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Alleged PMO obstruction in SNC Lavalin case

vonGarvin

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PuckChaser said:
(I hate calling the MVA as a demotion),
[tangent]
But it is a demotion. There are roughly 650,000 veterans in Canada.  There are roughly 36,700,000 Canadians.  That is roughly 1.77% of the general population.  It may be an important portfolio, which is why there is a cabinet minister at the top, but don't kid yourself into thinking that it's a senior cabinet post.
[/tangent]
 

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Petard

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I wonder why little attention has been given to why the Prosecution Service of Canada does not want to use a DPA for the SNC Lavalin case, this seems to be the crux of the latest controversy.  The only indication I could find, on why PPSC is continuing to prosecute, is in articles like the one below from last Oct. It looks like SNC’s definition of what reparations were due as part of an DPA did not meet the criminal code of Canada’s definition of it. Not long after that SNC began meeting again with PMO staff

The pattern here looks like SNC expected to dictate what the terms of the DPA were to be, didn’t get its way and sought influence with the PM. Lately the “we’re too big to fail” and the impact on jobs this has, is also being yarded out in the news. These efforts seem to be designed to steer public opinion towards a DPA that minimizes the effect on SNC’s business





https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/snc-lavalin-federal-prosecutors-wont-negotiate-a-deal-company-may-appeal
 

Loachman

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I cannot see this one dying down quickly. There is chum in the water, and no media outlet - including CBC and the Toronto Star - can afford to be left out of the feeding frenzy at this point.

The layout of the front page of today's Globe and Mail was quite interesting.

https://www.thewhig.com/opinion/john-ivison-just-another-day-at-the-office-for-a-government-that-looks-increasingly-grubby/wcm/428f63df-c4c0-4fa1-a03d-e15b0d3a22b9

John Ivison: Just another day at the office for a government that looks increasingly grubby

It is incontrovertible that Trudeau gave Wilson-Raybould the hook after she refused to do his bidding. Instead of doing politics differently, he has proven to be as vindictive

Published on: February 12, 2019

In the words of parody news anchor Ron Burgundy: “Boy, that escalated quickly.”

Jody Wilson-Raybould’s letter resigning from cabinet Tuesday - in which she thanked all Canadians but, conspicuously, not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - has left the impression that we have a caricature of a government, as buffoonish and clueless as Burgundy and his news team.

Trudeau, a self-proclaimed feminist, appears to have been mansplaining when he said Wilson-Raybould’s presence in cabinet “should speak for itself.” A matter of hours later, the former justice minister tendered her resignation, which really does speak for itself. She obviously did not agree with Trudeau’s characterization of events Monday, when he said Wilson-Raybould had confirmed to him that in their conversation about SNC-Lavalin in the fall, the prime minister had told her any decision involving the director of public prosecutions was hers alone. Did Trudeau let Wilson-Raybould in on how he was going to characterize that conversation? Apparently not.

Events are rapidly spinning out of control and Trudeau looks like a prime minister who acts impetuously and fails to think through the consequences of his actions.

The Liberals clearly felt they had contained the fallout from the allegations, first reported Thursday by the Globe and Mail, that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

David Lametti, Wilson-Raybould’s successor as attorney general and justice minister, told the Canadian Bar Association Monday that, while he sits at a certain distance from his cabinet colleagues, he does not sit in isolation. “But there is a line that cannot be crossed. Telling the Attorney-General what a decision ought to be: that would be interference.”

Lametti believes the government in which he sits was on the right side of that line.

<snip>

Prior to Wilson-Raybould’s bombshell resignation, it was a safe bet no one would be able to prove anyone in the PMO crossed the line Lametti described.

There must have been high hopes that Wilson-Raybould would stick to the script.

After all, she had accepted another cabinet post, even while apparently being demoted for not doing her boss’s bidding on SNC.

But in her resignation letter she said she has retained retired Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell as counsel, seeking guidance on what she can say publicly. This affair might have been starved of oxygen without fresh information but not now.

