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RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:57 pm    Post subject: Gerald Butts resigns from PMO office Reply with quote

( the Butts resignation , raises so many questions beyond the SNC Lavalin affair . he was the top person in the PMO and some claimed he was really the PM behind the scenes .
when someone like that leaves suddenly , it leaves so many questions and few answers about where the government is now headed . )


Full statement: Gerald Butts' resignation letter


Staff Reporter
Updated: February 18, 2019


The following letter was released Monday by Gerry Butts on his resignation as principal secretary to the prime minister:


I have resigned as Principal Secretary to The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, PC, MP, Prime Minister of Canada. He has accepted my resignation.

Recently, anonymous sources have alleged that I pressured the former Attorney General, The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, to assist SNC-Lavalin with being considered for a deferred prosecution agreement. I categorically deny the accusation that I or anyone else in his office pressured Ms. Wilson-Raybould. We honoured the unique role of the Attorney General. At all times, I and those around me acted with integrity and a singular focus on the best interests of all Canadians.

The Prime Minister of Canada’s Office is much larger and more important than any of its staff. I have served it to the best of my abilities, and I have at all times given the Prime Minister free and unfettered advice. I have served the public interest, not the interests of any individual or any narrow private interest of any kind, at any time. Life is full of uncertainties, but I am absolutely certain of that.

Any accusation that I or the staff put pressure on the Attorney General is simply not true. Canadians are rightly proud of their public institutions. They should be, because they work. But the fact is that this accusation exists. It cannot and should not take one moment away from the vital work the Prime Minister and his office is doing for all Canadians. My reputation is my responsibility and that is for me to defend. It is in the best interests of the office and its important work for me to step away.

I want to say a word about my relationship with Ms. Wilson-Raybould. I encouraged her to run for the Liberal Party of Canada, and worked hard to support her as a candidate and then Cabinet Minister. From my perspective, our relationship has always been defined by mutual respect, candour and an honest desire to work together.


On a personal note, I wish to thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to work with him, his Cabinet and the Liberal Caucus. They are great people who are dedicated to improving their country. I also want to thank my colleague, Katie Telford. The last seven years simply do not happen without her. Nobody knows that more than I do. And to my colleagues in the PMO, it has been the highest honour of my professional life to have worked together with all of you on behalf of all Canadians. I wish them all well, and they have my full support.

I also need to say this (and I know it’s a non sequitur). Our kids and grandkids will judge us on one issue above all others. That issue is climate change. I hope the response to it becomes the collective, non-partisan, urgent effort that science clearly says is required. I hope that happens soon.

Every hard problem requires a thoughtful, collaborative solution from the country it affects. Those solutions in turn depend on good, hard-working people who devote their time and energy to public service. Canada has those people in abundance. While it is fashionable sometimes in some quarters to denigrate politicians and public servants, my experience is that the women and men who serve Canadians in elected office and the professional public service are honest, decent, hard-working people who put service of country beyond self every day. Life is many days, and there are hard days in public life, but there are no bad ones. I hope I did the job in a way that would have made my parents proud and will make my children consider public service.



https://lfpress.com/news/national/full-statement-gerald-butts-resignation-letter/wcm/86206560-4c79-47ca-8e05-177f737e6ab4
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerald Butts resigns as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's principal secretary


Denies allegations he or anyone in PMO pressured Wilson-Raybould on SNC-Lavalin


John Paul Tasker · CBC News · Posted: Feb 18, 2019 2:06 PM ET | Last Updated: 13 minutes ago


Gerald Butts has resigned from his position as senior political adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)


1862 comments


In a major shakeup to the highest ranks of the Prime Minister's Office, Gerald Butts resigned Monday as Justin Trudeau's principal secretary.

The bombshell departure — Butts, along with chief of staff Katie Telford, are the two most senior staffers in Trudeau's inner circle — comes amid allegations that senior members of the PMO pressured former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to help Quebec-based multinational engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution on bribery and fraud charges in relation to contracts in Libya.

