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Alleged PMO obstruction in SNC Lavalin case

OldSolduer

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
I think her tweet has to be the lowest thing I've ever read in Canadian politics....

Remember “I’m entitled to my entitlements”. Things haven’t changed.
 

Haggis

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
I think her tweet has to be the lowest thing I've ever read in Canadian politics....

......so far.  We're still months from the next election.  It'll get lower.
 

RocketRichard

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Haggis said:
Just like the Liberal's oft repeated and thoroughly debunked claim that "50% of crime guns are domestically sourced".

Joseph Goebbels would be proud.
Comparing this to Goebbels is a bit much. #stopthehype



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Haggis

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RomeoJuliet said:
Comparing this to Goebbels is a bit much. #stopthehype

Taking just one lie (gun stats) in isolation, maybe.  But, like the music of the 80's "the hits just keep on comin'!" from the Liberal propaganda machine.
 

Rifleman62

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https://twitter.com/sdbcraig/status/1104519047511769088

 

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Colin Parkinson

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Apparently someone posted it without filling in the blanks.....

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157203727693945&set=a.94018163944&type=3&eid=ARANwrfGqXSvEcKfDRZWfdYbgLSOSYvzkVjNYGe3PgLT-vq_PhsXd9ZxY-frhG470rODaVpOYIiF3CYE
 

Remius

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My guess is that they sent out the talking points they wanted them to say.  They probably said, make into your own words but cover all these points.

I blame the state of our educational system where people can't write or come up with a different way of saying something.

They really are not helping themselves...
 

The Bread Guy

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Remius said:
... I blame the state of our educational system where people can't write or come up with a different way of saying something ...
When someone in this situation gets "messaging," "key points," "talking points," or the like from whoever's above them (no matter what party is in power), I suspect that more than 8 times out of 10, the end user doesn't have any discretion.  Hence the term "message control."
Remius said:
They really are not helping themselves...
:nod:
 

Colin Parkinson

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Remius said:
My guess is that they sent out the talking points they wanted them to say.  They probably said, make into your own words but cover all these points.

I blame the state of our educational system where people can't write or come up with a different way of saying something.

They really are not helping themselves...

No I think it's the same level of "message control" that the CPC started.
 

The Bread Guy

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Colin P said:
No I think it's the same level of "message control" that the CPC started.
And, to be fair, also exerted by Team Orange during at least one federal election campaign even if they weren't in power.
 

Fishbone Jones

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This could get interesting. Possibly out of the control of the PMO. This appears to be, no longer, a Canadian problem to hide. CBC, Global and CTV may have to compete their pro trudeau spin against international news agencies that don't receive liberal bribes.

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/oecd-announces-it-is-monitoring-snc-lavalin-scandal-raising-prospect-canada-has-violated-international-anti-bribery-agreement


OECD announces it is monitoring SNC-Lavalin scandal, raising prospect Canada has violated international anti-bribery agreement
'The OECD Working Group on Bribery... notes that the Canadian authorities stress that they are transparent and independent'

March 11, 2019
1:39 PM EDT
Filed under

    Canadian Politics


OTTAWA — An international body announced Monday it is monitoring allegations that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his office attempted to politically interfere in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, which if true could put Canada in violation of a multilateral anti-bribery agreement.

The 36-country Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, France and others said Monday it would “closely monitor” investigations into the SNC-Lavalin affair by the House of Commons justice committee and the federal ethics commissioner.

“The OECD Working Group on Bribery is encouraged by these processes, and notes that the Canadian authorities stress that they are transparent and independent,” a statement reads. “The Working Group recognizes Canada’s willingness to keep it fully informed of developments in the proceedings, including at its next meeting in June 2019.”

Questions continue to swirl around former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould’s assertions that she faced inappropriate pressure and “veiled threats” to prevent criminal proceedings against the Montreal engineering firm, accused of committing bribery and fraud to facilitate business in Libya under former dictator Muammar Ghadafi.

As it stands, the firm faces prosecution and a possible 10-year ban on bidding for public contracts in Canada. Trudeau has argued he was looking out for Canadian jobs in discussing the matter with Wilson-Raybould and has admitted no wrongdoing.

I'd love nothing better than to see an international full court press against this government.

 

The Bread Guy

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Fishbone Jones said:
... CBC, Global and CTV may have to compete their pro trudeau spin against international news agencies that don't receive liberal bribes.

