SNC-Lavalin scandal in Canada

stetsonstetson Shipmate
There was a bit of thread drift in the Trump discussion, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

Simon Toad wrote:

Oh Stetson, I was reading about that today. It looks like Trudeau must go... Corruption is a big no-no, no matter how pretty you are, or how good your policies.

Hard to say. Unless it can be shown that he commited an actual criminal offense, my bet right now is that Trudeau can probably just blame it on a few of his underlings, who will duly fall on their swords(as one, Butts, has already done), and that will be enough to placate the electorate going into a fall election.

Also, this is one of those scandals that seem to depend a lot on how you interpret certain words and phrases. So, if Wilson-Raybauld says "The PM's office told me that if I prosecute SNC-Lavalin, it'll hurt the provincial Liberals in Quebec", Trudeau's flunkey's can just reply with "Oh no, we just pointed out that the Quebec Liberals had an interest in no prosecution, but she still knew that the decision was ultimately hers alone". And people will believe whichever version they want, depending on their pre-existing inclinations.

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Comments

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I was reading about this earlier today. It does seem it could be interpreted as he-said she-said, as you wrote. But I think it may come across as a poorer reflection on Trudeau.

    I was intrigued by the implication that this continued Trudeau's "fall from grace" (his actions in India being the first example). Do Canadians see a genuine increase in dissatisfaction with him?

    I wonder if "young" superstars (of the media and people's own making to be sure, but politicians play up it...), upon whom an impossible amount of expectation is placed, are doomed to have an eventual fall. I think of a former PM in Oz, Rudd, who was seen as fresh-blood and the solution for a troubled age -- and in fact turned out to be rather narcissistic, petulant and an extreme harbourer of grudges.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    I was reading about this earlier today. It does seem it could be interpreted as he-said she-said, as you wrote. But I think it may come across as a poorer reflection on Trudeau.

    I was intrigued by the implication that this continued Trudeau's "fall from grace" (his actions in India being the first example). Do Canadians see a genuine increase in dissatisfaction with him?

    I agree that, so far, it reflects worse on Trudeau than on Wilson-Raybould, though we'll see what happens when some of the other players, who will likely contradict JWR, give their testimony.

    As for whether or not "Canadians see a genuine increase in dissatisfaction with" Trudeau, let me put it this way: I think the media, which swooned over him for a long time, now smells blood, and is hoping, if for no other reason than clickbait revenue, that lots of Canadians are outraged about it as well. Whether Canadians are outraged is another matter.

    re: India, yeah, that got him a lot of mockery, but I don't think it did much long-term damage, in and of itself. His alleged indophilia WAS the subject of a French language TV satire last year. That skit probably got more attention for being allegedly racist than for attacking Trudeau.
  • Placating Quebec and its industry is how federal governments get elected. It will blow over shortly. It's much more important to people than anyone else.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Not sure what your final sentence means, NOprophet.

    I am finding it interesting to see how many on social media are congratulating JWR for her integrity, courage, strength, etc. It's as if her testimony passed the test of whether or not someone is being truthful. Personally, I can see both sides of this and am wondering what isn't being said. I do think it could well be a pivotal moment in history for the movement toward Reconciliation. I like Justin Trudeau and find myself wincing when I see the memes and nastiness and hear the other parties making fun of him. He's caught in a tough place with SNC-Lavalin and with his heartfelt desire to have things run smoothly with JWR. There are tough decisions to be made and there will be tough consequences no matter how this is worked out.
  • Lily Pad wrote: »
    Not sure what your final sentence means, NOprophet.
    Me either. What goes on in my head and what I type sometimes - well, both suffer from incoherence at times. Sorry.

    My thoughts are that we do best in Canada when we are moderate and in the middle: I don't know but think Justin Trudeau sometimes listens a little too much to advisors and not enough to his own conscience. Second, I wonder what any other government of any stripe or leader might have done. Which is my point about Quebec. politics is about economics and SNC-L is a huge company for them. I do think the thing will blow over.

