The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is finished, after a long simmering scandal finally proved his involvement in bribing government officials for lucrative construction contracts in Libya.
Between 2001 and 2011 the Canadian construction and engineering company SNC-Lavalin bribed officials in Libya with tens of millions to get contracts in that country. In 2015 the company was charged by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
It tried to avoid a trial and argued instead for a negotiated settlement since it had cleaned shop by changing its chief executive officer.
In 2016, SNC-Lavalin admitted that some former executives had illegally arranged donations of more than C$80,000 to Trudeau’s Liberal Party from 2004 to 2011.
The company had revenues of some C$10 billion in 2018. Some 9,000 of its 52,000 employees work in Canada.
The headquarter and 3,400 of its employees are in the province of Quebec where the Liberals need to pick up votes in October’s federal election to keep their majority.
It was the task of the Justice Minister and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to decide if the case should go on trial as the law demands, or if it could be settled out of court.
A trial would likely end with SNC-Lavalin banned from all public contracts in Canada for 10 years. It would cost jobs and votes.
During the fall of 2018 Trudeau and his allies tried to press the attorney general, a Canadian aboriginal, to overturn the decision of the director of public prosecutions, to apply the new law and to thereby drop the criminal charges against SNC.
She would not do that. In January Trudeau fired her from the justice minister and attorney general job and gave her a minor position as veteran’s minister.
Under solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidences Wilson-Raybould could not speak out about the issue.
On February 18 Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s friend and principle secretary, was made the fall guy. He resigned even while he denied that he tried to influence the attorney general.
Under pressure, the House of Commons Justice Committee invited Wilson-Raybould to testify. Trudeau had to wave some privilege which allowed her to finally speak out about her time as attorney general.
During her testimony Wilson-Raybould noted that she was not yet allowed to speak out about what happened after she was fired as attorney general.
There is likely more to come from her. She says that she believes that no law was broken but that Trudeau behaved inappropriately. A jury and court may see that differently.
The issue is under investigation of the independent ethics commissioner and Trudeau hopes that he will be found not guilty of any wrongdoing.
Even if he did not break any law Trudeau will be unable to escape the storm he is now under. With the case pending it will be difficult for the Liberals to win the October elections.
It would be best for the party if Trudeau would step down and let someone else take the lead. There is potential candidate with more credibility than the former media darling Justin Trudeau ever had.
Strategic-Culture Organization / ABC Flash Point News 2019.