<snip>

You don’t resign from cabinet, with its $82,000 salary top-up and chauffeur-driven car, unless you are seriously aggrieved.

https://canadanewsmedia.ca/2019/02/12/wilson-rayboulds-departure-is-a-calamity-for-trudeaus-liberals-the-globe-and-mail/

Wilson-Raybould's departure is a calamity for Trudeau's Liberals – The Globe and Mail

Published on February 12, 2019

“Government by cabinet is back,” Justin Trudeau promised on his sunny first day as Prime Minister in November, 2015. But Mr. Trudeau broke that promise. Instead, he allowed a close circle of unelected advisers to direct, control and even bully cabinet ministers and MPs alike. On Tuesday, the government paid the price. ​

Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation is a calamity for the Liberals. For one thing, she has made Mr. Trudeau look like a fool. Less than 24 hours earlier, he had expressed full confidence in the minister, saying “her presence in cabinet should actually speak for itself.” Her resignation hours later spoke louder.

For another, her departure is politically damaging. Past governments have been crippled by cabinet ministers who resigned in protest. Pierre Trudeau lost the next election after his finance minister, John Turner, quit over personal and policy disagreements. Brian Mulroney’s government was crippled by the defection of Lucien Bouchard after the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s resignation could be just as damaging. For one thing, her decision appears to confirm that officials in the Prime Minister’s Office put pressure on her to cut a deal with SNC-Lavalin, which faces corruption charges, and then removed her from the Justice portfolio when she refused. This from a government that trumpets its scrupulous observance of the rule of law.

The fact that she stood up to the Prime Minister’s advisers, and was punished for it, undermines Liberal claims that women are equal and respected within the government. The resignation of the first Indigenous person to serve as justice minister also tarnishes the government’s record on Indigenous issues.

And perhaps the saddest thing of all: The next Minister of Veterans Affairs will be the fourth appointed by this government, underscoring the low value placed on the portfolio, and on the needs of veterans.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould would certainly have been effective, had she remained in her new job. As justice minister, she implemented two of this government’s most important achievements: assisted-dying legislation, and the legalization of marijuana. (While important to some, those are hardly important in real terms so, really, not much has been achieved at all - Loachman)

<snip>

We are only at the beginning of this affair. The reason for Ms. Raybould-Wilson’s resignation will crowd every other item off the political agenda for who-knows-how-long. The standing committee on Justice simply must take up the issue when it meets on Wednesday. If it doesn’t, if the Liberal MPs on the committee obstruct an investigation, that will only reinforce the impression that they are under the thumb of the PMO.

We are so far from Mr. Trudeau’s promise to reverse decades of ever-greater concentration of power in the Prime Minister’s Office. “Actually, it can be traced as far back as my father, who kicked it off in the first place,” Mr. Trudeau told the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge during the election campaign. “I actually quite like the symmetry of me being the one who ends that.”

“As you can imagine, I took a strong interest in that commitment,” said Donald Savoie, a political scientist at University of Moncton who has written extensively on the concentration of power within government. “If anything he has strengthened governing from the Centre,” he said in an e-mail exchange.

From the start, Mr. Trudeau’s advisers, especially his principal secretary and close personal friend, Gerald Butts, exercised tight control over a cabinet filled with rookies, including Ms. Wilson-Raybould. Few ministers were willing to stand up to the directives that routinely came their way from the PMO.

But Ms. Wilson-Raybould earned a reputation for pushing back. She is strong-willed, accustomed to getting her way and impossible to bully. Her unwillingness to defer in the SNC-Lavalin affair may have led to her demotion from Justice to Veterans Affairs and ultimately to her resignation.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2019/02/12/the-damage-already-done-by-jody-wilson-rayboulds-resignation.html

The damage already done by Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation

By Star Editorial Board Tues., Feb. 12, 2019

When the history of our political times is written, the decision last month to take the prestigious justice ministry from Jody Wilson-Raybould may go down as the Trudeau government’s most calamitous mistake.

<snip>

This self-inflicted bungle undermines the government’s professed principles and values all along the line. There is undoubtedly more to come in this affair, but consider the damage that has already been inflicted:

- Trudeau’s image as a feminist leader is shaken. Allowing unidentified Liberals to undermine Wilson-Raybould’s credibility by talking trash about her was bound to be seen as sexist — even among other Liberals. Not a good look for this famously female-friendly prime minister.

- The government’s claim to make Indigenous issues a top priority has also taken a huge hit. Sidelining an Indigenous woman was hugely symbolic. Her father, a hereditary First Nations chief in British Columbia, says she was “kicked in the teeth” when she was ousted from justice. Other First Nations leaders there denounce the language used about her as “racist and sexist.” That hurts.