    I have suspended my judgement re JWR. Don't know what's up yet. She certainly doesn't want to be in government.

    I am much more worried about the "yellow vest" and "united we roll" things which have featured pictures of Trudeau with a noose around his neck, direct racism and intolerance, and, flabbergastingly, local provincial and federal politicians in Alberta and Sask showing up and speaking at their rallies.
    Lily Pad wrote: »
    I am finding it interesting to see how many on social media are congratulating JWR for her integrity, courage, strength, etc. It's as if her testimony passed the test of whether or not someone is being truthful. Personally, I can see both sides of this and am wondering what isn't being said. I do think it could well be a pivotal moment in history for the movement toward Reconciliation. I like Justin Trudeau and find myself wincing when I see the memes and nastiness and hear the other parties making fun of him. He's caught in a tough place with SNC-Lavalin and with his heartfelt desire to have things run smoothly with JWR. There are tough decisions to be made and there will be tough consequences no matter how this is worked out.

  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    I was intrigued by the implication that this continued Trudeau's "fall from grace" (his actions in India being the first example). Do Canadians see a genuine increase in dissatisfaction with him?

    I wonder if "young" superstars (of the media and people's own making to be sure, but politicians play up it...), upon whom an impossible amount of expectation is placed, are doomed to have an eventual fall. I think of a former PM in Oz, Rudd, who was seen as fresh-blood and the solution for a troubled age -- and in fact turned out to be rather narcissistic, petulant and an extreme harbourer of grudges.

    I think unrealistic expectations may be part of the problem for Trudeau (in general, I mean, not specifically in relation to their current problems). Overall, apart from their current mess, I think they've generally been doing a pretty good job, but "generally doing a pretty good job" doesn't really cut it when you've promised people the New Jerusalem. I exaggerate, but you get the idea.

  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I am a New Democrat for self-disclosure. That aside, the issue seems to rest on one's perception of "undue pressure." Her litany of times she was approached was long. That said, was that amount of times an issue was raised out of keeping with the norm on Parliament Hill? I don't know. I found her testimony compelling. I have found Trudeau's statements on this issue to be less compelling. Was anything illegal done? In the former A-G's mind the answer is "no".
  • A Feminine ForceA Feminine Force Shipmate
    edited March 1
    I just think that Canadians are so cute and old fashioned for trying to prosecute large corporations for doing what large corporations do.

    We must be the only country in the world left who still thinks that large companies are NOT nation-states and are helmed by ordinary people with ordinary motivations, morals and scruples.

    AFF
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited March 1
    I just think that Canadians are so cute and old fashioned for trying to prosecute large corporations for doing what large corporations do.

    We must be the only country in the world left who still thinks that large companies are NOT nation-states and are helmed by ordinary people with ordinary motivations, morals and scruples.

    AFF

    Actually, I believe it was the US that led the way, at least among western nations, with foreign-bribery laws...

    Until a decade ago, giving bribes to win business or speed up transactions was widely seen as a necessary evil, especially in emerging markets. ...


    Can't recall when Canada passed its overseas-bribery laws, but I'm pretty sure it was later than the USA.

    link

    [edited to delete most of the quote. It is from a subscription-only article, which can be accessed with subscription from the above link.
    fineline - Purgatory Host]
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Sorry, I had forgotten about the Ship's rule against lenghty quotes of copyrighted material. I'll notify the mods and see if they want to edit my post.
  • The US has certainly led on this. I will recall a conversation I had stomping over soggy tracks into Palas de Rei a few years ago, chatting with a Connecticut plutocrat who had CEOd in a place or two; I asked him during the conversation how his company, which had operated in a *name omitted to avoid distraction* country, managed this. He told me that it was simple; US law prohibited the sort of liaison with local authorities which was necessary, so their firm padded its arrangements with its local corporate partner who took care of the untidy stuff. Otherwise, he told me, business could not be done. I wonder if there be little way out of colluding with corruption, and those of us who enjoy our mutual funds and our pensions are the beneficiaries--- perhaps the Venerable Dorothy Day was right on this.

