Stories about
Gerald Butts

Gerald Michael Butts (born July 8, 1971) is the senior political adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Since November 2015, he has been the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. From 2008 to 2012, he was president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund Canada, a global conservation organization. In 2014, Maclean's magazine declared Butts to be the fourteenth most powerful Canadian.

The Post Millennial

Published  1 month ago

Justin Trudeau’s “contrition” session with the press turned out to be a nothingburger. He did not apologize. He would only cop to an “erosion of trust” between his guy, Gerald Butts, and Jody Wilson-Raybould, implying that Canadians should be blaming Mr. Erosion, not him. He allowed as how “there is always room for improvement,” the kind of thing one sees written on one’s children’s report card. He has nothing against contrition—in fact, he was on his way up north that very day to express contrition to the Inuit … for the past deeds of other people, that is, something he excels at.

As National Post reporter John Ivison noted in his column Mar 8, Trudeau’s press conference was “the enactment of humility,” and not the real thing. Exactement! “Enactment” is in fact the story of Trudeau’s public life. He is all political theatre, shining when he has memorized a script (“Canada’s back!” “Diversity is our strength!”…”Because it’s 2015!”…”Jobs!”), but very much at sea when the other actors walk away from the parts his scriptwriters assigned to them. At which point, as in his “contrition” press conference, he hits verbal bathos: “to move forward, not backward,” or “every day as prime minister I learn new things.”

Quebec journalist Richard Martineau delivered the cruellest thrust: “[Trudeau] thought he was indestructible, now he realizes he’s only a human being like the others. Goodbye Superman, hello Clark Kent.” Ouch. The New York Times wasn’t much kinder: “the fresher the face, the more obvious the blemishes.” Two-thirds of Canadians tell pollsters Trudeau has lost the moral authority to govern. That’s today. Come election day, who knows.

We had full warning of what we were going to get in Justin way back in 2000, when he performed the eulogy at his father’s funeral. And oh my goodness, “perform” is the operative word. Recently I found out Gerald Butts—of whom I had never heard at the time—had helped him write it. Well, that may explain a lot. Who begins a eulogy, “Friends, Romans, countrymen” – I mean, apart from Marc Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar? It was an extremely odd opening, because it conjures up one of the most egregious power grabs in western history, by a cunning political upstart with a silver tongue and an instinct for crowd-pleasing.

What I found disturbing about that eulogy wasn’t its content (at least what followed the “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” bit), which was beyond reproach, but the delivery: over-polished for a young man in deep mourning, as though it had been rehearsed in front of a mirror over and over again. I found disconcerting the continual, calculating scans of the audience, the wooing cadence, the carefully calibrated pauses, the eyes cast shyly downward and the lip bitten at the correct moment, the incongruous little smile playing at the corners of the mouth, as if he were savouring the rapt expressions on his audience’s faces, the eyes dry throughout, but then, as if on cue and command—at “Je t’aime, Papa’—the tears, the slow walk to the coffin and the head bowed upon it, as if in spontaneous emotion, which would have been moving, but as it was so clearly not spontaneous, as it was so clearly planned for effect and to cast him, Justin, in a noble glow, it seemed all about him, and therefore (for me) cringe-making. Upon which a grand burst of applause erupted, as though everyone knew they were at a play rather than a funeral. But what the hell? It was a damn fine play!

Yes, I know he was a drama teacher, but the point about good acting is that you’re not supposed to know it’s acting. For me, the acting was all I could see. For me, that eulogy was the height of kitsch. The writer Milan Kundera succinctly defined kitsch as “the second tear.” The “first tear” is private and unfiltered, the genuine, spontaneous response to strong emotion. The second tear is public and self-reflexive, summoned rather than greeted. Unlike natural tears, second tears act as a purgative for the shedder only when mirrored in the eyes of others. Kitsch and virtue signalling are closely aligned. In both, the performance of empathic sentiment is taken as a form of action.