- Trudeau’s promise back in 2015 to junk the old politics of backroom dealing is looking decidedly faded. Could there be anything more old-style than a big, well-connected Quebec company angling behind the scenes for favourable treatment in a messy legal affair? Yet that’s exactly what SNC-Lavalin was by all accounts busy doing last year while Wilson-Raybould was justice minister and attorney general.

- Likewise, the Liberals’ promise to run a more open government and break the grip of the Prime Minister’s Office hasn’t aged at all well. The central allegation in this affair is that Wilson-Raybould came under undue pressure from the PMO to give SNC-Lavalin a break and suffered the political consequences when she proved insufficiently flexible.

- Worst of all, the suspicion of political interference, or even a botched attempt at political interference, in an important legal matter raises questions about the government’s claim to uphold the rule of law.

<snip>

Likewise, the prime minister should be prepared to answer questions and should authorize his senior officials to do the same before a parliamentary committee. On Tuesday he proclaimed that the government “did its job” and followed the rules in the SNC-Lavalin affair. If the government truly believes it did nothing wrong, it should welcome a chance to clear the air. And with the clock ticking down to an election, better to get to it as soon as possible.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4955235/jody-wilson-raybould-liberal-support/

Some Liberals boost Jody Wilson-Raybould after she resigned from cabinet

By Jesse Ferreras

February 13, 2019 12:28 am

Some Liberal MPs are showing support and even praising ex-justice and veterans affairs minister Jody Wilson-Raybould after she announced her resignation from cabinet on Tuesday.

<snip>

Treasury Board President Jane Philpott tweeted praise for Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday night, saying that she “taught me so much - particularly about Indigenous history, rights and justice.”

Philpott said she was “proud of the laws that we worked on together.”

<snip>

John McCallum, a former Liberal cabinet minister whom Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired as ambassador to China in January, sent along his own praise for both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott.

<snip>

Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, meanwhile, has shown clear support for Wilson-Raybould.

She supported her when The Globe and Mail reported that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) asked Wilson-Raybould to cut a deal and help Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin avoid a trial on corruption and fraud charges.

Trudeau said the allegations in that story were false.

"As someone on the inside, who knows @Puglaas, I can tell you that she is fierce, smart and unapologetic. When women speak up and out, they are always going to be labelled. Go ahead. Label away. We are not going anywhere. #IAmWithHer #StandUp #ISeeYou https://t.co/BQWeiitn9R"

- MP Celina 🇨🇦 (@MPCelina) February 11, 2019

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/snc-lavalin-1.5016947

The SNC-Lavalin affair offers the bingo of betrayed Liberal commitments: Robyn Urback

It has shown the government to be as cynical, partisan and calculating as its predecessors

Robyn Urback CBC News Posted: Feb 13, 2019 4:00 AM ET

The destructive power of the SNC-Lavalin scandal - of which we appear to still be in the early stages - lies in its sheer comprehensiveness. It is not simply an indictment of the Liberals' professed commitment to transparency. Or of the illusion of a shift away from Harper-era "self-serving" partisanship. Or of the Trudeau government's prophetic waxing about the principles of feminism, goodness and positivity.

It is, rather, all of those things: A bingo of betrayed commitments, wrapped in a package of a classic Liberal scandal.The Prime Minister's Office is alleged to have pressured the attorney general to drop the criminal prosecution of a Quebec engineering company steeped in scandal and facing fraud and corruption charges. Hello, old friend. Haven't seen you in a while.

<snip>

But the SNC-Lavalin affair, convoluted and esoteric as it may be, cuts to the core of the Liberals' central promise from back in 2015: That this government would be different in specific, measurable ways. It just takes one clumsy scandal to demonstrate the extent to which that has not happened.

<snip

Here's what we know, up until this point: The government used a shady tactic it swore it wouldn't use to pass a legislative change at the behest of an influential Quebec corporation - a corporation, it should be noted, that previously broke the law in order to funnel money disproportionately to the Liberal Party.

<snip>

In any case, Trudeau backed the Liberal machine over Wilson-Raybould himself on Tuesday, suggesting that if she felt pressure over conversations about SNC-Lavalin, she should have approached him herself. This is obviously another go at misdirection: The issue is not why she didn't report the pressure, but why she was subjected to it in the first place.

