It seems if you’re rich and corrupt, you’ll always find friends in the Trudeau PMO. pic.twitter.com/YaqKGqPuTy
— Ontario Proud (@ontarioisproud) February 7, 2019
UPDATE: Trudeau denies report his office pressured attorney general to help SNC-Lavalin
The Globe & Mail has paywalled the story unfortunately. h/t DM
This is a google translate from Radio Canada – PM’s office reportedly pressured former justice minister in SNC-Lavalin case
According to The Globe and Mail , former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould reportedly refused a request from Prime Minister Trudeau’s office to call for the negotiation of an agreement rather than a trial on the issue of fraud and corruption in Canada. SNC-Lavalin.
According to these allegations based on confidential sources that the CBC could not consult, the goal of the Prime Minister’s Office was to avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit against the Montreal engineering firm, which was prosecuted in Canada for fraud and corruption abroad.
In February 2015, the federal government, in the light of an RCMP investigation, accused SNC-Lavalin of paying millions of dollars in bribes between 2001 and 2011 to Libyan government officials , to guarantee the obtaining of public contracts in the country.
Since then, the firm’s lawyers have been multiplying meetings with the federal government to try to avoid a criminal trial.
SNC-Lavalin called for an agreement
These representations of the engineering firm to the federal authorities, including senior members of the Prime Minister’s Office, were intended to obtain from the government the conclusion of a “pardon agreement” or “deferred prosecution agreement” rather than ‘a trial.
This type of agreement, which has already been concluded in similar cases in the United States and Great Britain, involves the offending company’s public acknowledgment of its responsibilities, giving up the benefits obtained by the fraudulent maneuvers and paying a substantial fine.
However, Minister Wilson-Raybould, who was acting as Attorney General, refused to negotiate such an agreement in October 2018 despite SNC-Lavalin’s efforts to obtain a judicial review of this decision.
Pressure from above
According to The Globe and Mail , it was at this time that then Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was the subject of repeated requests, even pressure, from the Prime Minister’s Office to She asked the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, to drop criminal proceedings against SNC-Lavalin for a rehabilitation agreement with the company.
A gesture that the minister refused to do.
On January 14, Jody Wilson-Raybould was transferred to the Department of Veterans Affairs during a cabinet reshuffle. His colleague David Lametti has since served as Minister of Justice.
The PM office refutes these allegations
Questioned by The Globe and Mail about this alleged intervention in the affairs of the Department of Justice, the Prime Minister’s Office, through her press secretary Chantal Gagnon, refuted that any such request would have been made to the Minister. Wilson-Raybould.
“The Prime Minister’s Office has not directed the Attorney General to come to a conclusion on this issue,” said Ms. Gagnon in an email.
In 2018, the Trudeau government amended the Criminal Code to allow for the conclusion of a pardon agreement or deferred prosecution agreements that allow Crown prosecutors to suspend criminal charges against companies that have committed malfeasance, fraud and other such crimes.
Based in Montreal, SNC-Lavalin is the largest engineering and construction consulting firm in Canada. If convicted after a criminal trial, the firm could be banned for ten years from any federal public contract.
Oldie but a goodie via JJ McCullough – Canada now dominates World Bank corruption list, thanks to SNC-Lavalin –