    In terms of the Ottawa situation, I was sitting in my local java joint and conversing on this with a senior military mandarin whom I know through the Church of Saint Onoforio and Our Lady Comfort of All Who Procrastinate. He noted that it was a perfect storm of inexperience and incompetence. Trudeau did not know enough to a:) not to punish a minister who stood up to him be and not to be seen to so-- SMM blames this on staff work (cherchez le Gerry Butts), but ministers are all responsible for their staff; b) most seriously, he did not support and nurture one of his likely successors for, SMM notes, a prime responsibility of a leader is to train their replacement and those who hold the great offices of state are the shortlist; c) JRB for agreeing to take the demotion, rather than realizing that one can say no to the boss.

    There is much glee from media and such who never liked Trudeau to begin with, but also helped to create the bandwagon which, with unrealistic expectations, brought him to power. I have been comparing the French news with the English news of late, and the former is more analytical and with less frothing than the anglophone talking heads of the latter, but as my military mandarin co-caffeine-addict said, we should tune in next week.

    Progressive voters, if one may call them such, are now faced with a very untidy PM on the one hand, or a climate-change-denier and immigration dog-whistler Andrew Sheer, a choice which makes them uncomfortable. My poll friend tells me that the Green party and even Jagmeet Singh will do well out of this (he was the most credible of the three leaders speaking the other night) in the short turn, but he predicts a lower turnout in the next election from many disappointed voters. Again, we should tune in next week.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Thanks for the analysis, Aleut.


  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    I'm pissed about the whole thing because a crime has been committed but if anyone is convicted, the punishment for the crime will fall on Canadian workers and taxpayers. Caprica City is about to start bidding on a 2.8 BILLION dollar rapid-transit project and SNC-Lavalin is the biggest (and possibly only) Canadian company in the running. I don't want all those dollars to go to a foreign contractor.

    Oh, and the individuals who received the bribes are pissing themselves laughing at Canada.

    I'm a huge Puglaas/JWR fan* but I always knew she would find the realities of government personally challenging. As a deeply-compromised bourgie leftist, I am disappointed that she gave up the opportunity to continue pissing inside the tent but it was going to happen sooner or later. And if this leads a conservative government, I'll go from disappointed to bitter.

    ---
    *we served on a volunteer committee together before she was elected, believe it or not

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Tbanks to the mods for speedy work on my snafu.

    For the record, I was able to look at The Economist article, sans subscription, at an internet cafe last night. But on the work-computer I'm using now, it told me I had reached my limit of articles. So if you haven't looked at any Economist articles this month, you should be okay to access it.

    (Not that that means it's okay to quote it here, of course.)
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Soror Magna:

    Wow. Thanks for the personal angle on the story.

    And just as a mild correction, it seems unclear at this point whether or not any crimes actually were commited. I believe JWR testified that she didn't think so?
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thanks for all the informative posts.

    One question if I may: Augustine the Aleut wrote the media was rather pleased with this as they did not like Trudeau. Are the media there on the conservative side generally, or did they just not like him and his proposed policies?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited March 2
    Climacus wrote: »
    Thanks for all the informative posts.

    One question if I may: Augustine the Aleut wrote the media was rather pleased with this as they did not like Trudeau. Are the media there on the conservative side generally, or did they just not like him and his proposed policies?

    I would say the mainstream media generally falls into the well-populated category of "liberal on social issues, conservative on economics". The Globe And Mail(paper of record, not widely read by the masses) certainly fits that bill, as does the state broadcaster CBC.

    Exceptions would be things like The National Post, which is right-wing by most conventional definitions, though perhaps more thoughtfully so compared to something like, say, the Sun tabloids. There is also a chain of local papers, which I believe are owned by the same people who own the Post, but which for the most part probably fall into the "socially liberal, economically conservative" slot mentioned in the previous paragraph.