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/oecd-announces-it-is-monitoring-snc-lavalin-scandal-raising-prospect-canada-has-violated-international-anti-bribery-agreement
But you're linking to another potentially #BoughtMedia outlet here - who's left to believe, then?  :)

Carrying that bit further, this from the OECD info-machine (also attached if link doesn't work for you) ...
OECD will follow Canadian proceedings addressing allegations of political interference in foreign bribery prosecution

11/03/2019 - The OECD Working Group on Bribery is concerned by recent allegations of interference in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin that are subject to proceedings in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The Canadian engineering and construction group is the subject of an ongoing prosecution into allegations of the bribery of Libyan officials to obtain a Can$ 58-million contract to restore a water pipeline. 

As a Party to the Anti-Bribery Convention, Canada is fully committed to complying with the Convention, which requires prosecutorial independence in foreign bribery cases pursuant to Article 5. In addition, political factors such as a country’s national economic interest and the identity of the alleged perpetrators must not influence foreign bribery investigations and prosecutions.

In February 2019, two procedures were swiftly launched in Canada to respond to the allegations of political pressure. The Federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commission opened an investigation into potential violation of Canada’s Conflict of Interest Act, and the Parliamentary Commons Justice Committee initiated a Parliamentary inquiry. The OECD Working Group on Bribery is encouraged by these processes, and notes that the Canadian authorities stress that they are transparent and independent. The Working Group recognises Canada’s willingness to keep it fully informed of developments in the proceedings, including at its next meeting in June 2019.

The OECD Working Group, which brings together the 44 Parties to the Anti-Bribery Convention, will closely monitor Canada’s updates, and has also sent a letter to the Canadian authorities confirming its concerns and next steps in this matter ...
 

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Fishbone Jones

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milnews.ca said:
But you're linking to another potentially #BoughtMedia outlet here - who's left to believe, then?  :)


Ahhh, mea culpa  :facepalm: Just when I thought...........
;D
 

Loachman

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Not a lot of time to keep up on this for the last few days, so I'm catching up a little.

I've left out some good articles, but they had become quickly outdated or had been superceded.

I've noticed some more Liberal-positive articles lately, but cannot say that this is a trend or not as I am only able to look at a small selection of the total number. I still see no indication of a "bought" media. Digging is still occurring, and all sides seem to be getting aired.

More Liberal "apologists" seem to be appearing/re-appearing in comments sections. I do not normally read comment sections, but have skimmed through those on some articles to try and gauge general opinions and trends.

I do not see any reason for the Liberals to attempt a snap election as at least one person has suggested in one of the (now three) threads in here that have been discussing this issue. They would have been slammed early on, and I think that they are more likely to hope that this will blow over or that they can patch it up. That may happen, but, over a month later, it is still bubbling away and more will likely come out that could cause further damage - especially if a public inquiry begins or the RCMP begin interviewing key people or other MPs or staffmembers quit or turn.

Should they ask the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament, it will, of course, be her decision and I cannot help but think that she would be reminded of that more than once.

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/the-2-minute-crisis-fix-for-trudeau-youre-welcome/

The 2 minute crisis fix for Trudeau. You're welcome.

Jason Lietaer: The PM gave his opponents a gift today when he could easily have turned the page on the SNC-Lavalin crisis. Here's what he should have done.

by Jason Lietaer

Mar 7, 2019

A month into the biggest crisis the government has faced, the Prime Minister called the scribes to the National Press Theatre to finally put an end to the debacle.

He'd lost two high-ranking female cabinet ministers who said they'd lost confidence. He'd lost his best friend and closest advisor from his office. He was minutes away from being challenged on Twitter by another one of his female MPs, Celina Caesar-Chavannes. "I did come to you recently. Twice. Remember your reactions?"

You knew it was important because they did it before breakfast.

He had cancelled all of his appointments the afternoon before. He had huddled with the respected ambassador to the U.S. to help him turn this thing around. He had had four weeks to think about what he was going to say. He's a master at emotionally connecting with an audience. He was finally going to get it right.

It didn't turn out so hot.

When you're struggling with a big decision in politics, one of the things you should always ask yourself is: "What do my opponents want me to do?" Then you do the opposite.

<snip>

Luckily for his opponents, Trudeau didn't do the smart thing. He looked around after a month of taking on water and thought to himself: "more of the same."

