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Scott Reid

Scott Reid

Nov 25
13 tweets

As PMJT appears today before Rouleau - only the third time in history a PM has testified under oath at a judicial inquiry (I happened to be around for the last one) - I think there's been something notable about the testimony from Ministers this week. Something overlooked. #POEC

A few other things, before coming to that. First, to varying degrees, I would say the Ministers have acquitted themselves well this week. No one has blown up. No one has become a raging news story. No one has broken down under questioning like a bad ep of Law & Order. #POEC
Second, they've all made a shift in tone that was necessary: They're owning the decision to invoke the EA. So much of the gov'ts early trouble in messaging around this subject was their apparent reluctance to accept responsibility for the decision - i.e. the cops wanted it #POEC
We've seen none of that silliness this week. Each Minister has embraced the decision taken and defended it both within their own purview and as a general matter. They all argued it should never have gotten to that point. But they're accepting the decision was theirs. Smart #POEC
Third, they've wisely relied upon the common sense test for the Act's invocation. Wherever possible, they avoided getting into 'I'm the smartest lawyer in the room' arguments over the statutory test. Focusing on the 3.5 weeks-long occupation resonates with the public #POEC
They've also been consistently aided by a Muppet movie performance from the Convoy lawyer - yelling about Nazi Flags, getting kicked out, running down halls like the Kool-Aid Man to misidentify people. He keeps steaking the news cycle which helps the gov't #POEC
But the factor I think we've overlooked is the way the three Ministers to date have provided a pretty coherent and surprisingly integrated argument for why February constituted an emergency. Look at their testimony day by day and note their cumulative definition of "threat" #POEC
Mendocino goes first and makes the case for what might be considered a traditional threat of a security sort. Notice how he strongly he emphasized the RCMP's brief about the presence of firearms and threat of violence at border-crossings. #POEC
Lametti, knowing he'd be pressed on his advice to cabinet which he could not revealed did an interesting thing. He talked about the personal threat he felt as someone living in downtown Ottawa, channeling the frustrations of tons of locals and small business people #POEC
Finally, Freeland spoke very pointedly about the economic threat. The concerns of the banking community. The worries from the White House about cross-border trade. The loss of economic activity that had occurred and that stood to occur further if action was not taken. #POEC
It all adds up to a clear narrative. An argument to the Commissioner that, in considering whether the Act was justified he ought to weigh all these cumulative threats. Without saying so explicitly, they argued the interpretation should accommodate this summary of concerns. #POEC
The CCLA & others have argued the EA allows for no consideration of economic harm. But maybe that view is overly literal. I think the Ministers have attempted to demonstrate that a correctly interpreted definition of the Act should allow for all these threats to weighed #POEC
I don't know if it's been a deliberate strategy. And, as noted above, they've been careful not to spar on technical legalese. But if you look at the cumulative story they've told this week about threats it seems like they've been making a case. Shrewdly and effectively. #POEC
Scott Reid

Scott Reid

Principal at Feschuk.Reid CTV Talking Head. Exceptionally tender hearted
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