    As for why the media would like this story, speaking for myself, my guess is it's mostly that scandal sells papers and garners click, though outfits like the Post are probably happy to see a perceived left-winger getting raked over the coals.

    FWIW, the newspaper that broke this scandal, the Globe, has a history of swinging its endorsements between the Liberals and Conservatives, going for the Liberals as recently as 2004, but endorsing the Conservatives in the last election.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited March 2
    Postmedia Network

    They own the National Post(which, despite its grand-sounding title, has only existed for about 20 years), the Sun tabloid chain(similar to their limey namesake, but the girls are wearing tops), and the aforementioned chain of MOTR dailies, which are far the most part holdovers from an older chain whose papers Postmedia scooped up.

    The Globe And Mail is owned by the Thomson family(ie. the brood of Lord Thomson Of Fleet), and the Post was founded by Conrad Black, before he renounced his Canadian citizenship in order to attain a British peerage, but ended up in an American jail for stealing money from a bunch of Republican cronies. Now a free man, he still writes for the Post, in the pose of an elder literary statesman, magesterially commenting on the events of the time.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Oh, and how could I forget...

    The Toronto Star is independently owned(some sort of family-run non-profit setup), and probably the most left-wing of Canada's dailies, sometimes painfully so(a while back, one of their editorials stated, without qualification, that non-white Canadians prefer to be called "racialized people"). They usually support the Liberals federally, and are probably the one group of journalists who would be most saddened by this scandal, though I haven't paid attention to their coverage.

    There are a few French-language outlets in Quebec as well, some of them I think owned by the big chains, but I don't generally follow the media there.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Among the major Toronto papers, the Toronto Star would be on the left, the National Post on the right, and I would put the Globe somewhere in the middle. They're a fairly big tent in terms of the range of opinion they cover. The Star is somewhat more locally focussed than either the Globe or the Post but I think it does get attention outside of Toronto.

    I don't think there's an anti-Trudeau agenda in the media going after this story. It's a fairly obvious political story for the media to want to cover.
  • *Canadian content alert* There are generational divides in the media-- in the anglophone media, it is much as Stetson says, liberal on social issues, conservative on financial ones, as this reflects their social milieu. Several of my media acquaintances dislike Trudeau as: 1) they want a more intellectual prime minister, 2) they have a feeling that they are being preached to. A further consideration, perhaps marginal but perhaps not, was that much of his 2015 campaign was at a level of feeling and sentiment, which was challenging for many who had spent the previous ten years dealing with the epoch of Martin and Harper, and had set themselves mentally in policy tropes of deficit and security. Some Globe writers are gleeful in their hopes that they can force his resignation. Younger writers are carefully watching the events unfold as they are sympathetic to the Trudeau ministry's reconciliation efforts and also sympathetic to JWR.

    The francophone media has tended to be more analytical in nature-- its older elements are still frothing from the defeat that Pierre Trudeau handed out to separatist politicians in the first referendum, but they are disappearing from the scene. Younger ones are intrigued and favour his refugee-positive signalling and their demographic is enthically extraordinarily more diverse than that of their parents, but there are are figures in Québec talk radio which are ... anti-diversity... and blame him for the changes in Québec society. Luckily my French is good enough to watch Radio-Canada news regularly, and I like their professionalism and focus-- some of my younger Québécois friends complain that it is too much like attending classes. They remind me that the name of the leading serious paper in Montréal, le Devoir, is also the word for homework.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Further CanCon alert...

    The francophone media has tended to be more analytical in nature-- its older elements are still frothing from the defeat that Pierre Trudeau handed out to separatist politicians in the first referendum, but they are disappearing from the scene.

    To fill things in a bit for non-Canadians...