<snip>

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/andrew-coyne-why-fight-criminal-charges-in-court-when-you-can-lobby?video_autoplay=true

Andrew Coyne: Why fight criminal charges in court when you can lobby?

SNC-Lavalin chose to fight the charges in government, rather than court. They did so, we may conclude, because they were given reason to believe it would work

Andrew Coyne   

March 8, 2019 8:02 PM EST

At last the Liberal government has that outside legal opinion it was seeking. A federal court judge has ruled the director of public prosecutions' decision to bring SNC-Lavalin to trial on charges of fraud and corruption, rather than to negotiate a "remediation agreement" as the company preferred, was a proper exercise of her prosecutorial discretion.

By extension she has endorsed the former attorney general's refusal to overrule that decision. For the flipside of prosecutorial discretion is prosecutorial independence, hallowed by centuries of common law and, as the judge wrote, "essential and fundamental to the criminal justice system."

<snip>

The impression left is of a mass swarming of the attorney general's office and that of the PPSC. If so it would mirror SNC-Lavalin's swarming of the upper reaches of government. We have heard much, again, of the many visits by lobbyists to various ministers and other officials, all of them recorded in the lobbyist registry. We are only lately hearing about rather more direct, and unregistered interventions.

One is an extraordinary phone call from the chairman of SNC-Lavalin, Kevin Lynch, to the clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, on Oct. 15. The phone call was extraordinary in two respects. One, Lynch is a former clerk himself, hired as chairman in 2017, by which time the company's assault on Ottawa was well under way. Two, Wernick, by his own account, had to explain to the former clerk that "he would have to go through the attorney general and the director of public prosecutions through his counsel."

Then there is the letter from the company president, Neil Bruce, to the prime minister, dated the same day, complaining of the company's inability to make the prosecutor see things their way. Why, she had even declined to meet with the former Supreme Court judge, Frank Iacobucci, whom the company had retained as counsel, the man Wernick pointedly described to Wilson-Raybould as "no shrinking violet."It says a great deal that the company's response to being charged with serious crimes was not to fight the charges in court, but to fight them in government: to lobby the politicians, to attempt to intimidate the prosecutors, to arrange calls between old civil service chums. They did so, it is logical to conclude, because they thought it would work - because they were given reason to believe it would work.

https://www.straight.com/news/1211841/lets-not-kid-ourselves-justin-trudeau-has-been-mp-snc-lavalin-very-long-time

Let's not kid ourselves - Justin Trudeau has been the MP for SNC-Lavalin for a very long time

by Charlie Smith on March 9th, 2019 at 8:20 AM

<snip>

Then there's the Trudeau government's support for pipelines, including Enbridge's Line 3, which will likely open this year.

The Trudeau government also bought the aging Trans Mountain system from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion. An expansion will gobble up another $9.3 billion to triple shipments of diluted bitumen from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

I repeat: a quarter of SNC-Lavalin's revenues come from oil and gas.

So when the aging Trans Mountain infrastructure needs upgrading, there's a good chance for more revenue for SNC-Lavalin.

But a criminal conviction would get in the way because it would be barred from bidding on federal projects - and the Trans Mountain pipeline system, right now, is federally owned.

<snip>

The national media have been big cheerleaders of the pipeline purchase.

These newspaper and broadcasting companies have also collected a whopping amount of advertising revenue from supporters of the Trans Mountain pipeline project and the Trudeau government.

Yet now, like Capt. Renault in Casablanca, they're blowing the whistle on Trudeau's dealings with SNC-Lavalin in connection with its court case.

They're shocked, just shocked, by the lengths to which the prime minister would go to assist the corporation.

The only thing missing from this movie is a dewy-eyed Ingrid Bergman.

(Lengthy, as the author admits in his second paragraph, and bitingly critical - Loachman):

https://www.straight.com/news/1212021/martyn-brown-another-sad-week-court-crimson-king-courtesy-justin-trudeau-and-his

Martyn Brown: Another sad week in the Court of the Crimson King, courtesy of Justin Trudeau and his Liberal lickspittles

by Martyn Brown on March 10th, 2019 at 4:28 AM

What another sad week it has been in the Court of the Crimson King in response to the SNC-Lavalin scandal, courtesy of Justin Trudeau and his Liberal lickspittles on the Commons justice committee.