A solid effort, and one that fits well with a government that has proven itself to be just as cynical, partisan and calculating as its predecessors. One that works in the interests of a tainted global corporation, buries a legislative change in a once-maligned tool, locks down communication to control the message, and tolerates - even participates in - the railroading of a former cabinet member's reputation.

This is a scandal at its most comprehensive. The Liberals promised to be different; SNC-Lavalin is all the reasons they are not.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/committee-justice-snc-lavalin-wilson-raybould-1.5017184

Commons justice committee to probe SNC-Lavalin affair - but Liberals limit witness list

The Liberals, who hold the majority on the Commons committee, want to draft a witness list in private

John Paul Tasker CBC News Posted: Feb 13, 2019 7:57 AM ET

Liberal members of the Commons justice committee have agreed to study the SNC-Lavalin affair that has Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government under a cloud — clearing the way for a parliamentary probe into whether his office exerted influence over plans for a criminal prosecution of the Quebec-based engineering firm.

While Liberal MPs backed an investigation, they disagreed with opposition MPs on the committee over how wide-reaching such an inquiry should be, and who should be asked to appear.

Conservative and NDP members banded together to demand that Trudeau's most senior adviser, Gerald Butts, and Jody Wilson-Raybould - the former Justice minister at the heart of this affair - be added to the committee's proposed witness list. The Liberal members voted in a bloc against a motion from NDP MP Nathan Cullen to do just that.

That doesn't mean those two people will be spared parliamentary scrutiny - but it now falls to the Liberal majority on the committee to decide whether they will ever be called to give their side of the SNC-Lavalin story.

<snip>

The Liberal MPs on the justice committee insisted today they were acting independently of the Prime Minister's Office in agreeing to a study but limiting its scope. Opposition members weren't buying it.

"It's a cover-up and it's becoming clearer by the day," Conservative MP Michael Cooper said, calling his Liberal colleagues on the committee "nothing more than agents of the PMO."

Liberal members, meanwhile, said partisan grandstanding by the opposition MPs was a stunt designed to embarrass the prime minister.

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid went after a Conservative social media campaign aimed at getting members of the public to pressure Liberal MPs on the committee to study the matter, calling it "bullying." Khalid said the opposition was making "a lot of hay out of ... nothing substantiated."

Cullen and Conservative MP Lisa Raitt said the severity of the allegations detailed in the initial Globe and Mail report, and Wilson-Raybould's subsequent resignation from cabinet, demand a thorough view by Parliament.

"If you want to alleviate the suspicions of Canadians ... allow Ms. Wilson-Raybould to come forward, allow the principal secretary to come forward, allow Mathieu Bouchard, who met 50 times with SNC-Lavalin, to come forward," Cullen said. Bouchard is Trudeau's Quebec adviser.

"It baffles me that my Liberal colleagues have seen what has transpired over the last six days and they say, 'Nothing untoward here.' Clearly, Ms. Wilson-Raybould should be called to appear before this committee."
 

Cloud Cover

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-"Conservative and NDP members banded together to demand that Trudeau's most senior adviser, Gerald Butts, and Jody Wilson-Raybould - the former Justice minister at the heart of this affair - be added to the committee's proposed witness list. The Liberal members voted in a bloc against a motion from NDP MP Nathan Cullen to do just that."

So he slithers out again.
 

Remius

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I’ve mentioned before that most incidents involving Trudeau and the LPC have not really been earth shattering but this last one is a big one. One that might bring those other incidents into a larger context.
 

Kirkhill

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Thanks for that Loachman.

This caught my eye.

John McCallum, a former Liberal cabinet minister whom Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired as ambassador to China in January, sent along his own praise for both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott.

John McCallum - a well-seasoned old trooper that should know his way around.  I can't imagine him being anything other than loyal - unless he was seriously miffed.

Is it beyond the realm of possibility that he, too, is a victim of the PMO: ordered to float a lead balloon on China and then knifed when it didn't fly? 

John McCallum.  Add him to the list of Warren Kinsella, Stephen LeDrew, Jane Philpott and Wayne Long (MP for St John - Elsie Wayne's old constituency and home of the shuttered Irving shipyard that built the frigates Davie didn't build and home of the Irving Oil refinery due to receive Alberta oil from the Energy East pipeline cancelled by Quebec).

What happens when your man doesn't stay bought?