In a statement to reporters, Butts said he categorically denies allegations that he or anyone else in the PMO put this sort of pressure on Wilson-Raybould. He said the accusation is "simply not true."


"At all times, I and those around me acted with integrity and a singular focus on the best interests of all Canadians," Butts said Monday.

"Canadians are rightly proud of their public institutions. They should be, because they work. But the fact is that this accusation exists. It cannot and should not take one moment away from the vital work the prime minister and his office is doing for all Canadians.

"My reputation is my responsibility and that is for me to defend. It is in the best interests of the office and its important work for me to step away," he said.

It was not immediately clear who would replace Butts.


Wilson-Raybould announced last week she was quitting the Liberal cabinet just days after a Globe and Mail report claimed she was pressured to direct the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to sign a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) — a legal tool resembling a plea deal — with SNC-Lavalin.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing.

The House of Commons justice committee has agreed to study the matter.

Wilson-Raybould has taken the highly unusual step of retaining Thomas Cromwell, a recently retired Supreme Court justice, as her legal counsel as the scandal enters a new phase.


In a tweet, Trudeau said Butts served Canada with "integrity, sage advice and devotion."

In addition to the political partnership, the prime minister is close friends with Butts — a relationship that dates back to their time as students at McGill University in Montreal where they were members of the campus debating club.

Born in Glace Bay, N.S., a coal-mining town on Cape Breton Island, Butts worked on public policy in Ontario before becoming a senior staffer under former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty at Queen's Park.

While in provincial politics, Butts crafted policies designed to bolster the party's progressive credentials. Among the actions, the government phased out coal-fired power plants, implemented full-day kindergarten and increased Ontario's minimum wage.

After working as a campaigner at the World Wildlife Fund, Butts then made the leap to federal politics and helped chart Trudeau's political future as leader of the Liberal Party and later prime minister.

The prime minister thanked Butts and Telford by name after clinching power in the 2015 federal election.

"Katie and Gerry are two of the smartest, toughest, hardest-working people you will find anywhere," Trudeau said at his Montreal-area victory party on the night the Liberals captured a majority government.

"They share with me the conviction that politics doesn't have to be negative and personal to be successful."


Praised by his allies as a brilliant mind, and vilified by Liberal foes as the political puppet master behind the prime minister, Butts said Monday he is proud of his time as Trudeau's right-hand man.

"While it is fashionable sometimes in some quarters to denigrate politicians and public servants, my experience is that the women and men who serve Canadians in elected office and the professional public service are honest, decent, hard-working people who put service of country beyond self every day," he said.

A well-known policy wonk, Butts has been a vocal defender of the government's Canada Child Benefit and an advocate for carbon pricing as a solution to climate change.

In his resignation letter, Butts said he hoped fighting global warming "becomes the collective, non-partisan, urgent effort that science clearly says is required. I hope that happens soon."

Butts' past comments on the energy industry — said before he made the leap to Trudeau's political team — have provoked the ire of oilpatch boosters.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/gerald-butts-resigns-pmo-1.5023675
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LILLEY: Butts out, scandal and questions linger

Brian Lilley


Published:
February 18, 2019


Updated:
February 18, 2019 8:20 PM EST


Filed Under:

Toronto SUN ›
Opinion ›
Columnists ›

Butts is out but the story won’t go away.

It seems odd that one of the most powerful people in the nation’s capital resigned on a holiday Monday over a scandal that has engulfed the government he served all while proclaiming his innocence.

Yet, that is what Gerry Butts did.

Butts was much more than Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary and more than a close advisor. He was a trusted friend going back to their days at McGill University in Montreal.

“I categorically deny the accusation that I or anyone else in his office pressured Ms. Wilson-Raybould,” Butts wrote.


That is central to this scandal: Did Butts or anyone else pressure the former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to give a sweetheart deal to the powerful SNC-Lavalin?