The whole spectacle is as insufferable as a prog rock concert and as hellish as the cover image on King Crimson's signature long-player from 1969. (A genre that inspired this excruciatingly long tome, offered as ever in self-indulgence. Feel free to jump to the concluding section "In search of a remediation agreement" at any time.)

Indeed, I can think of no better soundtrack for the upcoming election campaign than In the Court of the Crimson King.

From one groove to the next, #LavScam is likewise a chaotic mess - too ridiculous to fathom, too appalling to ignore, and too atrocious to abide.

<snip>

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/grenier-snc-lavalin-trudeau-polls-1.5048419

Liberals have taken a polling hit over SNC Lavalin - but Trudeau's taken a bigger one

The prime minister's personal polling numbers aren't recovering, but the Liberal Party's numbers might be

Éric Grenier Posted: Mar 09, 2019 4:00 AM ET


<snip>

The CBC Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polls, has recorded a slip of over four points for the Liberals over the last month, putting the party behind the Conservatives for the first time in nearly a year.

But the losses suffered by the party are less significant than those suffered by Trudeau himself on questions relating to his own personal brand, the performance of his government and Canadians' preferences for prime minister.

<snip>

https://globalnews.ca/news/5035881/justin-trudeau-snc-lavalin-michael-wernick-crisis/

After failing to change the channel on SNC-Lavalin, Trudeau could try firing Wernick: crisis expert

By Amanda Connolly National Online Journalist Global News   

Everything Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done to try changing the channel on the SNC-Lavalin affair has failed, one crisis communications expert says.

So he could try firing Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick.

In an interview with the West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, Mike Van Soelen, a managing principal at the crisis communications firm Navigator, said Trudeau failed last week to take clear action when confronted with unanswered questions about the accusations of attempted political interference made in what he described as "credible" testimony by former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould.

<snip>

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/does-justin-trudeau-know-what-hes-doing/

Does Justin Trudeau know what he's doing?

Stephen Maher: The SNC-Lavalin affair raises more corrosive questions about the Prime Minister's competence than his ethics

by Stephen Maher

Mar 11, 2019

<snip>

It is possible that Trudeau and his people let their thinking be swayed by powerful lobbyists, that they didn't realize what they were doing was wrong because they failed to understand the law. But Trudeau chose his clerk, and the other senior aides who badgered Wilson-Raybould and ignored her when she tried to warn them off.

Their errors are his errors, and his inept management of the political fallout—his refusal to admit that his people were wrong—raises a nasty question: Does he know what he is doing?

One of the Prime Minister's biggest challenges as he spends this week in Florida, plotting his comeback, is how he is going to get things done in a town where everyone is wondering that.

The departure of Jane Philpott, who gave up her seat at the cabinet table because she no longer had confidence in the way Trudeau handled this matter, is especially disquieting, because she is held in such high regard. Philpott, who spent a decade doing admirable medical work in Niger, won praise from Indigenous leaders for her no-nonsense approach to improving service delivery, and from opposition politicians, bureaucrats and journalists.

She worked closely with Trudeau for years and no longer has faith in him.

And the Prime Minister seems to have lost his sangfroid. He lost his cool with Celina Caesar-Chavannes, the MP for Whitby and his former parliamentary secretary. She says that when she called him to tell him she had decided not to run again, he accused her of disloyalty, asked her to delay her announcement and lost his temper on their next meeting, storming out of the room.

The departure of three impressive women sends a more damaging message about Trudeau than anything the ethics commissioner will rule about this affair. The fact that we don't know exactly what he did to irk them does nothing to improve his image. They know him, and they have lost faith in him.

Trudeau has an unusual advantage in politics because he has been around it all his life. In opposition, he seemed decisive and ethical, dealing aggressively with sexual misconduct by two of his MPs, expelling Liberal senators from his caucus and proactively releasing information about his finances.

But his princely confidence seems to come with a princely sense of entitlement. He has, after all, spent his life having strangers fawn over him. His ill-conceived trips to the Aga Khan's island and India suggest that he forgets that a prime minister is the chairman of a committee, not a prince.

<snip>

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/snc-lavalin-wilson-raybould-trudeau-1.5051909

Four questions without answers about the SNC-Lavalin scandal
Social Sharing

Will this controversy fade, or fester? It may depend on how these questions play out

David Thurton, David Cochrane Posted: Mar 12, 2019 4:00 AM ET

<snip>

Having Canada's attorney general intervene in a matter that was closed entails some geopolitical risk as well.

