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Alleged PMO obstruction in SNC Lavalin case

brihard

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Navy_Pete said:
Does seem like a pretty immediate karmic balance though.  They fired the former AG, tried to spin it like it wasn't a downgrade, then are almost immediately bit on the arse. Seems pretty feckless to expect people to cover for you after you discard them.

Are we taking bets on when she crosses the floor? She could do so while continuing to primly (and accurately) cliam solicitor-client privilege- and that would speak volumes. She would be an instantly valued member of the CPC, and could potentially tip an election that is suddenly more open to contention than it was a few days ago.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Not sure the CPC would trust her enough. plus I think she may come out of this as the only one not covered in poop. If this takes down JT the Liberal party may need her to rebuild.
 

Journeyman

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Regrettably, I suspect that some people are rubbing their hands too gleefully, ignoring Canadian's disinterest in most things political … except for some niche groups with a personal interest -- pipelines, defence procurement, aboriginal apologies, etc;  governmental ethics doesn't seem to have a strong constituency. 

I'd be surprised if this doesn't become a forgotten tempest in a teapot to all except for some diminishingly reported upon Opposition politicians.  Your average Canadian will once again be transfixed by the latest 'roll up the rim.'

Sad, but my  :2c: nonetheless.
 

Remius

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Journeyman said:
Regrettably, I suspect that some people are rubbing their hands too gleefully, ignoring Canadian's disinterest in most things political … except for some niche groups with a personal interest -- pipelines, defence procurement, aboriginal apologies, etc;  governmental ethics doesn't seem to have a strong constituency. 

I'd be surprised if this doesn't become a forgotten tempest in a teapot to all except for some diminishingly reported upon Opposition politicians.  Your average Canadian will once again be transfixed by the latest 'roll up the rim.'

Sad, but my  :2c: nonetheless.

Your 2c is pretty accurate.  I doubt this will take down the LPC.  A few more things like this might but this in particular won’t.  Also she’d likely sit as an independant before crossing if anything.  Her salary as a minister would be hard to give up...
 

suffolkowner

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I'm curious why we don't see in Canadian politics more caucus revolts like our Australian friends. Our political party leaders being elected from the general membership and then the caucus gets stuck with maybe an inferior "boss" and PMO. Party discipline just seems extremely strong here even at the expense of future party success. I can see the Liberal party being reduced to a minority in the next election as some of the mushy movable vote switching back to the Conservatives plus the youth vote might not come out as strong with pot already legal
 

Kirkhill

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suffolkowner said:
I'm curious why we don't see in Canadian politics more caucus revolts like our Australian friends. Our political party leaders being elected from the general membership and then the caucus gets stuck with maybe an inferior "boss" and PMO. Party discipline just seems extremely strong here even at the expense of future party success. I can see the Liberal party being reduced to a minority in the next election as some of the mushy movable vote switching back to the Conservatives plus the youth vote might not come out as strong with pot already legal

I wonder if Canada hasn't been "leading" the Commonwealth in Party Politics while Australia has been "clinging" to the older traditions of Westminster.  In Britain it is only now that Westminster is fully confronting the difference between a Parliamentary Party and an Extra-Parliamentary Party.

The Liberals and Conservatives in Britain were both essentially Parliamentary Parties with the members being "democratically" elected by extra-parliamentary supporters and then being allowed by those supporters to freely and independently elect their own leaders in the House.

Labour has always been different because it was an extra-parliamentary party whose battle-cry was, to paraphrase Preston Manning, "the workers want in"; the god-fearing, nationalist, monarchy supporting members of the Co-Op movements, the Masons and the Unions.

That has always produced a tension between the Parliamentary Party, forced to abide by the traditions of the House, and the Extra-Parliamentary Party, demanding that their voices be heard, and their opinions directly reflected, in the House.

Up until Tony Blair the balance favoured the traditions of the House.  But Tony blew up the House and his own Labour Party and shifted the balance to the Extra-Parliamentary Party which has resulted in Jeremy Corbyn drawing his legitimacy from fee paying party members while being despised by the Parliamentary Party and considered, at best, dubious by voters who have traditionally elected Labour MPs.

The Conservative Party in the UK is facing the same problem of managing its fee paying members, its MPs and the voting public.

I suggest that in Canada, that Extra-Parliamentary Party element predates that of Britain and finds its original expression in The Family Compact and the Chateau Clique - now commonly known as the Laurentian Elite.  People who have grown up in the shade of Scots Episcopalian Bishop Strachan and the Bishops of Quebec - people who disagreed vehemently on Religion but ultimately agreed on the need for a directed, ordered, top-down, corporatist society to deliver Peace, Order and Good Governance.  In Canada they could exert an influence over a small population that their brothers and cousins in Britain were denied.

Britain is, in many ways, especially since joining the EU, "catching up" to Canada, by abandoning its free-booting liberal past to join the corporatist model prevalent in the EU and Canada.

The difference between Canada and Australia is, I think, bred in the bone.  We got the good kids that sat at the front of the class.  The Aussies got the kids that sat at the back, were regularly suspended, occasionally expelled and didn't give  a toss for rules and elites.