 

Loachman

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From my earliest post on this thread:

Loachman said:
What I’ve noticed is that when I have been bluntly critical of Trudeau’s PMO, no Liberal in Canada, outside the PMO, has reached out to criticize me, to gently try to correct perceptions, or otherwise to suggest I’m off-track. In fact, in a large number of cases, the response has been quite the opposite. I hear things like “Thank God” and “About time” and “I’ve been loving those columns.

That’s all very anecdotal and personal and back-patting, so I’m sorry for all of it. But the conclusion I draw is: Justin Trudeau’s senior PMO staff doesn’t have a lot of fans, even among people who wish Trudeau well and whose personal futures are bound up with his. That may start to matter a lot now.

Somebody's fan club may be starting to crumble.

Knives may not be out yet, but some may have been loosened in their sheaths.
 

Rifleman62

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Importantly, the Liberals on the Committee voted, against a motion by the opposition, that all proceeding in this matter will be in-camera.


In camera records
In camera records include, for example, transcripts of in camera meetings, draft reports or documents prepared for or distributed at an in camera meeting, or any document referring to in camera parliamentary proceedings or documents from which the proceedings at an in camera meeting may be deduced. Consent to the disclosure of these records should never be given by House officials. Moreover, the disclosure of in camera materials constitutes a breach of the privilege of the House, and could lead to a finding of contempt of Parliament.  Accordingly, House officials should indicate, in such cases, that the House objects to the disclosure of such documents.
 

daftandbarmy

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Loachman said:
From my earliest post on this thread:

Somebody's fan club may be starting to crumble.

Knives may not be out yet, but some may have been loosened in their sheaths.

“Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He [or she] thinks too much: such men [or women] are dangerous”  :nod:

―  William Shakespeare,  Julius Caesar
 

Rifleman62

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https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-justice-committee-becomes-a-farce-not-seen-since-liberal-sponsorship-scandal?video_autoplay=true

John Ivison: Justice committee becomes a farce not seen since Liberal sponsorship scandal - 13 Feb 19
    One Liberal MP said that, since there is no hard evidence of wrongdoing, it would be a mistake to invite 'random people' — like
      Wilson-Raybould — as witnesses


Former prime minister Jean Chrétien is said to have told his cabinet the story of a farmer covered in cow dung. The farmer knew that if he tried to wipe the manure away when it was still fresh, he would spread it around and make it worse. Instead, he waited until it dried and then brushed it away. The anecdote came to mind watching the Liberal members of the justice committee buy the prime minister precious time to allow the hurricane of feculence soiling his reputation to pass before trying to clean it up.

Liberal committee members claimed they wanted nothing more than to reassure Canadians that their justice system is not only intact, but robust, in light of allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office intervened inappropriately with the office of the then attorney-general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, over the corruption prosecution of Quebec engineering giant, SNC-Lavalin.

Yet that enthusiasm did not prevent all five Liberals from voting against an amendment that called for the key players in the saga to appear before them as witnesses. It was a shameless display of sucking and blowing. The Liberals — Randy Boissonnault, Ali Ehsassi, Colin Fraser, Iqra Khalid and Ron McKinnon — backed their own motion that called on the committee to consider the arcane points of law involved in the case — the concept of remediation deals for errant corporations and the principles of the Shawcross doctrine that guides the relationship between the attorney general and his or her cabinet colleagues.

Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative provocateur-in-chief, said what the Liberals appeared to want was a “legal symposium.” The Liberal motion also called for the appearance of three witnesses — the current attorney general David Lametti; the clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick; and, the senior bureaucrat in the justice department, Nathalie Drouin.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen was first to point out that it was “more than interesting” that Wilson-Raybould was not among the witnesses the Liberals suggested calling. “We can’t reassure Canadians because we don’t know what happened yet,” he said. “I don’t want a seven-month expedition into the deepest bowels of Canadian law.” He proposed an amendment that added the names of Wilson-Raybould and two high-ranking advisers in the Prime Minister’s Office, Gerald Butts and Mathieu Bouchard, to the list of witnesses.

