Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick waits to appear before the Justice Committee meeting in Ottawa, Thursday February 21, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

‘Somebody’s going to be shot’ in upcoming election campaign, Canada’s top bureaucrat says

Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick was testifying at justice committee in SNC-Lavalin case

Canada’s top public servant says he is worried someone will be assassinated during the coming federal election campaign given the disturbing tenor of recent public discussion.

Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick told the House of Commons justice committee Thursday he is deeply concerned about Canada’s politics and where things are headed.

Wernick appeared at the committee to address the SNC-Lavalin controversy dogging the Liberal government, but he prefaced his testimony by voicing grave reservations about the overall state of public political dialogue leading up to the October election.

“I worry about the rising tide of incitements to violence when people use terms like ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ in open discourse. Those are the words that lead to assassination,” Wernick told the MPs. “I’m worried that somebody’s going to be shot in this country this year during the political campaign.”

The hashtag #traitortrudeau has appeared on Twitter posts critical of the prime minister in recent weeks.

At a Saskatchewan town-hall meeting in January, a woman accused Justin Trudeau of selling out the country to his globalist partners, adding that traitors were once hanged for treason in Canada.

At a pro-pipeline protest on Parliament Hill this week featuring a convoy of truckers, Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk encouraged participants to roll over every Liberal left in the country.

Wernick did not mention Tkachuk by name Thursday, but he said it was “totally unacceptable” that a parliamentarian would incite people to drive trucks over others after 10 pedestrians were killed in a van attack in Toronto last year.

“I hope that you as parliamentarians are going to condemn that,” he said.

Wernick lamented that the reputations of honourable people who have served their country were “being besmirched and dragged through the market square.”

He also expressed dismay about what he called the “trolling from the vomitorium of social media” entering the open media arena.

“Most of all, I worry about people losing faith in the institutions of governance of this country, and that’s why these proceedings are so important.”

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Taylor Flats wildfire in the Alberni Valley under control

Fire is located close to Highway 4 near Sproat Lake

EDITORIAL: Plastics ban needs to start from the top

The more people talk about the plastics ban, the more it may catch on elsewhere…

West Coast Amateur in Port Alberni a success

Top overall winner, with a gross score of 140, was Derek Reid from Arbutus Ridge

ARTS AROUND: Last call for cruise ship vendors

Last cruise ship arrives in the Alberni Inlet on July 6

BIZ BEAT: Port Alberni businesses celebrate milestones

RE/MAX Mid-Island moving into new building on Johnston Road

VIDEO: Sproat Lake Fire Department demonstrates sprinkler safety

Demonstration only took 3-5 minutes to create a deadly scenario where no one could survive

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read