Will Trudeau breaking ethics rules on SNC affect voters?
Will Trudeau breaking ethics rules on SNC affect voters?
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is shown
19 August, 2019, 00:44
But as the NDP has already cornered the far-left voter market, with the Liberals' brand tarnished New Democrats should be looking to court those centre-left voters who supported Trudeau in 2015.
The scandal, which first broke in February, marked the low point of Mr Trudeau's nearly four-year tenure and prompted the resignation of two high-profile female cabinet ministers as well as Mr Butts, who has since returned to federal office.
After that report was released, the RCMP said they were monitoring the situation.
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That scandal - dubbed, the SNC-Lavalin affair - had the necessary ingredients of a cause celebre that could go ka-boom: a big, Quebec-based and historically well-connected engineering and construction company; tawdry allegations of bribery to win lucrative overseas contracts, pending criminal charges; and a lone federal minister, rebuffing, again and again, the PM and his emissaries who desperately wanted the whole, potentially combustible "problem" to be buried behind an expedient legal tactic.
Jonas Smith, the Yukon's Conservative candidate for the coming federal election, is calling on Yukon MP Larry Bagnell to clarify where he stands on the latest instalment of the SNC-Lavalin saga.
"The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson-Raybould as the Crown's chief law officer", Dion wrote.
At a minimum, Trudeau's time as the young, hip icon of liberal politics is over. Wilson-Raybould's "anger at being moved" from the justice minister's portfolio "coloured her perception of prior events", it continued.
"However, and after clarifying with the RCMP, I can confirm that I was contacted by them this past spring regarding matters that first came to the public's attention on February 7, 2019, in a Globe and Mail article".
The report concluded that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act by attempting to interfere in a criminal investigation involving the company. "These interests would likely have been furthered had Mr. Trudeau successfully influenced the Attorney General to intervene in the Director of Public Prosecutions' decision".
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Dion ruled that there was no way to separate the company's private interest from the broader public interest and, therefore, Trudeau should not have had any contact with Wilson-Raybould on the matter.
In 2015, the NDP was the first party to openly criticize the Saudi Arabia arms deal signed under the Harper government and honoured by Trudeau. "The Prime Minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms Wilson-Raybould".
"It's not like they are back where they were a year ago", he said. On Wednesday, Dion shredded Trudeau's credibility, integrity and quite possibly his chances of being re-elected in October.
The NDP is in deep support deficit and has yet to fill a majority of their federal candidate-slots for the election, so their next moves could define the party's success as it's now polling between 13-16%. But, as Dion's report made clear, the "system" wasn't the problem. But the savvy political operative within her is not going to leave it at that.
In offering weasel words, Trudeau disrespects the citizens he claims to serve.
So what happens now? The Prime Minister of Canada is asserting that "Canadian interests" as he defines them (i.e., Canadian jobs before judicial independence) trump the Conflict of Interest Act or the conclusions of an independent ethic commissioner.
The report also details some shifty manoeuvres inside the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). But Trudeau's great good fortune is that the other leaders of the major parties have yet to demonstrate any ability to catch the favor of the electorate. Going into the debates, it Trudeau will have a tough time defending himself from two ideological fronts hammering him on the same issue.
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