However, the Liberal members combined to defeat it, on the grounds that the justice committee has always discussed its witness list in camera. The committee is “not an investigative body,” said Boissonnault. “We don’t have the tools, the budget or the mechanisms to go on the type of fishing expedition or witch-hunt the Conservatives would like to see. It was as cynical a subversion of the public interest to narrow partisan concerns as Parliament Hill has seen since the public accounts committee descended into farce during the sponsorship scandal a decade and a half ago.As Cullen pointed out: “Of course committees have the power to investigate — we can subpoena witnesses. It’s just a question of whether we want to use it.”

Liberal MP Ehsassi was at least honest when he laid out his position — that in his personal opinion, “there is nothing to be concerned about.” He said the Liberal members had “checked our partisan hats at the door” and the real problem was the “political dynamic on the other side.” The committee allowed for a certain amount of grandstanding from the opposition members.

A government in total chaos

Poilievre called Justin Trudeau “despicable and cowardly” for attacking Wilson-Raybould, “who is legally incapable of defending herself.”
The opposition deputy leader, Lisa Raitt, said the Trudeau Liberals constitute “a government in total chaos.” But at least she got to the nub of the issue — that someone in the Prime Minister’s Office is alleged to have applied pressure on the attorney general to overrule the director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, in the SNC-Lavalin case. Raitt said the committee’s job was to find out what form the pressure took and who applied it.

The Conservatives had put forward a motion that called on the committee to invite nine witnesses — Wilson-Raybould; Butts; Bouchard; Lametti; Roussel; Wernick; Wilson-Raybould’s former chief of staff, Jessica Prince; Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford; and his senior adviser, Elder Marques — and report back no later than Feb. 28.

Needless to say, that didn’t fly with Liberal committee members who were remarkably incurious about what these additional witnesses might contribute. Liberal MP McKinnon said that, since there is no hard evidence of any wrongdoing, it would be a mistake to invite “random people” as witnesses as part of a fishing expedition. It’s as well Leonardo di Vinci was not a Liberal committee member or the Renaissance might never have happened.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper said Canadians deserve to be reassured that the Prime Minister’s Office did not try to intervene in a criminal prosecution, but that the Liberal motion did little to offer that reassurance. “The only conclusion I can draw is that there is no interest in getting to the bottom of this matter,” he said. Khalid said that she and her colleagues were independent and had not been influenced in any way to back the motion. “I stand by the integrity of this committee,” she said.

There remained the prospect of additional witness — Lametti, Wernick and Drouin were named only because they had already agreed to appear, she said. That sparked the Conservatives to ask who had invited them, to which Boissonnault conceded: “My colleagues in government …” It emerged the government House leader’s office had co-ordinated the invitations. So much for independence; so much for integrity.

The Liberal attempt to drag out the proceedings was as blatant as it was unconvincing. There was a particular irony in their enthusiasm to study the workings of remediation deals now that the provision has already passed into law. It was noted that the justice committee did not have the chance to examine the legislation when it was snuck into the budget implementation bill last year and rammed through the finance committee.

I have argued in recent columns that the interactions between the Prime Minister’s Office and the attorney general, on the available evidence, likely fell short of interference. After the abject performance of the Liberals on the justice committee, I’m not so sure. Trudeau is sunk in the mire and it’s getting messy.
 

OldSolduer

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Question:  has the CEO of SNC Lavallin been arrested and tossed in jail?
 

Loachman

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Another point of view on what initially triggered this whole mess:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/libya-snc-1.5014939

I bribed the Libyans. It's how things work in hopelessly corrupt countries: Neil Macdonald

'Baksheesh' is a lubricant. Either you pay it, or you don't get things done. Period.

Neil Macdonald CBC News Posted: Feb 12, 2019 4:00 AM ET

At the risk of drawing the pitiless attention of Canada's public prosecutor, I'm going to go ahead and admit that I have bribed foreign officials. Lots of foreign officials.

In fact, I should probably stand in the same courtroom dock as SNC-Lavalin. The Quebec engineering firm is accused of having bribed Libyan officials in order to do business in that hopelessly corrupt country. Well, so have I.

Back in 2011, after a long drive across Egypt, I and a CBC crew basically entered Libya illegally. A civil war had erupted, Moammar Gadhafi was sending his military against his own citizens, and in the country's rebellious eastern sector, the visa requirement had suddenly evaporated, as long as you were willing to slip some baksheesh into the clutching hands of Libyan officials staffing the clogged border crossing at El Salloum, near Tobruk.

