Is Bill Blair totally incompetent? Or does he simply believe he is better than the rest of us, that he knows what’s best for the little people, like so many other Liberal cabinet ministers?
The correct answer is probably “both” as evidenced by Minister Blair’s total change of heart about a public inquiry into the Nova Scotia murders this past April 18th and 19th.
The Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister of Canada refused to answer questions about a public inquiry for three and a half months. They delivered worthless platitudes that were dutifully repeated by even more worthless news outlets.
When Minister Blair finally did announce his colossally stupid ‘Independent Review Panel’ – something nobody in Canada ever asked for – the Liberal government claimed it was to “protect the families” of the 21 murder victims.
Only one problem with that statement.
It’s a bald-faced lie.
Family members of all 22 murder victims have, since Day One, called for a full and open public inquiry.
They insisted upon it.
They don’t want protection. They want answers.
In response to the families’ repeated requests, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey spit in their faces.
“The ‘Independent Review’ announced by Ministers Furey and Blair is wholly insufficient to meet the objectives of providing full and transparent answers to the families and the public, identifying deficiencies in responses, and providing meaningful lessons to be learned to avoid similar future tragedies,” said the families of all 22 Nova Scotia murder victims in a statement issued through their lawyer.[i]
“Who asked for an independent review panel? [Mark Furey] admitted nobody had,” wrote Paul Wells.[ii]
A week after his ‘Independent Review’ announcement, Bill Blair insists he [finally] listened to the families.
“We listened to them and that’s why we’ve made the decision to hold an inquiry,” he said.
Bill Blair ignored their pleas for a public inquiry for over three months. When he finally made an announcement of any kind, it was for a “wholly inadequate” Independent Review Panel.
The backlash was instant and deafening.
The families, as well as almost every editorial in the country, excoriated him for his inept decision.
The implication from even the most Liberal-friendly media outlets was clear.
What are you trying to cover up, Minister Blair?
So Bill Blair did what politicians always do when they find themselves backed into a corner.
He reversed course and said it was his idea to do so.
Blair claimed he “heard the calls for more transparency.”
But the calls were never for “more” transparency, Minister.
The calls were always for full and complete transparency, something neither the Minister nor the RCMP want.
A public inquiry will get to the bottom of every ugly truth covered up so far. That’s problematic for both the Minister and the RCMP Brass.
Inconvenient questions will be asked, and they will be asked under oath.
Inconvenient documents will be subpoenaed and entered into the public record for all to read.
Questions such as ‘Who knew what?’ and ‘When did they know it?’ must now be answered by everyone, including Bill Blair.
The RCMP brass will be forced to produce all the documents they’ve worked so hard to hide.
It won’t be pretty, but getting the truth seldom is, especially in such tragic and horrific cases as the Nova Scotia murders.
The mere prospect of this new public inquiry is so ugly that life-long Liberal Anne McLellan already announced she will have nothing to do with it.
Of course, she phrased it far more politely.
McLellan says she ‘won’t have the time’ required for this new process.
“I really don’t trust Federal Minister Bill Blair and Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey,” said Ryan Farrington, whose mother Dawn and stepfather Frank Gulenchyn were murdered.
Neither do we, Mr. Farrington.
Neither do we.
But at least now we have a chance at finding out the truth.