Canada’s Top Public Servant Finds Out The Internet Is Mean

Michael Wernick does not appear to have the thick skin of anyone who has been on Twitter for more than five seconds.
Michael Wernick
Source image via CP.

It’s been two weeks since Michael Wernick, clerk of the Privy Council, testified before the justice committee about the SNC-Lavalin controversy and apparently he’s been fielding insults ever since. Or, in his words, “intimidation of a witness.”

On Wednesday, Wernick printed and presented to the committee a series of mean social media comments he’s received in light of his testimony, during which he said he never pressured former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.


Some of the comments Wernick has received characterize him as a “loser,” “liar,” and a “deadbeat.”

“You’ll amount to an absolute nobody in Canadian history … Can’t wait for my children and grandchildren to read about you,” said one, according to the Toronto Star. (To be fair, this comment makes no sense, as it implies people will be reading about him the future.)

Wernick told the committee they “will want to discuss this as the intimidation of a witness before your committee and a breach of the committee’s privileges.”

Apparently they didn’t, and moved on to discussing the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

His office followed up Thursday by publishing copies of more mean messages, according to the Canadian Press, including “Your garbage pal. If you don’t want to be calked name like treason and traitor then don’t indulge in it then, you… idiot goofs!”, “Arrogant pos!”, and "YOU SHOULD BE FIRED. A disgrace to Canada … Overpaid, bureaucratic LIBERAL BOZO … protecting liberal LIars!!!"

During Wernick’s original testimony before the committee, he said he feared politically-charged rhetoric in the country could lead to an assassination.

“I worry about the rising tide of incitements to violence when people use terms like treason and traitor in open discourse… I’m worried that somebody is going to be shot in this country this year during the political campaign,” he said.

Mean tweets suck but, assuming he publicized the worst comments he’s received, I would still trade inboxes with him in a heartbeat.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

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