I suppose I could have gotten up on my hind legs and proclaimed that I am a Canadian, and we Canadians are concerned about rule of law, and do not abet foreign corruption by paying bribes, but I didn't. I had to get to Benghazi, so I paid.

Having worked in the Middle East for several years, I regard baksheesh as the lubricant it is. Either you pay it, or you don't get anything done. It's about that simple.

More at link above
 

Petard

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Neil Macdonald missed the mark entirely why SNC was not given "a deal", it's because they would not agree to making reparations that would meet the Criminal Code definition of them as part of a remediation agreement, had they it is very likely this would've gone away and no one the wiser. 

His contention that SNC was just doing what everyone does in Middle East, and not endemic of the company's ethics itself, doesn't hold up when you look at this story. They're claiming most of the old guard involved with those acts are gone, and they've cleaned house, yet remain unwilling to pay what was due as part of a DPA for the Libya bribery and fraud charges, so it seems  that some of that "old curved ethics thinking" remains.
https://business.financialpost.com/news/snc-lavalin-faces-criminal-probe-over-montreal-bridge-contract-documents-reveal#comments-area
 

Ostrozac

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Hamish Seggie said:
Question:  has the CEO of SNC Lavallin been arrested and tossed in jail?

The former CEO pled guilty to a bribery charge just a couple of weeks ago, but according to the press coverage it looks like he's serving house arrest rather than prison time.
 

Rifleman62

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A summation of some views from Quebec. I guess they have forgotten what has happened in Alberta, the source of some of the funds for equalization transfers.

http://nationalpost.pressreader.com/national-post-latest-edition/20190214/textview

Quebec’s views on SNC-Lavalin starkly different
- 14 Feb 19
    Francophone pundits rush to defend firm

In the ongoing debate over the prosecution of SNCLavalin and what kind of “pressure” was put on exjustice minister Jody WilsonRaybould to prevent it, the pundit classes of Quebec and the rest of Canada are singing different songs. Since The Globe and Mail published a report last week alleging the Prime Minister’s Office pushed Wilson-Raybould to help the company avoid prosecution, a chorus of voices in Quebec has sought to defend the Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin, its importance to the provincial and national economy and the appropriateness of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s desire to save some 8,600 Canadian jobs.

The opinion pages and panels of talking heads in English-Canadian media have largely focused on the question of whether a refusal to bow to undue “pressure” from Trudeau’s office led to Wilson-Raybould’s demotion to the veterans affairs file last month and ultimately her resignation on Tuesday. In Quebec, par contre, the commentariat is more critical of Wilson-Raybould. They are more concerned about why the then-justice minister wouldn’t push the Director of Public Prosecutions to allow SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement — a way for the firm to make amends for corruption charges incurred doing business in Libya without risking a long-term freeze on its ability to take public contracts. Liberals had inserted provisions for that kind of arrangement in the 2018 federal budget. Why then wouldn’t the provision be used, Quebec columnists wonder?

Here’s some of what they’ve been telling their readers and listeners.

The PMO may have done the right thing, Yves Boisvert argued in La Presse in the wake of the Globe’s report last week, saying a deferred prosecution agreement makes sense in this case. The same day came a take from L’actualité’s Alec Castonguay that it’s possible WilsonRaybould wasn’t a “heroine standing up to power,” and that Trudeau seemed to be advocating for something sensible.

Gérald Fillion argued in a Monday analysis for RadioCanada (CBC’s Frenchlanguage counterpart) that SNC-Lavalin is under siege, and in danger. The real question, he wrote, is why the government, why WilsonRaybould, wouldn’t use the tools Liberals had just put into place. Likewise Le Devoir’s Denis Saint-Martin said the absence of “pressure” by the PMO would’ve been more surprising than this so-called scandal, given SNC-Lavalin’s economic heft.

The next day, on RadioCanada’s news program Le télé journal, an expert on public and private governance, Michel Nadeau, defended the prime minister. “He told Quebecers, ‘Look, with SNC-Lavalin, I did what I had to do,’” Nadeau said in French, paraphrasing Trudeau. “’And those who had something to say about it could have raised their hands, or come to me. But Wilson-Raybould didn’t present herself.’” The real mystery, he said, was why bureaucrats would obstruct an agreement for SNC-Lavalin when the same is done for multinational companies across the world, and in light of the company’s role in “building modern Quebec.”

