Wernick

Toronto Star March 18, 2019

Conservatives and New Democrats were less than impressed when Justin Trudeau rolled out three big steps on Monday to address the damage of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

But the opposition wasn’t the intended target of the measures — which included the resignation of Canada’s top bureaucrat, a mini-shuffle of the cabinet and the appointment of former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan as a special adviser.

Disaffected Liberals — and former minister Jody Wilson-Raybould in particular — are clearly the top-of-mind concern for the prime minister in this new repair effort he’s launched.

So the test of Trudeau’s fix-it measures isn’t whether they placate the critics, but whether they help bring Liberals back to the fold in the days ahead. That in fact may be a theme of the week — or even this entire election year.

Take Monday’s damage-control measures one at a time.

The departure of Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick is significant. As testimony has unfolded at the Commons justice committee, it became evident that much of the “undue pressure” on Wilson-Raybould came from Wernick himself.

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