The PM has said he did not “direct” Wilson-Raybould, but that was far from a complete denial. The Monday afternoon resignation is the most emphatic denial from the government, even if it comes 12 days after the allegations were first made.

As New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen said on CTV News Monday, the timing is funny.

“Why would somebody quit in the middle of a long weekend if they were completely innocent of all charges?” Cullen asked.

What has not been denied by Trudeau or Butts, or anyone else in the government is that there were conversations about what to do with SNC-Lavalin.

The PM has admitted that he held discussions with Wilson-Raybould, that she even challenged him on whether he was directing her, something he said no to.

Senior Liberals, quite possibly Butts or those close to him, spoke to several media outlets on background and said there had been a “robust discussion” with the former AG on SNC.

So they talked to her about what to do but deny it crossed any lines.

Why does any of this matter?

Because SNC-Lavalin, a major employer across Canada but especially in Quebec, is facing charges of bribery and corruption relating to contracts in Libya. The company has said they are not guilty but are desperately trying to avoid a trial through a special deferred prosecution agreement.

That would allow them to pay a fine and keep getting federal contracts.

If found guilty, they would lose the ability to get federal government contracts for 10 years.

Putting pressure on the attorney general to give a sweetheart deal could be a criminal act, obstruction of justice, a charge that comes with a jail term of up to 10 years.

We know the conversations happened but were they inside or outside of the line?

Were they criminal?

Did Butts or anyone else in the PMO try to get a sweetheart deal for a rich and powerful company that you couldn’t get if you were facing charges?

That is what is at stake here.

That is why this matters.

The political machinations are fascinating but they are secondary.

As Conservative leader Andrew Scheer points out, this is why Canadians need to be concerned and why the PM should be open.

“Trudeau needs to stop hiding behind other people and come clean,” Scheer said Monday.

Expect Scheer to ask Trudeau to come clean on Tuesday in the House of Commons and expect Trudeau to keep hiding.

How much will we pay for Butts to leave?

When Gerry Butts moved from Toronto to Ottawa, he billed taxpayers $126,669 in moving expenses.

It left many Canadians wondering how you could spend so much moving one family less than 450 kilometres. After an outcry, Butts repaid $41,618, meaning taxpayers were still on the hook for $85,051.

Will Canadians be paying him to leave town or will he stay in Ottawa and take up a plumb appointment position somewhere?

There is also the question of severance.

What will Gerry get on the way out the door?

Most of us don’t get severance when we quit or resign but the federal government is not a normal employer and Gerry is not a normal Canadian.

Butts announced that he was leaving his position running the Canadian operations of the World Wildlife Fund Canada in October 2012. In fiscal year 2013-14 the charity reported in filings to the American government that they had paid Butts $175,098 US.

This was more than a year after he had left the charity.

I hate to think what we will be paying Butts to leave.

WHO IS GERRY BUTTS?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior political advisor Gerald Butts resigned his position on Monday. He had been Trudeau’s top aide since November, 2015.

From September, 2008 to October, 2012, he was president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Butts was the principal secretary to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty from November, 1999 to August, 2008.

After graduating with a B.A. and a M.A in English literature from McGill University, Butts was a researcher in the Senate office of Allan MacEachen.

In September, 2016, media reports showed Butts charged $126,669 to taxpayers for expenses related for a move from Toronto to Ottawa. He repaid $41,618.

He is the nephew of former Canadian senator Mary Alice Peggy Butts.


https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-butts-out-scandal-and-questions-linger
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tories are 'joyous' about departure of 'feared' Trudeau advisor

By National Observer in News, Politics | February 18th 2019

 For subscribers


Federal Conservative MPs were gloating on Monday following the resignation of a key advisor and friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the midst of a political crisis.

