Tag Archives: SNC-Lavalin

Top 10 Liberal Betrayals 2015-2019

One could make quite a list detailing all the dirt the Libs have built up the last 4 years, but here’s our (admittedly subjective) list of the…

1. Lying about electoral reform

While one could argue other items on this list did more actual harm, this out and out lie to steal progressive votes was the most cynical. Swing voters who may have been more likely to go NDP or Green but were terrified of Harper were seduced by the Liberal promise of electoral reform, feeling comfortable in the knowledge that a Liberal victory now would mean a truly fair election the next time around. The Libs made the promise a staggering 1,813 times on the campaign trail. Even more diabolical, Justin Trudeau stole Fair Vote Canada’s slogan “Make Every Vote Count” in making this false promise.

Upon taking power the Libs made a show of faith by erecting the ERRE to explore the issue. A majority of members on a multi-party House committee recommended a referendum on a form of proportional representation but that was ignored. Well, not only does Fair Vote Canada endorse proportional representation, which by definition compared to first-past-the-post or ranked ballots is the ONLY system where every vote counts, but 88% of respondents to the ERRE also endorsed some form of proportional representation. That wasn’t the answer the Liberals wanted to hear! Apparently Justin prefers preferential ballots and claims that means there’s no consensus, but really the Libs could never permanently dilute their own power now that they had it again. Either way, they out and out lied through their teeth about it.

2.  Buying a pipeline for the oil sands

The gross hypocrisy of this just boggles the mind. The day after announcing a climate change emergency, the Libs ironically negated that empty proclamation by spending billions in corporate welfare overpaying for a pipeline for the oil sands. The oil sands are:

Simply put, we must leave it in the ground.

3. Approving and supporting other pipelines and projects for new extraction of fossil fuels

Furthering the hypocrisy of the Libs’ climate change rhetoric, they approved Enbridge Line 3, approved, then lost, then re-approved the Kinder Morgan expansion, fully support Keystone XL, and approved a new LNG plant reliant on fracking. Every Canadian cheering on the Libs as serious about climate change must be living under an ideological rock wrapped in a partisan security blanket.

4. Continued to disrespect and oppress First Nations, especially fighting valid claims in court spending more defending than what was requested,

Like every single government before them, the Liberals shamelessly oppress the rights of our Indigenous peoples while proving how two-faced they are with claims of reconciliation. From lying that they will adopt UNDRIP’s “free, prior, and informed consent” to then not even living up to consent’s poor cousin consult by not consulting properly on projects like Trans Mountain, the Libs’ betrayal of reconciliation goes deep. Like challenging compensation for apprehended First Nations children harmed by the on-reserve child welfare system and under-funded child and family services, or this ridiculous court battle, spending more than $110,000 fighting a First Nations girl in court to block payment for orthodontic treatment that cost just $6,000, or spending millions losing a battle about testing fish farms for a virus, or spending nearly twice the $380,000 needed by Wapekeka First Nation for emergency mental health care after the northern Ontario community uncovered a suicide pact last year. Health Canada denied them the funding and two 12-year-old girls, Jolynn Winter and Chantell Fox, took their lives in January. How cruel is that?!? How indifferent to the suffering of First Nations children does one have to be to fight these battles? All this after the MMIWG report concludes our discrimination amounts to genocide.

5. Continued lack of support for our veterans, including cutting their healthcare funding

The Libs continue another government tradition, total disregard for our veterans. Despite their clear need for services Libs underspent hundreds of millions on them, putting the burden of their healthcare costs onto hospitals, all while fighting valid lawsuits and tinkering with pensions to further reduce support for disabled vets.

6. Using every lame excuse to sell the Saudis armoured vehicles despite knowing full well their history of violently oppressing civilians

This one really shows the Libs’ true colours as corporate war profiteers. The arms deal with the Saudis was started under Harper, but after criticizing the deal while in opposition the Libs had every chance to scuttle the deal and came up with a new excuse every time they were called out for continuing the sale. All this despite firstly, the Saudis’ history of oppression and using force on civilians in general, and secondly, dismissing evidence Canadian-made weapons were likely being used against civilians. And now, after empowering the Saudis’ interference in Yemen, Canadian-made war machines are falling into the hands of rebels. This has landed us the dubious honour of being the largest arms exporter to the Middle East second only to the US.

