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Liberal MPs stop police commissioner from testifying about SNC-Lavalin scandal

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6 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

RCMP commissioner Michael Duheme was set to testify about whether Justin Trudeau blocked police from obtaining cabinet documents in the SNC-Lavalin affair when MPs on the ethics committee voted 7-3 to adopt a Liberal motion to abruptly adjourn the meeting

Canadian Liberal MPs on the ethics committee voted to stop the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) commissioner from testifying about a bribery scandal involving the large Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin and the federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

RCMP commissioner Michael Duheme was set to testify about the bribery scandal to speak about whether Trudeau blocked the police from obtaining certain cabinet documents, which might have implicated him regarding his obstruction of justice charges that stemmed from the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Liberal, New Democrat (NDP), and Bloc Québécois MPs on the ethics committee voted 7-3 to adopt a Liberal motion to abruptly adjourn the meeting with Duheme only minutes after it began.

Conservative MP Michael Barrett called the abrupt meeting cancellation “unacceptable.”

“Witnesses were to give testimony and now we have government members looking to shut down a hearing on a very serious matter with respect to a criminal investigation into the Prime Minister and we have the Commissioner of the RCMP at this table,” Barrett said.

Liberal MP Mona Fortier, who serves as the ethics committee vice chair, claimed the SNC-Lavalin scandal had not been “discussed whatsoever by the committee.”

“I think the committee should at least have had the opportunity to debate the motion presented in due form. I don’t think this is necessarily the best way to go forward, having committees unable to make their decisions. So based on this reasoning, I would like to adjourn the meeting,” she said.

In June, LifeSiteNews reported on how the RCMP denied it was looking into whether Trudeau and his cabinet committed obstruction of justice concerning the SNC-Lavalin bribery scandal.

SNC-Lavalin was faced with charges of corruption and fraud concerning about $48 million in payments made to officials with the Libyan government between 2001 and 2011. The company had hoped to be spared both a trial and prosecution deferred prosecution agreement.

However, then-Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould did not go along with Trudeau’s plan, which would have allegedly appeared to help SNC-Lavalin. Back in 2019, she contended that both Trudeau and his top Liberal officials had inappropriately applied pressure to her for four months to directly intervene in the criminal prosecution relating to corruption and bribery charges connected to SNC’s government contracts in Libya.

Wilson-Raybould testified in early 2019 to Canada’s justice committee that she believed she was moved from her then-justice cabinet posting to veterans’ affairs due to the fact she did not grant a request from SNC-Lavalin for a deferred prosecution agreement rather than a criminal trial.

Of note is that a criminal conviction would have banned the company from getting any government contracts for 10 years.

Trudeau flat-out denied it was being investigated by the RCMP.

A little less than four years ago, Trudeau was found to have broken the federal ethics laws, or Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act, for his role in pressuring Wilson-Raybould.

MPs were hoping Duheme’s testimony would clear up many questions

Conservative MPs were hoping that Duheme’s testimony would have cleared up more questions about the SNC-Lavalin scandal after the group Democracy Watch on October 16 revealed a host of records regarding it.

These records show that the RCMP was stopped by Trudeau’s top cabinet members via a restricted disclosure order. This order stated that authorization to waive solicitor-client privilege would not be allowed in regard to information concerning communications between Wilson-Raybould and the director of public prosecutions regarding SNC-Lavalin.

The records released by Democracy Watch involve about 1,815 pages of records from 19 documents that the RCMP recently disclosed after an Access to Information Act (ATIA) request.

In July 2022, the group filed an Access to Information Act (ATIA) request with the RCMP about the SNC-Lavalin affair and Trudeau.

As for SNC-Lavalin, which now goes by the name “AtkinsRéalis,” in 2019 it pleaded guilty to committing fraud in a Québec Provincial Court and was hit with a $280 million fine. Company executives also admitted that they had paid some $47.7 million in bribes to get contracts in Libya.

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Trump’s trial defines justice in disrepute – A Canadian perspective

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Colin Alexander

Canada and the US both have a problem with rogue judges

Whatever one thinks of former President Donald Trump, his criminal trial violates the jurisprudence established  by England’s Lord Chief Justice Hewart: “It is… of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

Judges too often preside over cases despite having a conflict of interest. Trump’s argument had merit, that having the Democrat stronghold of Manhattan as the venue for his trial was unfair. And the assignment of Acting Justice Juan Merchan for the trial may reasonably be said to be corrupt. The US Judicial Code says: “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik says Justice Merchan contributed to the Democrat campaign in 2020. And his daughter, Loren Merchan, is heavily involved in Democrat politics. Stefanik says her firm stood to profit from Trump’s conviction. So, one may presume the judge’s bias against Trump.

