Sorry, Prime Minister…..

… can’t hide.

“Et tu, Trudeau?” from May 21 included the contents of a letter to Justin Trudeau, encouraging him to move forward aggressively with his agenda for reforms to our justice and federal penal systems.

As always, we didn’t expect or anticipate a response. However, a May 25th letter arrived from the Prime Minister’s office over the signature of R. Olshansky, Executive Correspondence Officer:-

On behalf of the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of May 16, 2017, regarding solitary confinement.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with the Prime Minister. You may be assured that your correspondence has been carefully reviewed.

As you may know, the issue you raise falls within the portfolios of the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. I am certain that the Ministers, to whom you sent copies of your letter, appreciated being made aware of your views.

Once again, thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.

Oh now, that’s just too easy. Better not to have had an answer at all. It took only a moment to correct the PMO:-

June 7, 2017

R. Olshansky, Executive Correspondence Officer,
Office of the Prime Minister,

Re: Not so fast.

Dear R. Olshansky:

I didn’t expect the Prime Minister to answer my May 16 letter around the use of solitary confinement in our federal prisons, and I thank you for your May 25 response on his behalf.

Sorry, but I take issue with your perspective. “The buck stops here”, said a sign sitting on Harry Truman’s desk, and that same axiom applies to Justin Trudeau. If Ministers Wilson-Raybould and Goodale do not deliver on the goals the Prime Minister has set for his government’s reforms, it is the Prime Minister who will answer for his ministers.

It is of paramount importance that changes to policy and practice be enshrined in legislation, no matter the howls of objection from some quarters. After all, it is we, the people, who must be satisfied.

Thank you for the attention you have already given this; it need not take up more of your time.

Yes, and Ministers Wilson-Raybould & Goodale were copied.


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