All Trudeau’s lofty and often lachrymose statements seem like “second tear” moments to me: rehearsed, scripted, and completely detached from the messiness of life on the ground, from which he has been protected all his life. He welcomes the world to Canada’s open door, making little to no distinction between legal and illegal entrants, but “the world” won’t get anywhere near his secure dwelling. He moistens up at the concept of feminism, but his own wife has happily accepted a 1950s-era role, and he bullies actual feminists when they don’t agree with him. He speaks frequently about “who we are” as Canadians, and the wonderful values we embody. But when his own political future is at stake, “who we are” doesn’t enter the equation, even when it involves corruption on a grand scale, with sickening implications for victims abroad.

As a child with extraordinary public privilege, Justin Trudeau toured the world and met many heads of state, but he failed to move beyond warm childhood memories of friendly Uncle Fidel and come to grips with toxic ideologies and the human wreckage they cause. (At the funeral, Fidel’s face was impossible to read, but he seemed lost in wonderment to me, and I was imagining he wished he had kidnapped Justin when he had the chance to groom as his head of PR.)

Justin is all surface. The selfie, the socks, the rolled sleeve and loosened tie, his and Sophie’s get-a-room Vogue Magazine cover, the Mr. Dressup tour of India: it’s all showmanship and brand messaging. Culturally, Trudeau is the personification of kitsch.

How did this hollow, opportunistic, attention-needy man get elected in the first place? We all know. His name and his face and his acting skills. (If the eulogy for his father didn’t convince you of his true métier—the theatre—perhaps this performance, as an MP in 2012, responding to criticism of an ill-judged comment expressing sympathy for Quebec separatism in certain circumstances, ironic in the light of the present scandal, will).

Seriously, that was the sum total of what he had to offer, and enough Canadians bought his fool’s gold to enable the present scandal. Those who voted for him can’t pretend they thought he had the smarts or the experience (in any demanding field, never mind politics) or the passion for leadership or a history of contribution to public life or the intellectual heft or the gravitas to recommend him for leadership of the nation.

Everyone knew who he was: a pretty face, an affable celebrity-by-association with charm to spare, apparent sincerity, a willingness to be “managed,” political and social capital to burn in Quebec, and an earnest belief in the politically correct pieties that had been downloaded into his all-too-receptive brain at university. Add to these qualities, moreover, the egregious vanity—and sorry (not sorry) to be harsh, but the lack of character—to accept an invitation to power he knew in his heart had nothing to do with personal merit. Cynical chickens, meet ignominious roost.

The Rebel

Published  1 month ago

UPDATE: Our billboard is driving around in Ottawa:

Brian Lilley reports on the feedback TheRebel has received driving around Ottawa in a billboard truck urging Gerald Butts to repay the money he charged taxpayers for moving expenses

UPDATE: Butts investigates himself, vows to repay fraction of $127K — but that's not good enough:

Ezra Levant explains why Gerald Butts' offer to pay back a fraction of the cost isn't good enough. Ezra calls for a continuation in the campaign until all the money is paid back.

Gerald Butts, Justin Trudeau’s advisor and best friend, billed Canadian taxpayers $127,000 dollars to move from Toronto to Ottawa.

$127,000 to move. How do you even do that?

Moving should involve renting a U-haul for the weekend — that’s a few hundred dollars. Or hiring a moving company to help you pack and move down the highway — call that $10,000.

But Gerald Butts billed $127,000 just to move from Toronto to Ottawa.

The Liberals claim the money is to cover Butts’ realtor fees. But they were already covered in the million-dollar sales price for his house. Butts is double-dipping — getting paid twice.

Butts double-dipped $127,000.

How is it that Mike Duffy gets prosecuted for $90,000 in real expenses, but Butts is able to sock taxpayers with $127,000 in expenses that he was already covered?

This is sick. We need to fight back.

Sign our petition below and help spread the word.

But we want to go one step further. We want to put a billboard up in Ottawa reminding the mainstream media, and Liberal MPs, and Butts and Trudeau himself that we’re not going to let this slide.

A regular billboard costs about $2,000; a mobile billboard costs more. If you click here and chip in — whether it’s $10 or $100 — we’ll put the money towards the billboard campaign.

Gerald Butts is a disgrace. He’s a liar when he claims to care about the poor or the middle class. He’s a hypocrite. But worse than that, he’s corrupt and entitled.

My friends, we can’t let him get away with it.

We demand Gerald Butts repay the $127,000 moving expenses he took from taxpayers.