    Pierre Trudeau was in power from 1968 to 1984, and for most of that period, managed to win lopsided seat-counts in his home province of Quebec, until he led the campaign against separatism in a 1980 referendum. That in and of itself might not have been so bad, except that he had also promised, in the event of Quebec staying in Canada, that he would change the constitution in a way amenable to Quebec's interests, but then proceeded to change it in a way that Quebec didn't like, and in fact refused to sign, but couldn't do anything to stop. The Liberals were thusly shut out of Quebec in the '84 election.

    When Trudeau's Conservative successor Mulroney tried to further amend the constitution to accomadate Quebec's demands, Trudeau roundly trashed him in the media, making what some viewed as inflammatory statements, which nonetheless in both instances managed to prevent the accords from passing. Quebec to this day has yet to sign the constitution. (Imagine the state of California refused to recognize the US Constitution, but still had to follow it anyway.)

    Anyway, Trudeau junior took the majority of Quebec's seats in 2015, the first time the Liberals have been able to do that since 1984. As the Aleut seems to hint, young people might not care as much about the constitutional angst, and anyway, Harper was pretty disliked for his general socioeconomic policies(though the current Quebec government has some noticable strains of Harperism, I'd say).

    TL/DR: Trudeau's dad was disliked in Quebec for trashing the independence movement and refusing to recognize Quebec's constitutional demands, so it might be somewhat significant that his son seems to have a bit of a following there.

  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    I'm not sure I would go as far as to say the mainstream Canadian press is positively conservative on economic issues. Not as consistently liberal, definitely. And it depends on whether you include the business section, which naturally tends to skew rightward for obvious reasons. But I was reading a column in the Globe's business section not too long ago arguing that budget deficits are not necessarily a bad thing. That's not ideological economic conservatism.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited March 2
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I'm not sure I would go as far as to say the mainstream Canadian press is positively conservative on economic issues. Not as consistently liberal, definitely. And it depends on whether you include the business section, which naturally tends to skew rightward for obvious reasons. But I was reading a column in the Globe's business section not too long ago arguing that budget deficits are not necessarily a bad thing. That's not ideological economic conservatism.

    That's a point. I was thinking more along the lines of issues like trade and so-called globalization, and especially in comparison to things like the Canadian Forum.

    I think a few papers opposed free-trade in '88(ie. they endorsed someone left of the Tories), but at least after the passage of NAFTA, I don't think any of them called for it to be rescinded(ie. the NDP position), and when Trump forced Canada's hand on the matter, the counter-rhetoric has been more along the lines of "But, but, NAFTA is such an essential part of our economic position!!", rather than "Well, who cares, Don, we hated that stupid treaty anyway!!"

    And one thing I will recall is that in the last Alberta election, when it first became apparent that the NDP was gonna win, Postmedia in downtown Toronto ORDERED their Alberta papers to endorse the Tories, and were actually met with some resistance from their local writers. Presumbaly, HQ took this position because they liked the pro-oil, pro-"free market" policies of the Conservatives.

  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Soror Magna:

    Wow. Thanks for the personal angle on the story.

    And just as a mild correction, it seems unclear at this point whether or not any crimes actually were commited. I believe JWR testified that she didn't think so?

    The crime I'm referring to is the payments to the Libyans. I couldn't say whether the PMO's efforts were advocacy or obstruction.

    I understand that the "too big to fail/jail" argument undermines the concepts of justice and equality and the rule of law; however, I also think that the punishment should fit the crime and should fall on the criminals. I think tossing a few EVPs or board members into minimum security for a couple of years and saving the company would have been an acceptable settlement. But as I said previously, I'm a compromised bourgie leftist. And again, the Libyans are still laughing.
  • Thanks to other shipmates for their perspectives on our peculiar media scene. As in the US, many people get their news from social media, and perhaps we can say that it varies in quality, and sometimes reflects some pretty extreme views. In the last few days, I've heard in conversation perspectives that Trudeau is paying Muslims to cross the border illegally so that he might sway the next election, as well as libellous statements about Jason Kenney and Premier Ford, and have found that they can be found on the internet without trouble. On Monday night last, I was in a focus group ($175 for 90 minutes of pontificating on my opinions!!! quelle gig!!!) and the facilitator later told me that between a fifth and a third of Canadians used social media as their main source of news.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    In the last few days, I've heard in conversation perspectives that Trudeau is paying Muslims to cross the border illegally so that he might sway the next election, as well as libellous statements about Jason Kenney and Premier Ford, and have found that they can be found on the internet without trouble.

