Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin does not jeopardize 9,000 jobs

Criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin does not jeopardize 9,000 jobs

"We're at a time where Canadians are anxious about what they see in the news from around the world, the cynicism around our institutions, the polarization in our politics", he said.

Wilson-Raybould told the House of Commons justice committee that the pressure from the prime minister's office was "very inappropriate" for its attempt to compromise an independent position but was not, in her opinion, illegal.

Trudeau and other senior officials deny doing anything improper by asking Wilson-Raybould to consider offering SNC-Lavalin a deal to avoid a trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials.

Wilson-Raybould, unexpectedly demoted to the veterans affairs ministry in January, quit on February 12. His government has been completely seized with a damage control exercise.

"We have fixed election law on the books and I don't think those should be manipulated for political purposes", he said Monday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to apologize on Thursday for his office's role in the SNC-Lavalin affair, which has rocked his administration in recent weeks and saw the resignation of two key Cabinet members.

Scheer has also asked the RCMP to investigate possible obstruction of justice following Wilson-Raybould's testimony last week to the justice committee that has been variously described by the media as "damning", "scorching", "stunning", and a "bombshell".

Trudeau himself discussed the case with Wilson-Raybould once last September 17, but denied any undue pressure was applied on her.

It has close connections to the government.

On Wednesday, city council approved SNC-Lavalin for the $660-million contract extend the O-Train's Trilium line to the south, and to maintain the line for 27 years.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his former principal secretary Gerald Butts refuted the notion any inappropriate political pressure against Wilson-Raybould.

Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs said: "This is the first time we've actually seen the Conservative Party resuscitated and looking like they could potentially form the government". Wilson-Raybould had the power to scrap the decision to go to trial and impose a fine but decided against it.

"No, no, no", she recalls Trudeau saying. He said I needed to find a solution.

She later testified to lawmakers that she had received "veiled threats" over her stance - and Trudeau's inner circle came under suspicion. "So, he is in that kinda mood and I wanted you to be aware of that", Wilson-Raybould testified.

She resigned from cabinet shortly after that controversy surfaced.

In its October 19 submission to the Federal Court, the company said while the public prosecutor has discretion to decide whether to open negotiations on a remediation agreement, this discretion "is not unfettered and must be exercised reasonably" under the law.

But the way Wilson-Raybould described it during her testimony, she had made it clear at the time that she would not be changing her mind.

The Federal Court has ruled that it does not have the authority to review the decision of the director of the Public Prosecution Service to not pursue a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin, which has sparked the fiercest controversy of the Trudeau government.

By comparison, Moe said there have been thousands of jobs lost in the energy sector, all while Trudeau is championing controversial energy policies like the carbon tax and Bill C-69, which he wants scrapped.

Trudeau decreed as Liberal leader no pro-life advocate could run as a candidate in his party.

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