1.The most critical question has been asked during the hearings but not answered by the government. Why was the DPA not included in the Criminal Code Reform Bill and instead slipped into a 385 page omnibus Budget Bill? That’s where the cover-up started.
2. Prime Minister Trudeau’s reaction was a case study in how not to handle a crisis. He did not answer reporters questions with any candour or clarity. Statements about “protecting jobs” and “disagreements” on “characterization” don’t cut it. Not from a party that accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from SNC including $118,000 that have been determined to be illegal.
3. The issue is not about bringing up the effect of job losses on Canada of an SNC prosecution with his Ministers. That’s legitimate and necessary. The issue is the full-court press by Trudeau, his PMO staff, his Ministers and the supposedly non-partisan Clerk of the Privy Council AFTER the Attorney-General had made her decision clear on Sept.17. After she said NO, the 10 meetings and 11 calls that followed constitute the alleged attempt to obstruct justice. Period. Law school Criminal Law 101.
4. The fault does is not solely with the Prime Minister. This government lacks basic political judgment and is either devoid of — or ignorant of — precepts of conflict of interest rules and democratic standards of governance, accountability and transparency. The Principal Secretary to the PM meeting with SNC’s VP for government affairs? The Chief of Staff to the PM suggesting manipulation of the press by organizing opeds after the PM’s Principal Secretary had said there was “no way to resolve this without it being interference?” The Clerk of the Privy Council, by law non-partisan and tasked with assuring our federal public service serves the people not the parties, pressuring the Attorney-General by saying the “PM intends to get this done.” The Minister of Finance — who already has been cited for ethics violations on his personal finances — weighing in on the AG with his strong arm tactics? And again, all this after she had MADE HER DECISION.
5. Perhaps more damning than anything else, On Oct.9, 2018, Kathleen Roussel, the Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed in writing that she will not invite SNC-Lavalin to negotiate a remediation agreement and instead continue the prosecution,the same message that was delivered to the Prime Minister by Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould on Sept.17. SNC -Lavalin immediately commenced a challenge to the decision in Federal Court. That challenge is ongoing. Yet despite the matter being before the courts, on Oct.11 “unidentified” SNC-Lavalin representatives met with Elder Marques, a senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, to discuss “justice and law enforcement.” On Nov.9 and 11 “unidentified” SNC-Lavalin representatives met with Mathieu Bouchard, a senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, to discuss “justice and law enforcement.” All these meetings during a time when SNC and the government were litigants in a matter that was before the courts. And does it not strike anyone as curious as to how SNC reps could register as “unknown” on the lobbyist registry when the Lobbyist Act demands identification.
6. The DPA legislation itself states that if the organization or corporation is alleged to have committed an offence under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act — which SNC has been — the prosecutor “must not consider the national economic interest, the potential effect on relations with a state other than Canada or the identity of the organization or individual involved.” Did the Prime Minister and his cohorts want the Attorney-General to violate it’s own law?
The arrogance, incompetence and immorality of what has been established to be true makes this government — in Jimmy Breslin’s words — “The Gang that Can’t Shoot Straight.” It does not merit our confidence. Those Liberals within the government who were not part of this affair should mirror the courage of former Treasury Board President Jane Philpott and stand and declare that what has been done is a grievous wrong.