    I'd actually be willing to bet that people said that kind of thing about Liberals before social media, because it's always been a cherished standby of anti-immigration rhetoric that "Those Liberals just bring in foreigners to shore up their voting base", and it can't take too much imagination to work that into a conspiracy theory.

    Granted, the combination of Trump's cleansings and social media might give that sort of thing a bit of a boost.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Soror Magna:

    Wow. Thanks for the personal angle on the story.

    And just as a mild correction, it seems unclear at this point whether or not any crimes actually were commited. I believe JWR testified that she didn't think so?

    The crime I'm referring to is the payments to the Libyans. I couldn't say whether the PMO's efforts were advocacy or obstruction.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    And yeah, I agree, going after the individual crooks, rather than the company, would have been the better option.

  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    edited March 2
    Not a fan of PostMedia, for all the obvious reasons. I'm glad they were at least getting a little pushback. I seem to recall the Globe similarly was ordered to endorse Harper in 2015 (certainly a lost cause by that late point in the campaign), an order that similarly caused a lot of unhappiness in the newsroom.

    I don't think there is really a lot of mainstream support in Canada for ditching NAFTA (or its successor) now. (I do remember the whole free trade thing was very much an issue in the 1980s.) Though we won't really know I suppose until and unless the NDP gets elected and decides what it actually wants to do with that part of its platform.
  • ... On Monday night last, I was in a focus group ($175 for 90 minutes of pontificating on my opinions!!! quelle gig!!!) and the facilitator later told me that between a fifth and a third of Canadians used social media as their main source of news.

    Well before the printing press there was The Grapevine.

    But everyone should be so fortunate as to have a grapevine that includes thoughtful critically thinking people like we have here on The Ship.

    AFF
  • stetson wrote: »
    In the last few days, I've heard in conversation perspectives that Trudeau is paying Muslims to cross the border illegally so that he might sway the next election, as well as libellous statements about Jason Kenney and Premier Ford, and have found that they can be found on the internet without trouble.

    I'd actually be willing to bet that people said that kind of thing about Liberals before social media, because it's always been a cherished standby of anti-immigration rhetoric that "Those Liberals just bring in foreigners to shore up their voting base", and it can't take too much imagination to work that into a conspiracy theory.

    Granted, the combination of Trump's cleansings and social media might give that sort of thing a bit of a boost.

    I think that you're right, but at the time (yesterday afternoon, at my favourite madeleines place) I was startled by the virulence of expression. The demographic accusation is several decades old but joining it to the border crossings was new to me. Perhaps I don't get out as much as I think.

    I chatted with a few of the truck demonstrators passing through Ottawa that week, and heard a range of frustrations. I often wonder if people living and working in larger centres are really aware of the level of displacement and the feelings of powerlessness of people in smaller and more remote places. But that is perhaps another thread.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you, Canadians. Greatly appreciated. It is always valuable to get the thoughts and input of locals.
  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    Let's face it, though; this scandal is very small beer compared to the kleptomaniacal shenanigans of the Trump family.

    And I do believe that some Canadians are having trouble remembering that Fox News is American ...
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    ... this scandal is very small beer compared to the kleptomaniacal shenanigans of the Trump family.
    True, but surely comparing scandals could lead us to ignoring or dismissing "lesser" ones? Which would create problems of its own. If this is the biggest scandal Canada is facing currently, then compared to Trump they are getting off lightly. But it is still important the appropriate action takes place.
    (not suggesting you are saying it should be ignored; just responding to a thought...)
  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    Oh, totally. But I do wish some of the pearl-clutchers would tone down the hyperbole. ("Moral catastrophe.") We're not talking thalidomide or tainted blood here.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Ah, I see. Sorry: misunderstood. Thanks for the additional explanation to help me out.
  • Late to the party I know, but...