Gerald Butts, Trudeau's principal secretary and long-time friend, announced he would be resigning due to a scandal that has rocked the Trudeau government. The departure instantly provided more fuel to the political turmoil that has engulfed the prime minister's office ever since a report in the Globe and Mail this month about the prosecution of Quebec engineering company SNC-Lavalin on corruption charges. The newspaper report quoted anonymous sources who alleged that Trudeau's office had pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the criminal case against the company, which employs thousands of people across the country.


https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/02/18/news/tories-are-joyous-about-departure-feared-trudeau-advisor
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Editorial: Gerald Butts bows out over SNC-Lavalin affair


Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board
Updated: February 18, 2019



A young Gerald Butts and Justin Trudeau on the steps of the Arts Building at McGill University. (Photo courtesy Gerald Butts,) OTTwp


“Any accusation that I or the staff put pressure on the Attorney General is simply not true,” wrote now-former principal secretary to the prime minister Gerald Butts in his startling resignation statement Monday. Accepting the resignation, which centres on the deepening SNC-Lavalin/Jody Wilson-Raybould affair, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised his former top adviser and close friend, saying Butts had served with “integrity, sage advice and devotion.”

What’s going on here? According to Butts, he quit because anonymous sources accuse him of pressuring Wilson-Raybould, when she was still justice minister, to help SNC-Lavalin obtain a remediation agreement on corruption charges. But, Butts writes, “I categorically deny the accusation that I or anyone else in this office pressured Ms. Wilson-Raybould.”

If so, why step down? Why not simply make a categorical denial, defend the rest of the prime ministerial staff (as his statement does), then willingly appear before any parliamentary committee or independent inquiry that wants to know more? There are key pieces missing here.

Absent more facts, one might think Butts wants to deflect attention away from the prime minister in this sordid saga. That won’t work: The principal secretary’s resignation will only lead many to conclude the PMO is out of control on a crisis that began less than two weeks ago and that has seen the prime minister lurch from partial explanations to half-baked excuses to occasional incoherence. We must know more.

This is not the first time a key political aide has fallen on his sword, of course, but Canadians may not be aware of just how close the relationship is between Butts and Trudeau. It is their friendship that makes the resignation so extraordinary.


The two met more than 25 years ago, at McGill University, and became fast friends. In an interview with the Huffington Post some years ago, Butts said the friendship was based on the usual things that bond young men together: discussions about girls, sports and studies. Politics would only come into it much later. Trudeau became a teacher; Butts went off to Ontario Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty’s office as a policy adviser.

There, he wrote much of the platform McGuinty campaigned on to win the 2003 Ontario election. Butts came to be seen as a power-broker in the new premier’s office, which centralized decision-making in ways similar to how the PMO operates in modern times.

Joining Team Trudeau in 2012, Butts resumed his role as an articulate and thoughtful friend whose advice the soon-to-be prime minister trusted implicitly. One early instance: As the Citizen reported in a 2014-15 profile of Butts, when Trudeau blurted out, unplanned, his support for legalized marijuana, it was Butts who turned the thought into an actual policy plank for the election that Trudeau went on to win.


As a top backroom operative, Butts was clearly capable of getting his hands dirty. “He’s not in the priesthood, he’s in politics. And politics is a blood sport,” former Ontario Progressive Conservative adviser Leslie Noble told the Citizen in 2014.

We can assume Butts practised that blood sport as well as any top aide. But he is adamant he didn’t do so with Wlson-Raybould, Indeed, he writes that their relationship “has always been defined by mutual respect, candour and an honest desire to work together.”

“Candour” is an interesting word to use in an affair now choking in rumour and innuendo. The Butts resignation makes nothing clearer. It is time to hear from Wilson-Raybould.


https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-gerald-butts-bows-out-over-snc-lavalin-affair
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Butts resigns and Wilson-Raybould re-joins a cabinet meeting all within a few days?

Crazy coincidence or not?
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( interesting there had been some complaints about how Gerald Butts obsessively attended liberal caucus meetings even though he was not an mp , and now there meeting today does not allow for any staff )




David Akin 🇨🇦‏Verified account @davidakin · 23m23 minutes ago


#LPC caucus meeting this morning is “no staff allowed”. It’s kind of like a “players only” meeting for a sports team going through tough times. #cdnpoli
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Butts resigns and Wilson-Raybould re-joins a cabinet meeting all within a few days?