7. Despite it never results in growth or jobs, creating more corporate tax breaks

Is there more music to the ears of corporations than yet another undeserved tax break? The Liberals decided to continue yet another neoliberal tradition, the last few decades of corporate welfare, by introducing more corporate tax breaks to spur growth and investment, despite the fact such breaks NEVER result in promised jobs or growth.

8. Trying to get one of the world’s most corrupt corporations, SNC Lavalin, off easy for past misdeeds

This one was such obvious corporate cronyism we had to write a blog post on it.

9. After railing against them, hypocritically using an omnibus bill to…

The hypocrisy continues, a classic case, where you oppose in opposition what you practice in power, in this case omnibus budget bills, of which they did more than one.

10. … Create an infrastructure privatization bank to enrich institutional investors

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank is flying under the radar of most Canadians (possibly because it’s barely done anything to date) but it was quite contentious in economic and monetary reform circles because it is quite literally an infrastructure privatization bank as opposed to a public bank to build infrastructure as was promised. We also railed against it in our letter to the Finance Minister.

One could write a book on all the betrayal and two-faced nature of the Liberals the last four years… oh wait, someone did. “The Trudeau Formula” is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to fully understand just how much in bed the Trudeau Liberals are with corporate Canada, and how their core policies are about maintaining the status quo for the wealthy elite, and what little socially beneficial policies they enact are merely superficial bandaids to create the appearance of progressiveness and equality to appease and quiet the masses.

Adam Smith, 21st Century

SCANDAL: Trudeau, SNC, and the DPA

Seeing as the SNC-Lavalin scandal has everyone excited in an election year, and there is a ton of information, history, and varying views, we thought it prudent to write a post that details the whole story in a linear fashion.

Our information comes mainly from these articles:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jody-wilson-raybould-snc-lavalin-regime-1.5248561

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/philpott-snc-report-1.5247792

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rcmp-snc-report-examining-carefully-1.5247119

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/ethics-report-1.5247595

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-snc-ethics-commissioner-violated-code-1.5246551

https://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2019/08/20/SNC-Lavalin-Scandal-Sideshow-Corporate-Control/

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2019/08/20/mistakes-misinterpretations-and-irrelevant-facts-mar-the-ethics-commissioners-report-on-trudeau.html

Let’s begin with the simple historical timeline:

  • SNC is in trouble for various shady doings around the world. Most recently they got in trouble for bribes to Qaddafi’s son.
  • SNC needs to clean house, replaces CEO and some other senior execs, but the charges of bribery remain
  • SNC feels the charges should no longer apply because they’ve cleaned up the company, and if charged they would no longer be valid for Government of Canada contracts (a large part of their business). SNC then starts lobbying the feds for a “deferred prosecution agreement” (DPA) which is basically just a settlement, paying out for the problem without the whole company being held criminally responsible.
  • The Liberals, being as corporate-cozy as they are, don’t just agree to the idea of a DPA, at SNC’s request they devise legislation for a DPA and undemocratically slip it into their omnibus budget bill.
  • With the DPA legislation in place, and the investigation into SNC underway, Trudeau and others from the PMO start pressuring MP and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to “consider” a DPA in the SNC case.
  • Wilson-Raybould does not acquiesce nor relent, and pressure mounts to the point she feels it necessary to secretly record a conversation confirming that pressure. Wilson-Raybould keeps her mouth shut however, even though she feels unduly pressured to do as the PMO is suggesting.
  • Trudeau, claiming other reasons, removes Wilson-Raybould from the Attorney General appointment.
  • Wilson-Raybould goes public about the pressure for the DPA. Responding to a Globe and Mail article Trudeau out and out lies about the pressure.
  • Fellow Liberal MP Jane Philpott finds herself defending Wilson-Raybould, and they both get ejected from the Liberal caucus. They are both running as independents now.
  • Lastly, the ethics commissioner report comes out saying that Trudeau acted improperly violating the Conflict of Interest Act. Trudeau counters saying he’s not sorry for defending Canadian jobs.

And that about sums it up. There is one interesting side note to the articles above, that actually helps blow away a commonly held conspiracy theory: that the CBC only does the bidding of the government of the day, casting them in a golden light. Well, if those damning articles don’t wholly refute that I don’t know what else will. Those CBC articles could very well lose Trudeau the election, so ANY notion that the CBC is just a government mouthpiece should be put to rest.