China's foreign ministry already has questioned whether the Canadian government is enjoying a double standard in its legal treatment of foreign and domestic firms — arresting Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on an American extradition request while pursuing a legal tool that would allow a major Canadian employer to avoid a criminal trial.

Former attorney general Irwin Cotler said Beijing is already spinning the scandal in its favour.

"I see this as really as a political manipulation and misrepresentation of the rule of law in Canada," Cotler told CBC's Power and Politics Thursday.

<snip>

Although the PMO has warned that proceeding with criminal charges against SNC Lavalin could put about 9,000 Canadian jobs at risk, experts say that kind of job loss is unlikely.

<snip>

And even if large numbers of SNC-Lavalin employees find themselves thrown out of work by a conviction, they'd likely be able to pick up work elsewhere since skilled engineers are in high demand, as the CBC's David Cochrane points out in the CBC Frontburner podcast.

<snip>

The PMO's actions on this file are the subject of two investigations - one by the Commons justice committee and the other by the federal ethics commissioner.

After hearing from all of its witnesses, the committee will issue a final report. It's not clear what will be in that report and whether it will have the unanimous support of all parties represented on the committee.

The ethics commissioner is digging into whether Trudeau or his staffers violated section nine of the Conflict of Interest Act.

The section prohibits senior government officials from influencing the decisions of another person so as to "improperly further another person's private interests."

But in the end, the act doesn't give the commissioner the power to impose fines or any type of punishment.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/lametti-briefing-book-justice-minister-1.5051930

Remediation agreements flagged as 'hot issue' in new justice minister's briefing book

David Lametti was told that any particular case is a matter of 'independent prosecutorial discretion'

Kathleen Harris Posted: Mar 11, 2019 3:54 PM ET

(Edited for clarity)
 

The Bread Guy

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Fishbone Jones said:
Ahhh, mea culpa  :facepalm: Just when I thought...........
;D
They're everywhere, dude - we can't get away ... ;D

 

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In a significant blow for the Prime Minister, the Attorney General said "the legal risk remains unchanged".

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/12/brexit-vote-latest-news-meaningful-vote-theresa-may-deal-irish/?li_source=LI&li_medium=li-recommendation-widget

Twice now, the British version of Wilson-Raybould, Geoffrey Cox, has gone against his Prime Minister and her government's policy on Brexit, a matter of considerably greater national interest than whether or not some engineering firm gets to continue doing business.

And yet, still he keeps his job.
 

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https://www.campaignresearch.ca/single-post/2019/03/10/A-third-of-Canadian%E2%80%99s-want-the-Prime-Minister-to-resign-immediately

A third of Canadian’s want the Prime Minister to resign immediately

March 11, 2019

Eli Yufest

Campaign Research’s National Omnibus for March had 1,893 eligible Canadian voters participate. Regarding the on-going SNC-Lavalin affair, there was near universal awareness (85%). Baby boomers were much more aware (97%), than were millennials (64%).

Respondents were presented with statements made by both the Prime Minister and the former Attorney General regarding their version of events. Overall, Canadians found Jody Wilson-Raybould to be more convincing with 49% agreeing with her version of events and only 13% agreeing with Justin Trudeau’s version. 16% thought that neither were believable and 22% were not sure.  Interestingly, only 37% of Liberal voters believed the Prime Minister, while 15% believed Jody Wilson-Raybould’s version of events. 19% of Liberal voters believed neither and 29% were unsure.  82% of Conservative voters believed Wilson-Raybould’s testimony and virtually none (2%) believing Trudeau’s.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer had called upon the Prime Minister to resign and respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with this sentiment. 35% of Canadians agreed, while 45% disagreed and 20% were unsure. In Alberta, support for his resignation was much higher than the average (59%), while in Quebec, 52% disagreed that the Prime Minister should resign. Among voters that remain undecided on who they will vote for in the coming election, 22% agreed that the Prime Minister should resign, 30% disagreed and half were unsure (48%).

Respondents were then given a choice between an “immediate resignation”, or a “resignation after the election” and “no resignation at all”. 30% of Canadians wanted an immediate resignation, while 16% wanted him to wait until after the election before resigning and 37% preferred that Prime Minister Trudeau did not resign.