Published  1 month ago

WARNING: DEBATE POST is shutting down very soon thanks to Facebook and Twitter banning us along with our 400,000 followers, you can follow on alternatives like where the radical left doesn't moderate content.

Earlier when Justin Trudeau had just been learning about how to be the Liberal leader, he had tried to get a meeting with Hillary Clinton before she had become the Democratic presidential nominee. This has been revealed by new e-mails which were released through Wikileaks.

Trudeau has been the head of the Liberal party for a year now. Clinton, who had earlier resigned as the top diplomat in the US was, at the time, deciding if she was going to run for president and was going to Ottawa for a speech.

The Liberal Party was very anxious for Trudeau to meet Clinton and a staffer from the party even sent an email to the top aides of Trudeau asking how they could arrange a one-on-one with the ex-secretary of state.

Gerald Butts was also included in this email. He is now the principal secretary of the PM. He had sent the email to the Center for American Progress. This email was also forwarded to Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.

Podesta had asked if she wanted to try seeing Justin Trudeau. The PM’s office had said this morning that they both got a picture together but did not have a formal meeting.

The emails were hacked from the Gmail account of Podesta. They’ve been coming out slowly since October and give us a look at the Clinton operation. The email dumps have shown various Clinton staffers who were casually interested in the 2015 campaign of Trudeau to become prime minister of Canada.

The most recent disclosures on email showed the director of communications for Clinton’s campaign passing around one tweet of Trudeau when his party was trailing in Jul 2015 in the polls.

The aide had said that this was a good way to deflect personal attacks.

Since Trudeau became PM, he enjoyed friendly relationships with Obama’s administration and was even feted at a Washington state dinner.

Did Hillary Clinton help Justin Trudeau win the election? That’s the unanswered question that most likely won’t be answered until the FBI releases their full report.

Both Trudeau and Clinton are currently under investigation for pay to play, coincidence?

The Federalist

Published  1 month ago

Just three weeks after the scandal broke, a former member of the Canadian PM's cabinet has testified that he tried to interfere in a criminal investigation.

While Americans were transfixed on Wednesday with the salacious, but not legally damning, testimony of Michael Cohen before Congress, a bombshell went off in the Canadian Parliament. Former Canadian Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before the House Justice Committee alleging that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others in his administration pressured her in “inappropriate” ways to reach a settlement with an engineering company that has been charged with crimes.

The company, SNC-Lavalin, is facing charges that it sent bribes to Libya, then under the rule of Gadhafi, in defiance of Canadian law. If found guilty, the Quebec-based company will face severe sanctions, including a ban on working with the Canadian government. This would be a severe economic blow, especially in Trudeau’s home province of Quebec.

According to Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, she faced “consistent and sustained,” efforts by the Trudeau administration, as well as “veiled threats,” in an attempt to influence her decision regarding Lavalin. Under Canadian law, this type of attempt at political influence is at best inappropriate, and at worst illegal.

Unlike the slow moving investigation into Trump, the Trudeau scandal has unfurled remarkably quickly. On February 7, the Globe and Mail ran a story citing anonymous sources that suggested inappropriate political meddling had occurred. In her testimony yesterday, Wilson-Raybould discussed meetings with Trudeau and others from late last year. Trudeau says he disagrees with her assessment that the meetings were not appropriate.

In January, Wilson-Raynould was relieved of her duties as attorney general and given a lesser cabinet position. Then this month, she suddenly stepped down from the cabinet entirely. Also stepping down was Gerald Butts, a long time Trudeau political adviser heavily involved with Lavalin situation.

Yesterday’s testimony from one of his former cabinet ministers and a member of his own party has flung the Trudeau administration into a full-fledged crisis. With a general election looming in October, Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer said that Trudeau has “lost the moral authority to lead,” and should resign.

The crux of the case––and perhaps the key to Trudeau’s future––is whether the discussions with Wilson-Raynaud were simply a good faith effort to make her aware of the economic and political implications of the Lavalin case, or a more nefarious effort to put a thumb on the scale of justice.

For her part, the former attorney general said that the pressure was maintained even after she had made clear that she had made a decision not to cut a deal with Lavalin. In addition, some observers view her demotion in January as a punishment for having defied the administration’s wishes.