There are some other tidbits worth mentioning, showing just how cozy a relationship SNC has with many government players, like the fact Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci, acting as lawyer for SNC at the time, also added pressure. If that’s not enough, another retired Supreme Court justice waded in with another supporting document for the PMO. Other than Wilson-Raybould, who doesn’t SNC control?

Finally we must address one of the detractor articles, where barrister David Hamer attempts to pick apart the supposed faults of the ethics report. Straight out the gate, one must acknowledge what a shameless die hard supporter of the Liberals Hamer is. He’s one of those ideological dyed-in-the-wool Liberals that will cheer for their political gang no matter how shady they act. Just look at his Twitter page, rife with blind support for a long-corrupted party.

The main issue with Hamer’s article is it’s simply a distraction, a lame attempt to run interference and try to diffuse and dispel the stink of Trudeau’s clear and unambiguous violation. His claims of a “predetermined conclusion” are quite ironic, as it seems that’s what he started with, the conclusion his hero Trudeau is blameless, and then worked to debunk the report based mostly on semantics. Excerpts like this “The Conflict of Interest Act is meant to prevent the improper furthering of private interests by elected politicians, not to control interactions between politicians and attorneys general” are particularly telling, as in light of the full history there is no better way to describe Trudeau’s actions than “the improper furthering of private interests by elected politicians”. His supposed distinction falls rather flat.

His semantics games with the word “improper” show just how great a lawyer he must be, because only a lawyer could twist the reality of those words to such an extreme it garbles their meaning to the point of doubt. Point in case:

“No public office holder shall … seek to influence a decision of another person so as to further the public office holder’s private interests or those of the public office holder’s relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests.”

The word “improperly” is key — it modifies the words “further another person’s private interests,” not the phrase “seek to influence a decision.”

On the commissioner’s interpretation, it is as if the word “improperly” were moved, so as to read: “No office holder shall use his position to seek improperly to influence a decision so as to further another person’s private interests.”

See, Hamer wants to distract you from the actual law to claim some interpretation that changes the purpose or focus of that law. When really, one need only take “No public office holder shall … seek to influence a decision of another person so as to further the public office holder’s private interests” at face value as it applies perfectly to Trudeau. He made it about Quebec, and Quebec votes in his Quebec riding. No more obvious use of public office to further private interests could exist.

Hamer then continues on, demonizing and projecting his own version of Wilson-Raybould’s actions as “unreasonable”, from an highly subjective point of view. So, an AG subjected to unusual pressure from multiple people from the PMO including the PM himself, to utilize a brand new and untested law THAT THE COMPANY IN QUESTION LOBBIED FOR, is somehow “unreasonable” in her resistance? Or that it is not within her purview to act as such, wanting to ensure massive multinational corporations face consequences for their actions? That the only way for her to be considered “reasonable” would have been to roll over to the pressure?

The most shocking of Hamer’s fallacious logic though is the complete and total dismissal of SNC’s intense lobbying for the DPA that saw them get a piece of legislation passed just for their specific needs. Hamer seems to think context is meaningless and that we shouldn’t bother paying attention to how the DPA law came to be. Now who’s being unreasonable?

All in all, Hamer’s lame duck attempt to deflect from the PM’s wrongdoing by projecting onto and demonizing Wilson-Raybould makes him look no better than the biased partisan shill he clearly is. He really exemplifies just how many high level cronies the Libs have in their pockets.

The conclusions are obvious:

  • we have a government and PMO solidly in bed with our largest corporations, to the point where the government will not only go to bat for them defending them to the public, they’ll even go so far as to create legislation for them and then pressure it to be used
  • we truly do live in a corporate oligarchy, where our largest multinationals can and do write their own rules
  • we have a PM either ignorantly oblivious of his wrongdoing, unaware of the legalities of his actions, or he knew the potential consequences but prioritized political concerns, drunk on his own power and privilege.

No matter how you shake it, we are electing the neoliberal representatives of the corporate oligarchy and it’s driving us into the ground. This election, vote something other than Lib or Con, maybe find a “reasonable” independent to vote for.

Adam Smith, 21st Century