Right-wing bloggers love to portray Justin Trudeau as the devil, but he's actually a nice Catholic boy with the best of intentions.
He loves his wife. He loves his children. And he truly believes that there's strength in diversity.
But like all of us, Trudeau slips up from time to time. And never so badly as when he and the fixers in his office thought that it was a good idea to try to prevent SNC-Lavalin from being convicted of a criminal offence.
But even a good Catholic can give in to temptation if the stakes are high enough.
And with his prime minister's position on the line, the Straight has learned that he's been consulting with the devil himself for political advice. He's not the first to do this.
An unnamed source in Hell has provided us with the transcript of one of these conversations. You can read it below.
Justin: I know I'm not supposed to talk to you, but I'm truly fucked right now because of the Globe and Mail. Any advice?
Lucifer: You could quit.
Justin: I'm not a quitter. Besides, that would give that twerp Scheer just what he wants.
Lucifer: So you want me to save your ass?
Justin: Uh, yes.
Lucifer: Are you prepared to listen to what I say?
Lucifer: You're a fucking idiot.
Justin: What are you talking about? I'm the prime minister of Canada!
Lucifer: So far, you've done everything wrong. The maximum shelf life of any major news story should be no more than three weeks. Even the clamouring over the death of Prince Diana pretty much ended after three weeks. This is the fifth week of SNC-Lavalin leading the news. You're in so deep you'll need an excavation crew to get you out. I'm tempted to call in the dive teams who got those Thai kids out of that cave.
Justin: If you're so smart, tell me what I've done wrong.
Lucifer: First off, you thought you were so powerful that you didn't need to suck up to the Canadian media. You gave everything to Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and the CBC. You thought that by pandering to the digital giants, it would help you in trade talks with Trump. But that totally destroyed the Globe and Mail, CTV, the Toronto Star, Postmedia, and Global—as well as its owners, the Shaw family. They're never going to drop the SNC-Lavalin story now.
Justin: What are you talking about? Morneau is handing over $600 million to those bastards.
Lucifer: That's chump change to Thomson and Godfrey. And it's over five years, for fuck sakes. They smell weakness, just like they did when you went to India. This is their opportunity to get Scheer elected.
Justin: I don't know what you're talking about.
Lucifer: David Thomson might be the richest man in Canada, but he's seriously ticked over the amount of money he's losing on the Globe. But he can't sell it because he'll look like a doofus to all those people who thought his dad was a great newspaper proprietor.
Justin: What about Godfrey?
Lucifer: He's so pissed that his newspapers have to compete with CBC for digital ads. And Scheer has promised to privatize the CBC. You never think about these things, do you? You're such a moron sometimes. Chrétien had Kinsella in his office—he understood media. Who have you relied on? Gardner? Jesus Murphy.
Justin: What's wrong with Gardner?
Lucifer: He thinks he's a goddamned professor. No wonder you're so fucked. Kinsella was a streetfighter. He would have gotten you out of this situation by turning the attention on Scheer. But you were too pure to rely on his advice. Everyone in Ottawa knows you have trust issues with anyone born before 1970, except for Morneau and Goodale. The Globe stuck it to you because you made it so easy. If Fife could take down Stephen Harper over the Duffy scandal, you were going to be a piece of cake.
Justin: Why me?
Lucifer: Fife's bosses hate you because you kissed Zuckerberg's ass. You kissed Google's ass. You kissed Netflix's ass. Evan Solomon's bosses hate you for the same reason. And that Mercedes Stephenson is a secret right winger. Global was glad when Vassy bolted for CBC. It put someone from Calgary in the driver's seat.
Justin: How did I get into this mess with the media?
Lucifer: Hedy Fry showed you a way out but you ignored her. The heritage committee gave you the blueprint. She's won eight goddamned elections.
Justin: Is this why the Globe keeps nailing me?
Lucifer: It's not the only reason. The newsroom is filled with libertarians. I'll let you in on something, though. Crawley, the publisher, was hooting when he saw the print edition on February 7 detailing what you did to Wilson-Raybould. He quipped "just not ready".
Justin: Okay, I get it. I need to improve on media relations. What else?
Lucifer: Your third-party endorsers are, for the most part, a disaster. Jonathan Wilkinson? Good god, nobody even knows who he is. He looks like the type of guy who would shut down a GM plant. Sheila Copps? Why did you bring out that old retread? Did you seriously think she was going to influence anyone by trashing Jody Wilson-Raybould? It's made her a martyr. But the worst is Christy Clark. By far. I can't imagine what made you think she would help your cause. Just because she's a woman isn't going to help you with female voters, especially in B.C. You're so sophomoric, Justin.
