Canada’s media has a bias towards the Liberal Party, and to Justin Trudeau personally, made far worse by Trudeau's $595 million bail-out of journalists.
So when there is a rare exception to this pattern it, behooves me to recognize it.
Today, the Globe and Mail published this front page story:
PMO pressed Wilson-Raybould to abandon prosecution of SNC-Lavalin
"PMO" of course stands for prime minister’s office. Wilson-Raybould is Jody Wilson-Raybould, the first Aboriginal person, the first Aboriginal woman in fact, to be the justice minister. A star candidate for Justin Trudeau.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office attempted to press Jody Wilson-Raybould when she was justice minister to intervene in the corruption and fraud prosecution of Montreal engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., sources say, but she refused to ask federal prosecutors to make a deal with the company that could prevent a costly trial.
That’s not how courts are supposed to work in Canada. We have the rule of law — which means if you commit a crime, whether you are a prince or a pauper, you’re treated the same way.
It's up to prosecutors to press a case if it’s in the public interest — not the private interest of Liberal fundraisers.
And that the prime minister’s office itself would be involved is the gravest allegation possible.
SNC-Lavalin has sought to avoid a criminal trial on fraud and corruption charges stemming from an RCMP investigation into its business dealings in Libya. Prosecutors alleged in February, 2015, that SNC paid millions of dollars in bribes to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to secure government contracts. The engineering company says executives who were responsible for the wrongdoing have left the company, and it has reformed ethics and compliance rules.
At this point, I have so many questions. But a huge one is:
What other cases have they meddled with, that we don’t know about?
After the charges, SNC-Lavalin lobbied officials in Ottawa, including senior members in the office of Mr. Trudeau, to secure a deal known as a “deferred prosecution agreement” or “remediation agreement” that would set aside the prosecution.
It’s been a while since I practiced law, but as far as I can remember, if you have an excuse, or an alibi, or some mitigating circumstance, you tell it to the judge. In open court. Under oath, on the stand. A judge can take it into consideration, if that’s what the law allows.
Since when do accused criminals hire lobbyists to talk to politicians instead?
As I'll show you TONIGHT, the website of Canada’s lobbyist commissioner shows the official contacts between the president of SNC-Lavalin, Neil Bruce, and senior Liberal officials, like Bill Morneau’s chief of staff, Ben Chin; Trudeau's ambassador to the U.S., David McNaughton; the head of Atomic Energy of Canada, to name a few.
There are dozens of these meetings. It's like it’s all Neil Bruce did.
The subject matter they discussed, again and again, is categorized as "Justice and Law Enforcement."
And not just meetings with senior staff, but with Bill Morneau, directly. (The same Bill Morneau who — whoopsies! — hid his ownership of a luxury villa in France from his list of disclosed assets to the ethics commissioner. )
The Globe story continues:
But in October, 2018, SNC-Lavalin hit a major obstacle. The federal director of public prosecutions refused to negotiate a remediation agreement that would have resolved the Libyan fraud and corruption charges without prosecution. SNC-Lavalin has asked for a judicial review of the decision (...)
So, up until this point, we have the system working well enough — although it shows a gross lack of judgment on the part of these public office holders to even meet with this company accused of breaking the law, begging for a special favour.
But then this:
Sources say Ms. Wilson-Raybould, who was justice minister and attorney-general until she was shuffled to Veterans Affairs early this year, came under heavy pressure to persuade the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to change its mind. Ms. Wilson-Raybould was unwilling to instruct the director of the public prosecution service, Kathleen Roussel, to negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin, according to sources who were granted anonymity to speak directly about what went on behind-the-scenes in the matter.
Who pressured her? Did Justin Trudeau tell her that if she didn’t let his Quebec friends off the hook, that he’d fire her?
Because she didn’t let his Quebec friends off the hook.
And he did fire her.
Yikes! Who does this uppity woman think she is? Doesn’t she know that everything she has, everything she is, comes by the grace of Justin Trudeau, the precious one?
By the way: The whole system was rigged in favour of SNC-Lavalin.
The Trudeau government in 2018 amended the Criminal Code to allow deferred-prosecution agreements that let prosecutors suspend criminal charges against Canadian companies found to have committed wrongdoing. The measure was inserted in the 2018 budget after a brief consultation in 2017.
Liberal insiders said Ms. Wilson-Raybound knew this legislative change was meant to help SNC-Lavalin out of the legal troubles that were weighing on the price of its shares. (...)
So the law was literally re-written to benefit a friend of Trudeau. I guess Wilson-Raybould went along with that. But she just wouldn’t personally intervene to get someone off the hook.
Good for her. An honest Liberal. It’s as rare as a unicorn.
There's a lot more, but I want to note that the amount SNC-Lavalin paid in bribes wasn’t just a hundred grand (which is what Trudeau’s illegal vacation on Billionaire’s Island cost.) They paid $48 million in bribes.
For some reason, despite SNC-Lavalin really looking like a criminal organization, cabinet just won’t stop giving them contracts. I wonder why.
This isn’t new. Here's a story from a few years back.
Canada now dominates World Bank corruption list, thanks to SNC-Lavalin
No, what’s new is that the Justice Minister seems to have been fired over it.
We know Justin Trudeau is corrupt. He’s the first sitting prime minister to be convicted under the Conflict of Interest Act. We know that his staff like to gorge at the public trough.
But what’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.
Wouldn’t it be something if Jody Wilson-Raybould's quiet act of courage led to the downfall of the most corrupt Quebec prime minister since, well, since the last Quebec prime minister...?
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