With an election this year, members of the Liberal Party will have to decide if Trudeau can weather these harsh allegations and successfully lead them to victory. For now, Trudeau insists he did nothing wrong and that he will be exonerated by the ethics committee. But even in the best-case scenario for him, in which his administration’s pressure on the justice ministry was legal and ethical, it still represents a broad overreach into what is supposed to be an independent agency.

Justin Trudeau is often viewed in both Canada and The United States as a kind of anti-Trump. Young, nice looking, liberal, the son of a former prime minister, and sufficiently woke in all the right ways, he has a hero status for some. It is remarkable that all of a sudden it is Trudeau, not Trump, who may be taken down by corruption.

It’s a good reminder that Donald Trump didn’t invent corruption or the breaking of political norms––such things predate him by a few centuries. That a “nice guy,” like Trudeau engaged in corruption will surprise many, but perhaps it shouldn’t. Abuse of government power has never been limited to the crude.

It will be an astounding irony if just as the Mueller probe returns a report with no smoking gun, Trump’s adversary in Canada is engulfed in a damaging scandal. It will be another example of something that “wasn’t supposed to go that way.” But here we are. Over two years after investigations into Trump began there has still been no finding of wrongdoing by him. Just three weeks into the Lavalin scandal, Trudeau has been badly damaged.

Whether Trudeau’s leadership survives this scandal or not, it is yet another reminder that things are not always what they seem.

This article has been updated to reflect that Lavalin is an engineering company, not an energy company.

David Marcus is the Federalist's New York Correspondent and the Artistic Director of Blue Box World, a Brooklyn based theater project. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.

Copyright © 2019 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

Published  1 month ago

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh wrote Trudeau jointly Friday to ask him to recall MPs next week so the Commons could hold the government to account for its actions. Trudeau will tour the country promoting his climate-change plan, instead.


Published  1 month ago

The former Canadian Attorney General has given a bombshell testimony accusing Trudeau and other officials of "veiled threats."

Zero Hedge

Published  1 month ago

During a day where three concurrent Congressional hearings dominated the news cycle in the US, the testimony of Canada's former Attorney General seemed to slip under the radar. But unlike Michael Cohen's star turn in front of the House Oversight Committee, what former AG Jody Wilson-Raybould shared with lawmakers and the Canadian public actually might cause one head of state's carefully constructed house of cards to come crashing down - just as campaign season is ramping up.

With roughly eight months left until an election where Canadians will decide whether to stick with - or reject - the progressive agenda of PM Justin Trudeau, a widening corruption scandal is threatening to take down the prime minister's entire government. Two weeks ago, journalists at the Globe and Mail blew the lid off a scandal involving Trudeau and his closest aides, where the prime minister appeared to pressure Wilson-Raybould, then the attorney general, into offering a DPA to a Quebec-based engineering firm - then fired her when she refused to obey his demands. And after weeks of radio silence, she shared her side of the story during a widely watched (in Canada) Congressional hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Answering questions posed by a conservative MP, Wilson-Raybould said she faced intense political pressure and veiled threats from at least 11 people involved in the government - either the PMO or the Privy Council Office - related to the SNC-Lavalin affair. She also said she was warned directly by Trudeau about the negative consequences should the company face prosecution, according to CBC. One close aide to Trudeau has already resigned over the scandal.

Wilson-Raybould listed the people she had warned about "the inappropriate nature of these conversations" after they "hounded" her about the affair, including Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick and the (now-fired) senior senior aide to the prime minister, Gerald Butts.

"For a period of four months from September to December 2018, I experience a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with SNC-Lavalin."

"Within these conversations there were express statements regarding the necessity of interfering in the SNC-Lavalin matter, the potential of consequences, and veiled threats if a DPA was not made available to SNC-Lavalin," she said.

During a series of meetings, one of which took place on Sept. 17, Wilson-Raybould described how Trudeau and Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick tried to reason with her after she informed them that she had decided not to overturn a decision from the director of the Public Prosecution Service to proceed with criminal prosecution against SNC-Lavalin.

After hearing her answer, Trudeau warned of potential job losses should the company choose to move, and purportedly asked her to "help out."

"At that point, the prime minister jumped in, stressing that there is an election in Quebec, and that, 'I am an MP in Quebec, the MP for Papineau,'" she recounted. 'I was quite taken aback."