On Tuesday Michel Girard, for the Journal de Montréal, added his voice to the mix to declare “mortal consequences” if SNC-Lavalin is prosecuted and convicted. Opposition leaders, he wrote, should be asked why they won’t support SNCLavalin like Quebec Premier François Legault does — a pertinent question for Quebecers in a federal election year.

On his TVA Nouvelles program Monday, television personality and former provincial party leader Mario Dumont said no one is denying the company engaged in corruption. But he offered an explanation of the issue that outlined how SNC-Lavalin, under a deferred prosecution agreement, would still have to pay significant fines, and how similar agreements have been used in other countries including the United Kingdom and United States. In a column for the Journal Wednesday, he further argued that Trudeau’s actions to help secure such a thing were “serious and responsible,” what one would expect of a head of government. The only error, he said, was that Trudeau had done all this in secret.

Franco-Quebec coverage of the situation hasn’t been without its skeptics. For La Presse, François Cardinal wondered Wednesday why so many commentators had made their beds on the issue before having all the facts, and urged that Wilson-Raybould should be allowed to say her piece.

Another La Presse columnist, Patrick Lagacé, noted that SNC-Lavalin created this mess in the first place by engaging in corrupt activities. “I must have slumbered in a deep hibernation to have missed the moment when we collectively decided that corruption and collusion on a grand scale isn’t so bad,” Jonathan Trudeau wrote for the Journal Wednesday.

But underlying many of the arguments is a fundamental sense that English Canada is biased against Quebec and its companies. Why punish thousands of workers when those who engaged in corruption are now outside of the company, Jean-Robert Sansfaçon asked in Le Devoir Tuesday? Why not allow for a solution that will prevent the dismantlement of such an important Quebec entity?

“I can’t help but wonder whether English Canada’s punditocracy would be as indignant if the prime minister’s office had seemingly been trying to save a Toronto or Calgary-based multinational corporation instead of a Quebec one,” wrote Lise Ravary, in English, for the Montreal Gazette on Tuesday. “SNC-Lavalin is Canada’s largest engineering firm. Not just Quebec’s.”
 

YZT580

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So, let me get this straight: the Quebec consensus is that it is OK to circumvent the law provided that jobs are protected.  It is Ok for the PM and his office to pressure justice but only if it protects jobs.  Oh, and those jobs have to be in Quebec.  I didn't read anything by those same pundits encouraging the government to go the extra mile to ensure that the pipelines were built.  It would seem that in their view, pragmatism trumps law.  It sort of puts a lie to the storyline that they have followed vis-a-vis China doesn't it?
 

Remius

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YZT580 said:
So, let me get this straight: the Quebec consensus is that it is OK to circumvent the law provided that jobs are protected.  It is Ok for the PM and his office to pressure justice but only if it protects jobs.  Oh, and those jobs have to be in Quebec.  I didn't read anything by those same pundits encouraging the government to go the extra mile to ensure that the pipelines were built.  It would seem that in their view, pragmatism trumps law.  It sort of puts a lie to the storyline that they have followed vis-a-vis China doesn't it?

And maybe that is the point.  The LPC want QC votes next election.  The LPC is seen protecting SNC at all costs including ethics breaches and possible obstruction of justice so as to garner that province's votes. 
 

Jarnhamar

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Why would Quebec want to risk their golden cow?

This won't sink the Liberals. In a week or two there will be some other story popping up that the media (same ones that just got a whole bunch of money from the Liberals) will go into a frenzy about doing their best to change the topic away from snc.

Trudeau might get found guilty of another ethics violation, he'll maybe pay a small fine?  Throw some tax money around, ban handguns and call it a day.
 

Remius

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Jarnhamar said:
Why would Quebec want to risk their golden cow?

This won't sink the Liberals. In a week or two there will be some other story popping up that the media (same ones that just got a whole bunch of money from the Liberals) will go into a frenzy about doing their best to change the topic away from snc.

Trudeau might get found guilty of another ethics violation, he'll maybe pay a small fine?  Throw some tax money around, ban handguns and call it a day.

Maybe, maybe not.  Time will tell if it does damage them.  It will depend on when and if Wilson Raybouod says anything.  One thing is that they will not be able to say they do things different, are the feminist option or true friends of the native community.  They gave up those mantles with what looks like a cover up and punishing her for refusing to go along.
 
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