In Canada the closest we came to "radicals" were William Lyon MacKenzie and George Brown.  Interestingly it took Mackenzie's grandson, MacKenzie King to create the modern Liberal Party of Canada which put a radical veneer on a corporatist party centred on Montreal's Golden Square Mile - which married Scots businessmen with the Ancien Regime Seigneury.  That union found its ultimate expression in Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Scots mother, French father).  Curiously Justin is a Scots-French mix as well - Margaret Sinclair's father, a Liberal from Vancouver, was born in Scotland.

Our governing system looks more like what the EU aspires to - where most of the moves are made off the chess board of the House. 

The EU is holding up the current open debate in Britain about Brexit, and the involvement of the people, the courts, the press and parliament, as an example of the chaos that results from democracy and is to be avoided at all costs. 








 

Colin Parkinson

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Our system is becoming mostly a 1 person dictatorship for 4 years with the PMO running everything, I like to see the majority party MP's have more power over the PM.
 

Kat Stevens

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Journeyman said:
Regrettably, I suspect that some people are rubbing their hands too gleefully, ignoring Canadian's disinterest in most things political … except for some niche groups with a personal interest -- pipelines, defence procurement, aboriginal apologies, etc;  governmental ethics doesn't seem to have a strong constituency. 

I'd be surprised if this doesn't become a forgotten tempest in a teapot to all except for some diminishingly reported upon Opposition politicians.  Your average Canadian will once again be transfixed by the latest 'roll up the rim.'

Sad, but my  :2c: nonetheless.

Any day now we'll get a "but Scheer hates the gay abortionists" tweet from someone high up in the gov, and SNC will quietly slip below the horizon.
 

Remius

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Kat Stevens said:
Any day now we'll get a "but Scheer hates the gay abortionists" tweet from someone high up in the gov, and SNC will quietly slip below the horizon.

TBH if history is any indicator we'll have the CPC step on its own d**k and the channel will change.
 

Kat Stevens

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Veeery interesting, Klink. It's starting to pile up, it seems.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mark-norman-davie-shipyard-breach-trust-1.5014538?cmp=rss&fbclid=IwAR3IF3lNQN5ftowxUraPxQ0eZPQ0GUzzAPW3brTD754hoWJD1Xj6KPbcf-0
 

dapaterson

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Remius said:
TBH if history is any indicator we'll have the CPC step on its own d**k and the channel will change.

You mean like the article on the weekend stating that Scheer has also gone to chat with SNC about their prosecution?

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/02/10/tory-leader-andrew-scheer-met-with-snc-chief-to-discuss-criminal-charges.html

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer met with the head of SNC-Lavalin in May 2018 to discuss criminal charges facing the Quebec construction giant.

Scheer’s office confirmed the Conservative leader discussed the “deferred prosecution agreement” sought by SNC-Lavalin to avoid criminal fraud and corruption charges. The meeting with SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce took place last May 29, months after the Liberal government introduced so-called “DPAs” in its omnibus budget bill.
 

PuckChaser

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dapaterson said:
You mean like the article on the weekend stating that Scheer has also gone to chat with SNC about their prosecution?

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/02/10/tory-leader-andrew-scheer-met-with-snc-chief-to-discuss-criminal-charges.html

If that article isn't evidence of the media desperately trying to help the Liberals, I don't know what is. Scheer didn't hide a provision in an omnibus budget (that he campaigned on not using), and then allegedly fire his AG after trying to pressure her to use that provision illegally to help a company that funneled $100K in illegal donations to his party to help his election.  :facepalm:
 

Infanteer

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PuckChaser said:
If that article isn't evidence of the media desperately trying to help the Liberals, I don't know what is.

Well, you are looking at the Star.  Go the National Post, and the pitchforks are out.
 

Stoker

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PuckChaser said:
If that article isn't evidence of the media desperately trying to help the Liberals, I don't know what is. Scheer didn't hide a provision in an omnibus budget (that he campaigned on not using), and then allegedly fire his AG after trying to pressure her to use that provision illegally to help a company that funneled $100K in illegal donations to his party to help his election.  :facepalm:

Now if that reporter just comes forward and recounts what really happened during that interview that would be a cherry on the top.
 

ballz

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I'm starting to the think the Liberals know they can do whatever they want and they'll be making no apologies about it...
 

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PuckChaser

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Split this stuff into its own topic, as I'm sure the approval ratings thread will get more bumps as we get closer to the election cycle.
 

Rifleman62

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Quote from: PuckChaser on Yesterday at 15:57:53
If that article isn't evidence of the media desperately trying to help the Liberals, I don't know what is. Scheer didn't hide a provision in an omnibus budget (that he campaigned on not using), and then allegedly fire his AG after trying to pressure her to use that provision illegally to help a company that funneled $100K in illegal donations to his party to help his election.
 

The Bill was a Finance Minister bill, not Justice. More than enough to be suspicions why the Criminal Code change was "hidden" inside the omnibus budget bill.

