Earlier this week, Liberal Minister Catherine Mckenna took the time to post the following tweet in which she attacked the Conservative Party for having Hamish Marshall, an individual who once set up the Rebel’s base tech stack, manage the party’s 2019 election campaign.
Interestingly, it seems she has forgotten the recent choices of virtually every serious party in the country.
The Greens hired Warren Kinsella, the Conservatives kept Hamish, and, what would you know, the Liberals brought back Gerald Butts.
According to multiple sources who have spoken to the National Post, Butts has been involved in campaign strategy for quite some time now.
Here is the key difference, though:
Warren and Hamish may be controversial, but neither resigned less than a few months ago due to their involvement in an active and potentially government shattering scandal.
Gerald Butts resigned because he was “involved up to his eyeballs in efforts to unduly pressure then-Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to end the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering firm SNC-Lavalin on serious corruption charges,” according to the Toronto Sun’s Lorne Gunter.
Butts has denied any wrongdoing in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
While many voters seem to have grown tired of the subject right now, the implications are truly stunning.
Knowing full well that the party will be attacked for bringing back such a controversial figure during high stakes moments like the debates, possibly losing the faith of many moderates, they did so anyway.
Why? Because outside of their extremely close friendship, Butts, like very few other key strategists that exist in the country, can bring home a victory — even from the jaws of defeat.
He was a key person behind Trudeau’s last minute but dominant 2015 win, and before that, he was a key adviser to McGuinty.
And perhaps most importantly, he can put forward environmental policy that could potentially stop the growing Green Party’s momentum, which seems to have been the largest benefactor of Liberal weakness as of late.
Butts bleeds green policy, and “was intimately involved in all of the [Mcguinty] government’s significant environmental initiatives, from the Greenbelt and Boreal Conservation plan to the coal phase-out and toxic reduction strategy,” according to the Financial Post.
It is by no means underselling to say that to many within Liberal circles, he is considered a key part of any potential Liberal win in 2019.
It seems, for the most part, Liberal MP’s understand the value that Butts brings alongside the many risks and have decided to now return to a 2017 line of attack in order to distance themselves from the more risky parts of his participation.
Here is the problem, though: a serious government scandal is quite hard to truly move away from. And for most who look at the current news cycle, they will be left with only one thought.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that the Liberal Party’s national campaign involves someone who was involved in the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Yes, that SNC-Lavalin scandal.”