick didn’t. It allowed her to direct the call in any narrative direction required, and to make the dramatic allusions to the “Saturday night massacre”. It also allowed the call to be scripted and to hit any point that she needed to retain a perceived ethical purity.
  7. Jody Wilson-Raybould continually virtue signals regarding ethics throughout the conversation, because she knows the call is being recorded. There are continual attempts to set up and possibly entrap Michael Wernick. It is an obvious performance.
  8. This entire call is a vocal performance of a self-serving letter. A self-serving letter is a statement by a lawyer or witness that serves no purpose and provides no evidence, but only argues or reinforces the legal or ethical position of that party. All Jody Wilson-Raybould did was provide 17 minutes of this. It was performance art.
  9. Despite not knowing he was being recorded, Michael Wernick’s recollection of the conservation remains consistent with his testimony before the Justice Committee, as was his conduct during the call.
  10. Many in Canadian journalism will completely gloss over the moral and ethical implications of this inappropriately recorded phone call in the name of reinforcing their preexisting bias against the Trudeau government.
  11. I hope that Jody Wilson-Raybould is held to account by the Law Society of Ontario regarding the recording a privileged conversation. As a practicing lawyer, Wilson-Raybould should have known better, and I hope complaints by members of the law society will be forthcoming.
  12. Jody Wilson-Raybould has willingly undermined trust between cabinet and the civil service. How is anyone going to be able to provide advice on sensitive issues if they feel they are being recorded for the purpose of future release.

I cannot help but think of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s powerful closing statement to the Standing Committee for Justice and Human Rights, “I come from a long line of matriarchs and I am a truth teller in accordance with the laws and traditions of our Big House. This is who I am and this is who I will always be. Gila’kasla.” This is why the news of this surreptitious recorded call is so upsetting. The non-disclosure of the recorded conversation until now is a lie by omission. To me, the recorded call itself it is an ethical and moral breach that devalues the narrative sold to Canadians by media, and by Wilson-Raybould herself.


For the record, the Clerk and the PCO are clients of the AG. They are part of the Government of Canada who the AG advises – as per the Department of Justice Act.

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7 thoughts on “The Best Acting Award Goes To…Jody Wilson-Raybould, For Inappropriately Recorded Phone Call With Michael Wernick!”

  1. What she has done is inexcusable. But the bigger question is “What’s the END GAME?” What is the underlying agenda here, and can we just get to it, FFS?!” I’m so tired of this nonsense. I hope the Law Society reads this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem for Justin is this isn’t about Justice minister Jody and your points, while mainly valid, don’t really matter. To the voting public this is about whether Justin tried to bend the law to spare a company – a company based in Quebec with a French-sounding name – with a rich history of corruption – that seemingly extorted the prime minister – a potentially devastating (for Canada) criminal prosecution. In that scenario Jody is but a piffle. A proud First Nations piffle to be sure but a piffle nonetheless.

    You’re left howling at the moon. To the voting public this is about Justin, not Jody. She has exposed a truth they had fallen all over themselves to deny. Lawyers are trained to operate in shades of grey. The public sees black and white, something that is beaten out of law students in first year.

    It was popular at the time but I avoided giving my kids “J” names – Justin, Jody, Jane. I figured no good would come of it. Seems I was right.

    The question now is what must Justin do? In the public’s mind he stands exposed. Lavalin may have taken another victim, albeit a somewhat willing victim. Can he really lead the Liberals into the October elections?

    Many of us have had our fill of this guy. His lies reach from the tar pits of Athabasca to the docks in Burnaby. We remain mired in FPTP which may now leave us saddled with another Alberta-centric far rightwing regime. Then there was the “Gropegate” fiasco where Justin copped a feel off some young female reporter in Creston, BC, back in the day, even wrote an apology for it, and then, later, tried to lie his way out of it. Kinsella, you might recall, was instrumental in stoking that one also.

    There are lots of reasons not to vote for the Trudeau Liberals, this is just another. Only, this time, the Liberals might have reached the camel-straw-back point. The best thing Justin has going for him is Andrew Scheer. What does that tell you?

    The Liberals problem isn’t Jody. It’s Justin – again and again and again. He was never up for the job. Those of us who know his father’s pre-political history know this guy is all Margaret and no Pierre. As the Brits would put it, “not fit for purpose.” He rode a legendary name to power but has never been able to grow into it.