<snip>

https://www.hilltimes.com/2019/03/12/snc-lavalin-board-chair-a-former-top-bureaucrat-may-have-run-afoul-of-federal-lobbying-rules/191972

SNC-Lavalin board chair, a former top bureaucrat, may have run afoul of federal lobbying rules

By Beatrice Paez Mar. 12, 2019

An SNC-Lavalin spokesperson, who spoke on behalf of Kevin Lynch, declined to comment directly on whether he was aware of the obligation paid board members have to register if they make appeals to public officials.

Former top bureaucrat Kevin Lynch, who now serves as board chairman for SNC-Lavalin, may have violated federal lobbying rules in failing to disclose a phone call with Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick. Ethics watchdog Democracy Watch is planning to file a complaint with the Lobbying Commissioner’s Office that would call on it to rule whether Mr. Lynch ran afoul of the Lobbying Act.

Mr. Wernick testified last week before the House Justice Committee that he took a call last fall, on Oct. 15, 2018, from Mr. Lynch - a former clerk of the Privy Council - who expressed “frustration” that a remediation deal was not being considered for the embattled company. That call was not listed on the federal lobbying registry. SNC-Lavalin is registered to lobby federally under its CEO, Neil Bruce. Mr. Lynch, who is a paid board member, is not.

Federal lobbying rules state that board members who are paid beyond the reimbursement of travel expenses and who engage in lobbying activities have to register as a consultant lobbyist and disclose contact with public officials they lobby by filing a communication report. Board members who are not considered employees have to register separately as consultants.

<snip>

What falls under registrable lobbying activity can be broad and open to interpretation. According to the commissioner’s office, lobbying activities that require disclosure include discussions on the development or amendment of “any federal law, regulation, policy or program,” or the “awarding of any federal monetary grant, contribution, or other financial benefit.” It’s unclear whether the commissioner would rule that, in advocating for a remediation deal for SNC, that Mr. Lynch should have registered that contact. But in this particular case, Mr. Conacher said, the commissioner could cite a provision in the act that states that, when it comes to communication on the “development or amendment of any policy or program of the Government of Canada,” that contact has to be logged.

<snip>

https://www.nbc-2.com/story/40107697/canadas-prime-minister-vacations-in-north-captiva-amid-scandal

Canada's prime minister vacations in North Captiva amid scandal

Justin Trudeau left on his plane Monday evening just as quickly as he came.

Monday, March 11th 2019, 8:49 PM EDT by Emma Green & Dave Elias

NORTH CAPTIVA ISLAND, Fla. - The Prime Minister of Canada made a visit to North Captiva Island while embroiled in a scandal back at home.

Justin Trudeau's maple leaf-emblazoned airplane was seen on Page Field Monday, where he flew for a low-key private vacation.

He rented a couple of houses for his family and his security detail on the south end of the island that you can only get to by boat.

<snip>

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/03/canada-trudeau-feminism-wilson-raybauld/584677/

Justin Trudeau’s Feminist Brand Is Imploding

The resignations of two female cabinet ministers suggest Canada might not be as committed to gender equality as the prime minister wants the world to believe.

Katherine Laidlaw 2:56 PM ET

TORONTO - The day Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s prime minister, he stood on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill flanked by the 15 women and 15 men he’d appointed to his cabinet. A reporter asked him why he felt such a gender balance was important and Trudeau, pausing for only a beat, held his palms up to the sky as he replied, “Because it’s 2015.” It was a sound bite heard around the world.

For Canadians who’d spent the past nine years under Stephen Harper, a Conservative who wouldn’t even use the word feminist, Trudeau’s response was refreshing, energizing, even exciting. (Not to everyone - Loachman) The newly elected Liberal prime minister had campaigned on a platform of transparency, emphasizing feminism and indigenous rights as points of focus for his government in the years to come. And though appointing a cabinet with equal male and female representation didn’t guarantee a feminist agenda, it was an important step, one that several countries - including Colombia, Ethiopia, France, and Spain - would follow.

<snip>

From across the aisle, one Conservative MP, Michelle Rempel, put it plainly. “Trudeau came out and asked for strong women, and he got them,” she told me in an interview last week.

<snip>

“In a way, the prime minister has created two martyrs here,” says Sylvia Bashevkin, a political-science professor at the University of Toronto. “There may be a number of people who decide not to run again because of a sense that the wheels are falling off the bus.”

