February 22, 2019 2:41 pm

Roy Green: ‘Assassination’ remark was irresponsible comment from Canada’s chief bureaucrat

Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick expressed his deep concerns for Canada's upcoming election campaign during his opening statement to the justice committee during a SNC-Lavalin hearing, saying he was worried about foreign interference, "the vomitorium of social media" and someone getting shot from the rising tide of violence from political rhetoric.

A A

“Assassination!”

“I’m worried that somebody is going to be shot in this country this year, during the political campaign.”

That is the utterly irresponsible and publicly expressed view of Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, a.k.a. Canada’s chief bureaucrat.

Story continues below

Wernick, who was appearing before the parliamentary Justice Committee reviewing the SNC-Lavalin/Jody Wilson-Raybould/Justin Trudeau/PMO affair, worries “about the rising tides of incitements to violence when people use terms like ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ in open discourse. Those are the words that lead to assassination.”

I had to remind myself the Clerk was actually speaking about a Canadian federal election campaign.

READ MORE: Canada’s top civil servant fears ‘somebody’s going to be shot’ during next election campaign

Now this would be the same Michael Wernick who, in March 2015, following a noisy tuition hike protest by a small group of students who disrupted a meeting of the Carleton University board of governors, dispatched an email to his fellow board members in which Wernick wrote that the act by the students “It has no place in a lawful and democratic society — it is the tactics of brownshirts and Maoists.”

Brownshirts? Brownshirts were the violent enforcers for the Nazi party of Adolf Hitler.

When the accusation in Wernick’s email became known, the graduate students association at Carleton called for Wernick’s resignation from the university board of directors.

And according to Press Progress, Root Gorelick, a professor of biology and elected faculty representative on the board, blogged that the eight student protesters “certainly did not act like the paramilitary contingent of Hitler’s Nazi Party, as suggested by Michael Wernick’s brownshirt hyperbole. Michael Wernick and several of his supporters on the Board claim that they were concerned for their own physical safety, which is absurd. There were no threats of violence. As far as I can tell, there were no reports filed with Carleton’s safety office about threats to personal safety arising from the student protest.”

WATCH BELOW: Top public servant defends government’s handling of SNC case

Wernick challenged Conservative Senator David Tkachuk, who, while addressing United We Roll convoy members and supporters in Ottawa, was completely out of line with his “roll over every Liberal left in the country” remark.

The Senator should reach out with an apology, just as Wernick should have apologized for his Nazi-analogous broadside at tuition-protesting university students.

At the time, Wernick occupied the position of deputy privy council clerk.

It is absurd for Canada’s chief bureaucrat to engage in assassination speculation and fear-mongering ahead of the upcoming federal election campaign.

READ MORE: Government has a responsibility to defend jobs, Trudeau says amid SNC-Lavalin allegations

Wernick, enjoying the spotlight it appears, wasn’t nearly done, though. Assuming the mantle of protector for an embattled prime minister, Wernick, addressing former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, said: “she can’t be the fettered solicitor and the battered decider in that horrible, vile cartoon at the same time. It’s one or the other.”

Well, quite enough out of you, Mr. Wernick.

Now, let’s get back on topic and let us hear from Wilson-Raybould … to be followed by an immediate public inquiry.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

Listen to the latest from the Roy Green Show

Subscribe to the Roy Green Show Podcast now at Apple Podcast or Google Play

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.