    Background to the anti-corruption law in Canada
    As you can see, it is an OECD initiative which Canada joined.

    Public Prosecution Service of Canada
    PPSC was set up (by the previous Canadian government) to ensure that prosecutions in Canada were not subject to political interference.

    The issue in the news is that the government attempted to interfere in the prosecution of SNC. The clear guidelines of allowing SNC off the hook for criminal prosecution for a criminal act:

    Wiki quote:
    In 2015, the Canadian government introduced the Integrity Regime, operating under Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to "ensure the government does business only with ethical suppliers in Canada and abroad."

    Discussions about the potential establishment of deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) legislation in Canada began in February 2016. Prior to the DPA, Canada already had "prosecutorial discretion" in place, which "made it possible for offending companies to negotiate a non-criminal penalty for a criminal act".

    The PPSC ruled that SNC did not meet the conditions of a DPA. The attorney general did a review, and agreed. One condition is admitting guilt, which they wouldn't do, because then the 10-year ban on government contracts kicks in.

    This should have been the end of it. Then the politicians didn't like that answer and proceeded over the course of 4 months to pressure the attorney general to change her mind and over-ride the decision.

    Knowing first-hand that governments do pressure civil servants to change their minds on issues such as this, it is entirely reasonable that JWR is telling the truth, and was essentially fired for not bending to the pressure.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    sharkshooter:

    Thanks for the summary of the legal background to this case.
  • A little heavy, perhaps, but wanted people who are interested to have a reference to the real issue.

    In my mind, Trudeau is in as big a pile of trouble as Trump. While I think the next few weeks will be interesting, I already tire of the non-stop reporting even when there is nothing new to report.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Heaviness is fine. The law is at the very heart of this issue.

    And it looks like there might actually be something to report, with the resignation of Ms. Philpott. But I'm still prediciting that the Liberals weather this: I suspect these resignations will be greeted by Liberal voters with the same indifference that Trump voters greet each departure of another "adult in the room".
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thanks from me too, sharkshooter.

    When I visited your amazing land in 2000 and again in 2001 (when I went to Ottawa and saw your lovely parliament house and learnt a little about how things work...), a friend who was a native of Toronto was very helpful in fleshing out the detail of the snippets we got in the news. Which is to say detail helps.

    --

    Thanks for the comment on the resignation, stetson. Please do not think I am questioning what you wrote, just seeking more information. Is Ms. Philpott a particularly popular politician? Does she have a standing that may see others follow? Or is she just another politician?

    And might I ask you to flesh out why you think Liberal voters may be indifferent to this? Is it as it is early in this 'scandal'? I ask as Oz has had a few government politicians announce they will not recontest the next election...as more go, the more people seem to wonder, naturally, what's up?

    Thanks.
  • stetson wrote: »
    ...But I'm still predicting that the Liberals weather this...

    A recent poll said that 1 in 4 will consider this when voting this fall in the next federal election. Trudeau got 40% last time. Subtract the 25% who will vote for someone else now, that leaves him with 15%. Because, those who didn't vote for him last time won't change their minds and now vote for him.
  • Climacus wrote: »
    ...Is Ms. Philpott a particularly popular politician? Does she have a standing that may see others follow? Or is she just another politician?

    ...
    President of the Treasury Board is one of the top Ministerial positions in the federal cabinet.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    Thanks from me too, sharkshooter.
    Thanks for the comment on the resignation, stetson. Please do not think I am questioning what you wrote, just seeking more information. Is Ms. Philpott a particularly popular politician? Does she have a standing that may see others follow? Or is she just another politician?