Evidence suggests that when it comes to politics and gender, a role-modeling effect takes place when women are elected and promoted. It works like a tipping point: A politically engaged but hesitant woman is more likely to run for office if she sees other women in positions of political power, says Michael Morden, the research director at the Samara Center for Democracy, a nonpartisan think tank based in Toronto. “We also know that women in cabinet have a more powerful effect than just women in the legislature,” Morden told me. As such, he said, the opposite might also be true: Fewer women in the cabinet could mean fewer women encouraged to run for office.

Still, the situation could yet have a positive effect. “It’s radically unusual to see caucus members trying to hold their leader to account like this in Canada,” Morden said. “Success is reassuring; it shows that something can be done.” That is, women watching cabinet ministers standing up to a prime minister rather than kowtowing to party loyalty might inspire them to get involved—not for gender, but for justice. Rempel, the Conservative MP, agrees. Wilson-Raybould and Philpott “haven’t removed themselves from the conversation,” she told me. “They are the conversation.”

Women were losing confidence in Trudeau’s government long before this crisis, with the margin between Liberal and Conservative female voters having narrowed considerably in the past year. But over the past month, Trudeau’s feminist branding has splintered. Wilson-Raybould was replaced as minister of justice with a white male MP. That the cabinet’s major fumbles over the past three years have come from men—including Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who has not been shuffled despite a fumble of his own, and Trudeau himself—makes the decision to demote the first indigenous female justice minister out of the portfolio even more mystifying. To most Canadians, according to an Ipsos poll conducted last week, the account offered by the prime minister’s office in response to Wilson-Raybould’s doesn’t check out.

<snip>

Back home, Trudeau’s fondness for antics such as balancing babies in the palm of his hand, cuddling pandas at the zoo, and posing with his hands in a heart before a pink backdrop for the press have led to one Toronto writer calling him “the political equivalent of a YouTube puppy video”—satisfying, but lacking depth. It’s a criticism that has followed Trudeau since the start of his term, but one that feels even more salient now. For Bashevkin, the political-science professor, what this scandal illustrates most starkly is the prime minister’s and his team’s lack of experience.

<snip>

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mario-dion-ethics-leave-1.5053442

Ethics watchdog probing SNC-Lavalin affair taking 'prolonged' medical leave
Social Sharing

Mario Dion 'will resume his duties as soon as he is able,' says his office

Catharine Tunney CBC News Posted: Mar 12, 2019 3:31 PM ET

<snip>

Dion's office said it will continue to gather information on ongoing investigations and offer MPs and other public office holders advice.

"Despite these exceptional circumstances, the work of the Office will continue," says the statement.

<snip>

https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2019/03/08/its-crunch-time-for-the-lead-players-in-the-snc-lavalin-affair.html

It’s crunch time for the lead players in the SNC-Lavalin affair

By Chantal Hébert

Mon., March 11, 2019

<snip>

And then it is one thing for Trudeau to get his ministerial ducks back in a row and another more difficult task to adjust to running a government without Gerald Butts in the Prime Minister’s Office.

No government can lose a player in a role as central as that of the former principal secretary without entering into a zone of relative turbulence, especially in an election year and especially with Trudeau himself caught in the crosswinds.

The time may be coming - as it does with every issue - when public fatigue with the SNC-Lavalin story sets in. But whether the government is in a sound enough place to do better than lurch to an increasingly competitive fall election is not a given. The presentation next week of the last Liberal budget of the current Parliament will offer some clues.
 

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Dear Federal Government: Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse.  https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/business/articles/10856/dear-federal-government-ignorance-of-law-is-no-excuse-heather-macivor-

The article at the lawyers daily is surprisingly not behind the paywall. Heather MacIvor takes it to the PMO and schools them on their own laws.

"Well then. If that’s what the law is for, no wonder so many people are confused by the refusal to negotiate with SNC-Lavalin! Let’s just overrule that wrongheaded Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), get a remediation agreement, and save those “nine thousand jobs” that Mr. Butts repeatedly emphasized in his March 6 testimony before the House of Commons Justice Committee. But the wording of Part XXII.1 of the Criminal Code (the Code), which contains the new remediation agreement regime, tells a rather different story."
 
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Seems the 9,000 jobs is a myth.  A number of media outlets have looked into this number and turns out that SNC LAV may actually have between 2500 and 3400 jobs in Quebec (depending on who you read) and less than 9,000 in all of Canada. 

Interestingly, when May asked Butts if he had any independent evidence that would support the argument that a criminal prosecution of SNC would result in job loss, he couldn't recall anything specific.     
 
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