At that point, Wilson-Raybould said, she posed a direct question to Trudeau while looking him straight in the eye, asking if he was politically interfering with her role and her decision as the attorney general.

"I would strongly advise against it," she told the committee she warned Trudeau, who responded, "No, no, no, we just need to find a solution."

During another conversation, PMO senior staffer Mathieu Bouchard purportedly told Wilson-Raybould when discussing the case that "we need to get re-elected," and proceeded to pressure her to change her ruling.

After repeatedly refusing to yield, she was moved in January from AG to the head of the department of Veterans' Affairs - which was widely seen as a demotion. She resigned from the cabinet soon after. It wasn't until weeks later that reports surfaced alleging that the seemingly arbitrary move may have been carried out in retribution for her refusal to cooperate on the SNC-Lavalin case.

And with that, calls for Trudeau to resign grow louder.

There can’t help but be demands that Trudeau resign, now. This is extraordinary. #CDNPOLI #LavScam

— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) February 27, 2019

The Rebel

Published  1 month ago

The Montreal-based company SNC-Lavalin is one of the world's largest engineering and construction companies and one of the most corrupt.

SNC-Lavalin is also a major donor to the Liberal Party of Canada. The two entities are incredibly intertwined.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Justin Trudeau and his inner circle allegedly attempted to go to bat for SNC-Lavalin when they got caught bribing the Libyan government under its former dictator, the brutal Moammar Gadaffi.

SNC-Lavalin does work all over the world, but in Canada, the company faces fraud and corruption charges related to nearly $50 million in bribes it is alleged to have paid to Gadaffi's gang. Part of that gang included Gadaffi's son, who SNC-Lavalin invited to live in Montreal. While he was there, SNC-Lavalin financed his debauchery, including using petty cash to pay for prostitutes, strippers, and pornography.

Then, when SNC-Lavalin was caught, asked their friends in government to let them pay a fine and apologize, instead of going to trial and being truly accountable for their crimes.

Our Justice Minister at the time, Jody Wilson-Raybould, was having none of that. She wasn't willing to meddle in the Canadian justice system to give Liberal Party friends favourable treatment. And her party turned on her for it.

But unlike other bullied silent Liberals, Wilson-Raybould spoke up and fought back against Trudeau's corruption. She testified that Justin Trudeau and his staff — including his principal secretary and best friend Gerald Butts, as well as Katie Telford, Trudeau's chief of staff — spent months trying to obstruct justice in the SNC-Lavalin case. (That’s a crime that is punishable with up to 10 years in prison).

Justin Trudeau has said he is going to leave this decision with the ethics commissioner, but that's not enough. This isn't just about ethics — it's also about criminality. The RCMP must now get involved and conduct a criminal investigation into Trudeau and his staff.


1. I've launched a petition to the RCMP, telling them to begin a criminal investigation. If you agree that Trudeau and his inner circle deserve to be investigated by the RCMP, then please sign the petition below.

2. We want to get a video billboard truck to tell everyone how Trudeau may have obstructed justice. We want it to drive around Montreal and Ottawa, right where Trudeau feels safest. We've done this before. It’s a fun and effective way to fight back and get the truth out. But the truck can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 per day. If you want to chip in to help us fund it, please click here. It's costly, but we think telling Justin Trudeau that they don't allow fancy socks in prison is priceless.

We, the undersigned, demand that the RCMP launch a criminal investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's handling of the SNC-Lavalin scandal.


Published  2 months ago

Current Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti said there has been no evidence to justify a committee investigation into whether or not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or anyone in his office tried to have former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould abandon the prosecution of a case against SNC-Lavalin.

Published  2 months ago

Justin Trudeau’s government will not agree to demands from opposition MPs for an emergency justice committee meeting to probe allegations of political interference in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a senior government source said Saturday.


Published  6 months ago

Robert Lighthizer was the public face of arduous, year-long talks to rework NAFTA, but as he savored a successful conclusion in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, the U.S. trade representative sin...


Published  1 year ago

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts has resigned.

More to come.

Thanks for the notes of encouragement to all who have reached out. @jodilhbutts and I appreciate the love and support. But public institutions are bigger and more important than any of their temporary occupants. Please see my statement.

— Gerald Butts ���� (@gmbutts) February 18, 2019