Crazy coincidence or not?





many people from Ontario must wonder how someone from Cape Breton Nova Scotia who never held any elected office in Ontario and was never a candidate in our provincial elections managed to acquire " god " like powers for all those years in our provincial legislature when he was worked for Mcguinty and ran his office


someone like Gerald Butts is hard for the average person to understand , how they managed to yield so much influence over government policy yet were never a candidate in an election
( according to articles marijuana legalisation and climate change were 2 issues he specifically moved forward )


one also has to wonder if he's really leaving Ottawa , this is the guy who obsessively posted and followed politics on twitter , obsessively it bordered on crazy


I somehow don't see him entirely leaving the political scene , its also an election year , will he re appear as a member of the liberal campaign team instead ?
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I also need to say this (and I know it’s a non sequitur). Our kids and grandkids will judge us on one issue above all others. That issue is climate change. I hope the response to it becomes the collective, non-partisan, urgent effort that science clearly says is required. I hope that happens soon.


Once again, a confirmation of my argument about the present nature of politics -- that the real drivers of policy come from unelected creeps involved in things like climate and the 'equality' issues ... and the campaign issues of ... anything else.

But what he says is true. The climate question is an intelligence test. Those who support the alarmists almost invariably know less about it than the skeptics -- a sigh of being brainwashed. Watch this, and tell me how smart it is to trust these guys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgk3xFHvWLE

Tony Heller is a scientist who specialized in data itself. He has had senior research positions in a variety of reasons. He specializes in the integrity of data, and he shows up flaws in the climate data. Google him if you doubt me.

Climate science has not proven its case. It tries to scare people into acceptance.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Butts resigns and Wilson-Raybould re-joins a cabinet meeting all within a few days?

Crazy coincidence or not?


Don't be deceived. Jody is all about setting up the legal situation that will enable our aboriginal brothers to loot the Treasury of Canada once again. And again ... and again ... and again.

At the moment, we may be in a turf war under a weakling PM.
Toronto Centre





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony Heller ? AKA Steve Goddard ? Competitive Enterprise Institute ? Heartland Institute ?

That Tony Heller ? Hmm....

His degrees are Electrical Engineering and Geology.

He has never written a peer reviewed /academic paper in his life.

Oh yeah, this is the guy who claimed Co2 freezes out from the sky in the far north and falls to the ground.


<sigh>
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand, no hard feelings. It isn't easy recognizing that you are a victim of a hoax.

What part of it did you dislike most?

Was it finding out that the temperature is calculated with 61% of the readings 'projected' by computers?

Or was it that most of the world doesn't have accurate records of high and low temperatures for days that go back in time?

Or was it that actual data as opposed to the 'corrected data' shows cooling?

Perhaps you noticed that even NASAs curve doesn't show us with a gain of 6 F degrees from 1988, as predicted. It shows temperatures levelling off from that especially hot year.

What fact do you wish to query?
Toronto Centre





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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
I understand, no hard feelings.

None at all.

Quote:
It isn't easy recognizing that you are a victim of a hoax.

I would ask, however fruitless because you dont like research, but if one looks online for this guy many credible links exist that show how in fact Tony has fudged the data on his revelations.





Quote:

What fact do you wish to query?

None really. Because most of his is highly suspect.

But go ahead, revel in ignorance along with this guy.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that the part that showed how the 'corrected data' diverged from the observed data (to make the 'hockey stick' happen) was devastating. How could anyone reflect on that without being impressed?

Tony Heller's value is that nobody else does this research, and the only way to refute it is by duplicating it. And the lazy slugs won't do the work.

By the way, I am on Vancouver Island, which is recovering from a two foot snowfall. What's the weather like in Toronto? Bet it's colder than it was in 1988!
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Gerald Butts resigns from PMO office

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