Dispatch from the Front Line: Dear Liberals, come and get your leader

A round up of our first week; a note on our Prime Minister's terrible judgement, and a moment of gratitude

This week, the prime minister of Canada was grilled by the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Finance for WE scandal.

The WEstrophe (WEsterfuck? We are taking suggestions, here) is a mess right now. After years of smoke, the fire may finally be in view for the WE charity, and all its labyrinthine entitles, holding companies, and enterprises. Whatever is ultimately discovered about WE may prove fascinating, titillating, even, but that’s not what we should be focused on right now. 

We should focus on this: the prime minister of Canada has horrific judgment, and he won’t learn from his mistakes. Worse: his caucus and senior advisors don’t hold him to account. Trudeau's testimony on Thursday made this crystal clear. The PM went to bizarre lengths to tell Canadians how aware he and his senior advisors were to the danger of an appearance of conflict.

Yet he still screwed it up — when a simple recusal would have largely sufficed to protect him, his government and WE. Further, rather than hold him to account, the Liberal committee members did their best to give him cover, or, at least, to run out the clock during his testimony to the Finance Committee.

When we launched just days ago, we made you a promise. We are not partisan. We will endorse no party and, frankly, we find the current political options before Canadians to be mediocre, at best. (Oh, more on that in the next few days.) But we will call out bad behaviour.

The Liberals are in our sights today because they are the government.

They, alone, have the responsibility. If they cannot even prevent their leader, a man with a proven track record of ethical flubs, from committing even more ethical flubs, why should Canadians have any faith in their ability to govern the nation during a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis?

We need grownups in Ottawa. If the PM is unable or unwilling to be that grownup, that's the Liberals’ problem to solve. Right now. Please, we beg you, Liberals everywhere: Do something before this repeat offender flubs again.

This Editor's dispatch marks the close of our first week of existence. We wanted to thank you all for an incredibly gratifying start. We could not be more honoured and humbled by your support. Permit us a few notes that you may find helpful.

First, not everything we publish will go out as a newsletter to your inboxes. We're drowning in email, too, and don't want to wear out our welcome. Our intention is to blast out newsletters to you a few times a week, perhaps on alternating days, with fresh, piping-hot servings of thoughtful, irreverent commentary. To make sure you stay up-to-date with everything we've published, we'll put links to all of our recent work on the bottom of every blast to your inbox (see below). So please always read to the very bottom. There's good stuff there, we promise!

Something else you should know: we plan to provide regular transparency updates to our paid subscribers. We want you to know how we are using your money and what our future plans are. We are going to publish our first update to you in late August after a full month as a going concern, and once we actually have some hard data in hand. We will then update you quarterly, or soon, should updates be warranted. 

We are dependent on your support and we know it. We will not take it for granted. There will be times when we will have to be shameless in asking for more of it, but we hope to demonstrate that we're worth it. Thanks for giving us the chance, and stay tuned: we’re already hard at work on next week’s offerings. We've commissioned work from new writers and we have a few angry rebuttals in the hopper.

That's it from us. Thanks again to you all for an incredible first five days. Let's do it again next week!

- The Line Editor


  • Decades of progress on advancing women’s equality is in danger, Jen Gerson wrote: “At the moment, professional women who have enjoyed the ‘luxury’ of working from home while caring for their children full time are snapping. If school is cancelled come fall, or if the current state of uncertainty appears to be our ‘new normal,’ I fear that more of these women are simply going to decide to quit their jobs.”

  • Speaking of schools, Calgary mom Laura Mitchell put teachers on notice: “So here’s the reality, publicly paid teachers — I can fulfill the entirety of the Alberta curriculum to ninth grade with shit I bought at Costco. I won’t even get into what you can get at Chapters and Amazon. Sorry, public education. It’s been a slice.” (This piece provoked a strong reaction from readers, and we’ll be bringing you some rebuttals next week. Stay tuned.)

  • Andrew Potter asked a question that ought to be on everyone’s mind: “Recent events in Canadian federal politics have raised anew the familiar conundrum: why are high status people so stupid?”

  • Lastly, a note from The Line Editors on why suing people for libel is not an unreasonable impingement of freedom of speech when someone is actually, well, libeled.