This was a strategic move by the Liberals. The amendment to the CC took months to conceive, write and pass through Parliament. If there was no change to the CC, there was no reason to supposedly lobby the Justice Minister.
 

Rifleman62

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http://nationalpost.pressreader.com/national-post-latest-edition/20190212/textview

Still waiting for clear denials - National Post - 12 Feb 19 - ANDREW COYNE - Comment

It has been four days now since it was reported that officials in the Prime Minister’s Office had pressured the former attorney-general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to have fraud and corruption charges dropped against SNC-Lavalin, the Quebec engineering and construction giant, and we have yet to hear a direct, on-the-record denial of the allegations by either side.

We’ve had Justin Trudeau’s initial, lawyerly statement to the effect that he did not “direct” Wilson-Raybould to do anything — which was not the allegation — and we’ve had Wilson-Raybould’s repeated claim that “solicitor-client privilege” prevented her from commenting — which legal scholars dispute — and now we have the prime minister’s assertion that Wilson-Raybould lately “confirmed” for him a conversation they had last fall “where I told her directly that any decisions on matters involving the director of public prosecutions were hers alone.” That odd, selective, onesided recounting of what she allegedly said about what he allegedly said that shouldn’t have needed saying in the first place is the closest we’ve got in four days to a straight answer. But while all this line-testing, story-straightening and general dodging about was going on in public, the prime minister’s people were speaking quite freely — off the record.

Why yes, of course there had been “discussions” with Wilson-Raybould about whether to set aside the charges against SNC-Lavalin, senior government officials confided to reporters, in favour of a newly created process called a “remediation agreement.” Indeed, they told Canadian Press the government “would have failed in its duty” if it had not had such discussions “given that a prosecution could bankrupt the company and put thousands of Canadians out of work.” There might have been a “vigorous debate” or even a “robust discussion,” senior government officials acknowledged to the Globe and Mail, but that should not be confused with “an effort to put pressure on Ms. Wilson-Raybould.” How did she get that idea, then, as multiple sources told the paper four days earlier? Was she confused?

Well, unnamed “insiders” volunteered to CP, she was “difficult to get along with,” and had “always sort of been in it for herself.” But not to worry, a Toronto Star columnist reported: the prime minister “still has confidence” in her, notwithstanding the “damage” she was doing to the government “by allowing the speculation about alleged corruption to hang out there.” Beautiful. The PM’s spin doctors have managed to turn a story about their own alleged attempts to interfere in the prosecution of a Liberal-friendly firm (from 1993 to 2003 SNC-Lavalin contributed over a half a million dollars to the party, Elections Canada records show, plus another hundred thousand and change in illegal donations, as the company has acknowledged, in 2004-2011) into a story about whether a “difficult” minister was harming the government with her silence.

Very well. Let’s take the government’s emerging defence on its merits. Is this all perfectly normal? Is it quite all right, first, for a government to want to spare a corporation from criminal charges because it might go out of business? Let’s be clear: this would not be an issue if the corporation employed nine people, rather than nine thousand. The argument — the official story, that is, never mind questions of political connections or how it would all play in Quebec — is that SNC-Lavalin deserves preferential treatment because it is so big: because of the “thousands of jobs” that would allegedly be lost if it were to be submitted to the ordinary processes of law. As an argument for two-tiered justice, this at least has the virtue of being frank.

The company claims it should be spared prosecution because it has changed personnel and overhauled its corporate culture since the days when it was notorious for bribing public officials to win contracts, around the world and in Canada. But it’s surely worth noting that it was under the bad old corporate culture that the company grew into the colossus it is today. The practices for which it now asks to avoid charges, on the grounds that it is too big to fail, are the very sorts of practices that helped make it so big. Is there a more literal application of the old joke about the kid who kills his parents, then asks for leniency on the grounds that he’s an orphan?

I don’t want to be too firm on this point. Maybe there’s a case for remediation agreements of this kind, in principle — after all, the United States and Britain have them. But there’s a context here that can’t be ignored. The only reason the provision is on the books in Canada is because of a concerted public relations campaign on the part of SNC-Lavalin. Charged with fraud and corruption in 2015, the company reacted, not in the usual way, by fighting it in court or bargaining with prosecutors, but by lobbying politicians and their staff.

And it worked: the government custom-drafted the legislation to the designs of a company that was at that moment facing criminal charges, then smuggled it into law via the 2018 omnibus budget bill, of all things. And, when the director of public prosecutions, as is her right, declined to make use of the new provision, preferring to proceed in the old-fashioned way, the prime minister’s office allegedly leaned on the attorney general to overrule her.

To be sure, there is nothing illegal or unethical for the attorney general, as a government background document notes, “to consult with cabinet colleagues before exercising his or her powers.” But that is not what is alleged. Whether or not the line was crossed into “pressure,” the alleged conversation was not with her fellow ministers — her equals — but with political staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, the most powerful people in the country. Next to the prime minister, of course.

That at any rate is the allegation. It has still not been properly denied. It would seem worth investigating why.
 

brihard

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Just breaking now- Jody Wilson-Raybould has resigned from cabinet. This is about to get very interesting...
 
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