Justin: Are any of my endorsers working for me?
Lucifer: Carla Qualtrough's okay. She's got this sexy librarian look that works on TV and she has a brain. Men like her and women like her. But nobody really knows who the hell she is. Plus, she's going to get slaughtered in the next election. Garneau isn't bad, either. But the reality is that you have to aim far higher.
Justin: Who should be speaking up for me?
Lucifer: You need A-listers. People with a reputation for integrity. Paul Martin. Bob Rae. Sheila Fraser. Kevin Page. Jody found herself a Supreme Court judge and she's got Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in her camp. Plus the most respected Indigenous leaders in the country. Who have you got? Sheila Copps on the line from Mexico. Game, set, and match.
Justin: Rae won't help me. He's still pissed because I wouldn't tell him that I was planning on seeking the Liberal leadership when he was interim leader.
Lucifer: Come to think of it, you really did stab him in the back. He could have been prime minister. Page and Fraser won't help you, either. But Martin might.
Justin: I was thinking that maybe Ryan Reynolds or Michael Bublé could be of assistance.
Lucifer: Don't be a dunce. That will just get you ridiculed on Saturday Night Live. Play to your strengths. Get photographed with icons in different ethnic communities. Herb Dhaliwal. Patrick Chan. People like that. You'll show up in the Chinese and Indian media outlets and it might prevent more of your MPs from pulling a Jane Philpott on you.
Justin: You have far better advice than Gerry Butts ever gave me. What else should I know?
Lucifer: You really chose a stupid cabinet. I figured that you and Gerry picked some people based on how they look on TV. That might have worked for a couple of weeks in 2015 but what did you get in the end? Morneau? Monsef? O'Regan? McKenna? Joly? Kent Hehr? I've never seen this many featherweights in a federal cabinet since your dad was prime minister.
Justin: Gerry, Katie, and Wernick told me that if I put rookies in, it would make it easier to control things from the centre.
Lucifer: That works only if the centre has a brain. But Wernick is too stupid for words. Who the fuck goes before a parliamentary committee and tries to change the subject by talking about political assassinations? It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. By the way, you've got to fire Wernick if you want this scandal to die down. The public wants a corpse and for you to show that you realize what you did was wrong.
Justin: But Wernick is there to help me give the corporations what they want with Indigenous people. These companies need access to resources. That was my two-pronged strategy. Gerry and I dreamed this up back in 2011 when we were meeting with Manley and Carr. Put an Indigenous person in a high-profile cabinet post. Talk a good game about this being the most important relationship. But make certain that corporations have access to resources to keep the stock market up and ensure the Canada Pension Plan makes a good return. It was working perfectly until Jody started raising hell about SNC-Lavalin.
Lucifer: Yeah, but Jody is smart. She put two and two together and realized that when you bought the Trans Mountain pipeline system, it was about giving more work to SNC-Lavalin.
Justin: Who should I have put in cabinet?
Lucifer: David McGuinty. Judy Sgro. Wayne Easter. Arif Virani. Joyce Murray. Adam Vaughan. Anthony Housefather. I could give you more names if you like.
Justin: No. That's enough. Where do I go from here?
Lucifer: Read Martyn Brown's column on Straight.com. He knows what he's talking about. He says you have to bring Wilson-Raybould back into cabinet as the attorney general. It's the only way people will trust you.
Justin: Who is Martyn Brown? Never heard of him.
Lucifer: He only managed to get Gordon Campbell elected three times as B.C. premier. One of them was the biggest landslide in Canadian history. But of course, I recognize that you're not a big reader—and Brown's articles sometimes run for 6,000 or even 10,000 words. But pay attention to what he's saying. It just might help you keep your job.
Justin: I don't have time to read. Give me the Coles Notes version.
Lucifer: You have to say you're sorry. You have to admit you made a mistake by interfering in a criminal prosecution. You have to let Jody Wilson-Raybould tell the whole truth to the justice committee. Otherwise, you're toast.
Justin: I think I can win the next election without doing that. There was no inappropriate pressure put on Wilson-Raybould. That's our line and we're sticking with it. Besides, Scheer and Jagmeet Singh don't have a chance against me.
Lucifer: You just don't get it. First you said the Globe story was false. Then your flunkies admitted it was true to the justice committee. As this story stays in the news, more of your MPs will start criticizing you because it's the only way they'll be able to keep their seats. Say you're sorry and promise to never give SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement.
Justin: I'll never do that. And I'll never fire Wernick.
Lucifer: (Sigh) Get me a Tylenol.More