    And might I ask you to flesh out why you think Liberal voters may be indifferent to this? Is it as it is early in this 'scandal'? I ask as Oz has had a few government politicians announce they will not recontest the next election...as more go, the more people seem to wonder, naturally, what's up?

    Thanks.

    Oh, I never thought you were questioning what I wrote, so don't worry!

    As for Ms. Philpott, I can only speak from personal experience as an expat Canadian who follows the broad contours of the motherland's news, but I can honestly say that, apart from having heard her name a few times before and knowing she was somehow high up in government, I did not know who she was prior to her resignation. My guess would be that most Canadians(who unlike me, are not political junkies) have the same degree of ignorance as I do, even if they might be more accustomed to hearing her name.

    And yeah, I think it is too "early" in the scandal for widespread defections from the Liberals. And I mean "early" in the sense that nothing has been revealed so far that will seem excessively outrageous to someone who already likes the Liberals and wants to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I think what's required in order to bring on the mass outrage is either a) outright criminality, b) major losses to the taxpayer, or, preferably, c) both. Something like this scandal, which took down the provincial Liberals in Ontario and elevated the brother of world-renowned cokehead Rob Ford to the premiership.

    (TL/DR for the link: The Ontario Liberals closed a bunch of gas plants to fulfill a campaign promise, having grossly understated the cost of doing so, and then tried to cover their tracks by illegally deleting stuff from computers. A guy went to jail over this.)

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    ...But I'm still predicting that the Liberals weather this...

    A recent poll said that 1 in 4 will consider this when voting this fall in the next federal election. Trudeau got 40% last time. Subtract the 25% who will vote for someone else now, that leaves him with 15%. Because, those who didn't vote for him last time won't change their minds and now vote for him.

    Sincere apologies, but I do have trouble following number-based arguments.

    So, that 1 in 4 was based on a survey of Liberal voters specifically? If so, yeah, those numbers don't look good for him, but that's assuming everyone who "considers" the scandal deems it to be a deal-breaker, and that they're all still feeling the same way come election day.

    Caveat that I've been shorting this scandal from Day 1, and proably have an emotional investment in my predictions turning out.


  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    How many swing voters are there in Canada? Is the concern most about swing from the Liberals to the Conservatives, from the Liberals to the NDP or another party, or about Liberal voters who might stay home? Or is it most about this scandal firing up the Conservative base?
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you very much, all.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited March 6
    How many swing voters are there in Canada? Is the concern most about swing from the Liberals to the Conservatives, from the Liberals to the NDP or another party, or about Liberal voters who might stay home? Or is it most about this scandal firing up the Conservative base?

    I honestly wouldn't know how to answer those questions. My semi-quasi-educated guess would be that, if this benefits any opposition party(and I'm still holding firm to the Liberals weathering through), it would be the Conservatives, just because the NDP is pretty marginal right now(supposedly lacklustre leader, psychological blow of losing Quebec in 2015), and I think a lot of the soft-left types who went over to the Liberals last time probably won't be too outraged about this scandal.

    But the Conservative leader is considered a bit of a dud as well, and has recently gotten himself linked with extremist anti-immigration groups, so centre-right people might be tempted to stay with the Liberals as well.

    Anyway, Butts is testifying some time today. I'm predicting some fairly fancy footwork, designed to trash Wilson-Raybould while making it look like that isn't what he's doing. If his performance is better than expected, even if pretty lame in absolute terms, it might put some wind back in the Liberals' sails.




  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Call me naive, but I actually believe both of them are telling the truth. It certainly blows away any of the testimony that I have heard from broadcasts of similar events in the USA. I'm not sure where this will go but a lot is at stake.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I haven't read or heard any of the testimony in its entirety, but yeah, from snippets and second-hand accounts, it sounds as if to a large degree they're filtering the same events through different lenses. Though there apparently are some points of outright contradiction. (Haven't watched the video.)
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