The charge against Trump was that money was paid to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet and not undermine his presidential election prospects in 2016. Paying money to suppress prurient assertions is not illegal. But, it was said to violate US election law if intended to influence the outcome of the election—and not merely to protect Trump’s reputation. Given what everyone knows, how could publication of Daniels’s assertions influence a single voter’s intentions?

Many other wandering public figures come to mind. Certainly, Presidents Kennedy and Clinton. Said to be expert on the bedroom ceilings of rich men, Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman was Clinton’s ambassador to France.

Textbooks and case law forbid judges to hear cases where there could be a perception of bias. A landmark case involved an application by the Spanish government to extradite former President Pinochet of Chile from England. Lord Hoffmann was the swing vote in the decision that immunity did not prevent extradition. The House of Lords set aside that judgment because Lord Hoffmann had been chairman of Amnesty International, which had campaigned for Pinochet’s prosecution. The judges said that the Amnesty link was an automatic disqualification for sitting on the case.

During the 2022 truckers’ protest in Ottawa, Chief Justice Richard Wagner made outlandish comments about an incipient revolution. The Canadian Judicial Council, of which he is head,  exonerated him. By contrast, Justice Thomas Berger of the BC Supreme Court resigned gracefully after being scolded for non-partisan comment on the entrenchment of Indigenous rights in the Charter.

A typical case of conflicted judging is MediaTube v. Bell Canada, discussed at length in my book Justice on Trial. The plaintiff asserting that Bell stole the technology for FibeTV. The Federal Court’s trial judge, Justice George Locke, had been a partner in the firm of Norton Fulbright that acted for Bell. His decision in favour of Bell is gobbledygook. He acknowledged that Bell had constantly changed the description of how their system worked, as if they didn’t know that. Arguably, Bell and their lawyers McCarthy Tétrault committed the criminal offences of perjury and obstruction of justice. Justice David Stratas spoke for the appellate judges despite having previously represented Bell before the Supreme Court. In 130 words, he justified the exclusion of new evidence by citing a case that had analyzed the purported new evidence in 9,000 words.

Trump’s case follows ones described in Christie Blatchford’s book, Life Sentence: Stories from four decades of court reporting—Or how I fell out of love with the Canadian justice system (Especially judges). “The judiciary,” she wrote, “is much like the Senate. Like senators they are unelected, unaccountable, entitled, expensive to maintain and remarkably smug.”

Canadians as well as Americans need outside accountability for lawyers and judges. As US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, “If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”

Colin Alexander’s degrees include Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford. His latest book is Justice on Trial: Jordan Peterson’s case shows we need to fix the broken system.

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Economy

Carbon tax costs Canadian economy billions

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano 

This tax costs Canadians big time at the gas pump, on home heating bills, on the farm and at the dinner table.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the federal government to scrap the carbon tax in light of newly released government data showing the tax will cost the Canadian economy about $25 billion in 2030.

“Once again, we see the government’s own data showing what hardworking Canadians already know: the carbon tax costs Canada big time,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “The carbon tax makes the necessities of life more expensive and it will cost our economy billions of dollars.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must scrap his carbon tax now.”

The government of Canada released modelling showing the cost of the carbon tax on the Canadian economy Thursday.

“The country’s GDP is expected to be about $25 billion lower in 2030 due to carbon pricing than it would be otherwise,”  reports the Globe and Mail.

Canada contributes about 1.5 per cent of global emissions.

Government data shows emissions are going up in Canada. In 2022, the latest year of data, emissions in Canada were 708 megatonnes of CO2, an increase of 9.3 megatonnes from 2021.

The federal carbon tax currently costs 17 cents per litre of gasoline, 21 cents per litre of diesel and 15 cents per cubic metre of natural gas.

The carbon tax adds about $13 to the cost of filling up a minivan, about $20 to the cost of filling up a pickup truck and about $200 to the cost of filling up a big rig truck with diesel.

Farmers are charged the carbon tax for heating their barns and drying grains with natural gas and propane. The carbon tax will cost Canadian farmers $1 billion by 2030, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

“No matter how many times this government tries to put lipstick on the carbon tax pig, the reality is clear,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “This tax costs Canadians big time at the gas pump, on home heating bills, on the farm and at the dinner table. Trudeau should make life more affordable and improve the Canadian economy by scrapping his carbon tax.”

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