    Even Pierre came to the prime minister’s office surrounded by political talent from Allan Mceachern to Keith Davey, Jim Coutts and the other wisemen assembled by Pearson. Justin showed up with his frat buddy, Butts. Why did so many Liberals imagine that would work?

    So, unless someone can figure how to pull Justin’s fat from the fire, Liberals had better start working on Plan B.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you.
    I’ve been waiting for someone with a public platform to express what’s been on my mind and bothering me about that tape. What was obvious to me right off the bat.
    My first thought: Who does that?
    I can’t help thinking it would not have been the act of the average (honorable) person, people, in like situation, to surreptitiously record their fellow gov’t official. Someone in a vaunted position of trust, who must surely know better, than most, what is honorable and dishonorable? According to the law, even a consumer gets the courtesy of an advance warning when their phone call will be recorded.
    Second: The tone was clear. Michael Wernick was trying to reason with JWR.
    Nothing wrong with that. Good reasons, too.
    Wernick showed himself to be the more reasonable of the two.
    Third: It is my impression JWR used a false argument of undue interference; thus, in effect, she doing the threatening throughout the phone call.
    It is not interference to urge and continue to persuade a fixed mind on a critical matter to look at all their options while there is still time. I am grateful to hear it on tape how Trudeau was indeed fighting for Canadian jobs and wasn’t giving up so easily.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @ H Ross. You ask, “who does that?” Give it some thought. The question answers itself. I’ve done it when I have been or believe I’m about to be set up. I used to call it, “softly, softly, catchee monkey,” a line from Kipling’s “Kim.” You build an evidentiary record and, if you apprehend you’ll be disputed by many voices, you make it something that will withstand the cacophony. That tape does just that. Then you sit back quietly, seemingly powerless, while your attackers commit themselves to their story, and only then do you show your hand. They are hoist on their own petard.

    Liberals should be aghast at this but they’re not. Andrew Scheer will thank you for that this October while those of us in the anyone but Scheer camp will revile Justin and his acolytes for this. This “blame anyone but Justin” isn’t going to sell with the public and will harm Canada this fall. I was a faithful Liberal for 40 years. This reminds me why I left.

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  5. Nice partisan rant. Problem is, every lawyer who has weighed in on this disagrees with you. “One party consent” is what Canadian law calls this, and Michael Wernick can not be considered a “client” of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

    As for the ethics, that’s even easier: she said right in her statement that she was uncomfortable doing this (“inappropriate” was one of her word choices, wasn’t it?) but felt that she had no choice because she knew she was about to be subjected to even more inappropriate and *illegal* pressure than she had already experienced. That’s the key, right there: she had already been subject to it, and knew for certain that more was coming, hence the decision to record it.

    (really, people…I get that you’re just being good ‘progressives’ and all, but this is the very definition of a no-brainer. If a senior in a nursing home is being abused, or a teacher in high school is acting inappropriately, or an employer is sexually harassing an employee, how do you deal with it? You RECORD THEM, that’s how. Simple as that. Done all the time, and rightly so.)

    And for the record, I have nothing else kind to say about JWR ( who is my MP, sadly). She is, as you say, a mediocre lawyer at best and failed miserably as Justice Minister/AG…I cringe when I see people describing her as “brilliant” (oh HELL no) or even principled (no, that would have required her to resign immediately when she first realized what was happening). This goes beyond that, sorry. This is about government corruption, and it is being seen that way internationally as well.

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  6. The release of this secretly recorded conversation by JWR illustrates once again that we are witnessing a well planned and orchestrated attempt to bring down the government.
    JWR lacked the experience and knowledge required for the post of Attorney General and Minister of Justice. A look at her CV makes that eminently clear. In my opinion, her appointment was a mistake.
    In considering issues around a DPA, it was her (JWR’s) duty and responsibility to consider every option for the public good. This should have meant ongoing discussion and debate throughout the entire process, and also should have involved seeking outside opinion and advice from a qualified individual or individuals. Instead, in her arrogance, she made up her mind very early on and without the benefit of such discussion, debate, and advice. Things did not go her way, in the end, and now she is expressing her ire in as public a way as possible, and systematically, one step at a time, attempting to erode confidence in our government and its public servants. The premeditation is most evident and alarming when one learns, at this late date, of this secretly made recording.
    I cannot help but wonder, from what has been reported, how much this premeditation involved collusion with the official opposition… And, of course, we have to recognize, as made clear in the US, that we are now living in a world where even other nations attempt, through subversive methods and people, to infiltrate and influence our political processes.

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