‘Miscommunication’ cause of Liberal scandal

Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness speaks at Bordessa Hall in downtown Oshawa, Wednesday morning. Photo credit: Morgan Kelly

An Ottawa-area Liberal MP, with a education in mediation, says the scandal surrounding the Trudeau government is simply a case of a story having “two sides”.

“There are two sides to a story,” says Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to Ralph Goodale, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. McCrimmon was in downtown Oshawa Wednesday making a funding announcement to UOIT.

These comments come after Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Jane Philpott, Treasury Board president and Markham-Stouffville MP, resigned due to the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

In addition, the Liberal party is feeling the loss of notable Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who announced over the weekend she won’t run for re-election this fall.

McCrimmon, who represents the riding of Kanata-Carleton, says the resignations “hurt” the Liberal party.

“This is all about a team…it’s taken a while to build team cohesion and when you have members of the team that don’t feel that they could be part of the team anymore, that hurts,” says McCrimmon.

She believes the resignations are due to “miscommunication”.

Philpott resigned because she lost confidence in the government’s dealings with SNC-Lavalin, in which the Quebec engineering company is facing possible fraud and corruption charges, which could affect up to 9,000 jobs in Canada.

Meanwhile, Wilson-Raybould’s resignation was due to an “inappropriate effort to secure a differed prosecution agreement” in the SNC-Lavalin file, according to multiple media reports.

“I think Jody Wilson-Raybould made it very clear that she was going to tell her story,” says McCrimmon. “And what she said, over and over again (is)…nothing illegal happened…she was uncomfortable.”

Gerald Butts, former principal secretary for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also made a statement Wednesday morning—contradicting Wilson-Raybould’s testimony.

He adds it’s a story of Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau trying to perform to the best of their abilities with no wrong intent directed to either side.

“We have to respect how other people might receive that communication but that’s also something that needs to be learned over time,” says McCrimmon.

“It comes down to, I think, people interpreting something one way—but that wasn’t the intent. There’s often a big gap between what the intent was and what the impact was,” she says.