Friday, May 15, 2020

History of the SNC-Lavalin affair

Amid the appalling politicization of justice in the United States, where the Justice department declines to pursue criminal cases against friends of Donald Trump and supports the investigation of those he distrusts, we ought to remember the SNC-Lavalin scandal of early 2019 and the resignation of Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Wilson-Raybould's complaint was that the prime minister's office was interfering inappropriately and for political reasons in the impartial administration of justice by her department. The responses of the elected prime minister, his hired political advisor, and the impartial head of the civil service were more or less identical: When the prime minister's office interferes, it is never inappropriate.  Since the opposition parties and much of the media pretty much shared that viewpoint, it was a pretty successful defence. 

Is this different from what is now going on in the United States?  Well in that case, the attorney-general is leading the interference rather than resigning over it.  But on the question of political interference Ralph Heintzman sees the same thing going on.  He has a point.

Whatever happened to Jody Wilson-Raybould, anyway? Right, she's an opposition backbencher. 

[It's a Globe & Mail story, and may be paywalled.]
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