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UPDATED: SNC Lavalin – Just the Facts Ma’am

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10 minute read

Opinion by Cory Litzenberger

Let’s take emotion out of it. Let’s take a look at the legislation. While I am not a lawyer, I do interpret tax legislation for a living, and so I decided to take a closer look at the criminal legislation pertaining to the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

The relevant legislation is in 《parentheses》below, but here is the Coles notes:

FACT – in 2015 SNC was charged by the RCMP under Section 3 of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act

《3 (1) Every person commits an offence who, in order to obtain or retain an advantage in the course of business, directly or indirectly gives, offers or agrees to give or offer a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind to a foreign public official or to any person for the benefit of a foreign public official

(a) as consideration for an act or omission by the official in connection with the performance of the official’s duties or functions; or

(b) to induce the official to use his or her position to influence any acts or decisions of the foreign state or public international organization for which the official performs duties or functions.》

FACT – In 2015, the RCMP charged SNC-Lavalin, along with its international division, with corruption and fraud in relation with their business dealings in Libya. The RCMP said officials at the company attempted to bribe several public officials in the country, including dictator Moammar Gadhafi, as well as other businesses in Libya.

FACT – The prosecutor is allowed to enter into a remediation agreement under Section 715.32 of the Criminal Code of Canada , if ALL conditions are met under 715.32(1).

《715.32 (1) The prosecutor may enter into negotiations for a remediation agreement with an organization alleged to have committed an offence if the following conditions are met:

(a) the prosecutor is of the opinion that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction with respect to the offence;

(b) the prosecutor is of the opinion that the act or omission that forms the basis of the offence did not cause and was not likely to have caused serious bodily harm or death, or injury to national defence or national security, and was not committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization or terrorist group;

(c) the prosecutor is of the opinion that negotiating the agreement is in the public interest and appropriate in the circumstances; and

(d) the Attorney General has consented to the negotiation of the agreement.》

FACT – for the prosecutor to evaluate their public interest opinion, they must consider subsection 715.32(2) in its entirety which includes many relevant pieces of information except when 715.32(3) overrides it

《 Factors to consider

715.32(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), the prosecutor must consider the following factors:

[(a) to (h)]; and

(i) any other factor that the prosecutor considers relevant.》

FACT – 715.32(3) says even with all those factors to consider, you can NOT factor in the national economic interest (ie: the jobs argument) if they were charged the way the RCMP charged them

《Factors not to consider

715.32(3) Despite paragraph (2)(i), if the organization is alleged to have committed an offence under section 3 or 4 of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, the prosecutor must not consider the national economic interest, the potential effect on relations with a state other than Canada or the identity of the organization or individual involved.》

CONCLUSION – the jobs argument is irrelevant under the law in these circumstances – The prosecution knows this – The former Attorney General knows this – and based on the provisions as written, the jobs argument for SNC does not meet the legal requirement for a remediation agreement.

For these reasons, I find in favour of the former Attorney General.
— — — —

Update: While being interviewed on the afternoon of March 7, 2019, I looked even closer at the legislation and caught something I didn’t realize on first glance when reading it.

Notice at the end of 715.32(1)(c) the word “and”.

While I said this means that all of the tests in (a) through (d) must be met, I neglected to say that this means no one person has the sole final decision. The prosecutor is mentioned in (a), (b), and (c); while the Attorney General is only mentioned in (d).

To put another way, this law is written so that it is not solely the decision of the Attorney General, nor the prosecutor. Rather, it requires both the Attorney General and the Prosecutor to agree to proceed with negotiations.

Similar to a scene in the movies where you see nuclear codes kept between two different military heads before proceeding with the launch, such is the wording of this provision.

This means that the Attorney General does not have the final decision and so any suggestion that she does is incorrect. The decision is a joint one with most of the leg work having to be done by the prosecutor, not the Attorney General.

So let me recap: I think it is quite simple, that a Remediation Agreement (aka Deferred Prosecution Agreement) cannot be considered under the “national economic interest” (jobs) argument based on what legislation the RCMP used for the charges.

If that’s the argument, then the answer is “no” and the repeated number of times asking for the former Attorney General to revisit it over a four month period for something that appears so black and white might be considered workplace harassment if I were to do such a thing to one of my colleagues.

So, since the economic argument is moot, what other argument is there?

We heard in testimony that the parties may have wanted the Attorney General to look at it from a stance that does not imply economic interest.

Ironically, “we need to win an election” may actually be legal as “any other factor that the prosecutor considers relevant” but then we would have to assume the prosecutor would have to be partisan, and that is highly not likely in my experience.

So we now know that there must be an agreement between the prosecutor and the Attorney General.

We also know that “economic interest” cannot be the reason under the law.

So, if the law is that clear on economic interest, why would the Attorney General be asked repeatedly for reconsideration, unless it was not “economic interest” they wanted her to consider?

For these additional reasons, I still find in favour of the former Attorney General

Update #2: On March 8, 2019, the Federal Court of Canada ruled in favour of the Public Prosecution Service on SNC Lavalin’s request for judicial review citing:

“The law is clear that prosecutorial discretion is not subject to judicial review, except for abuse of process.” – Federal Court of Canada Justice Kane

Then, on March 11, 2019, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) came to the same conclusion as my interpretation of the law regarding the intention of the 1999 agreement, and said:

“political factors such as a country’s national economic interest and the identity of the alleged perpetrators must not influence foreign bribery investigations and prosecutions.” – OECD

We now have confirmation that there is no legal way that a country’s national economic interest can be considered under the law.

For these additional reasons, jurisprudence about the authority of the Public Prosecution Service, and third party reports about the intentions of the 1999 agreement from the OECD, I still find in favour of the former Attorney General for a third time.

Click to listen to Red Deer Accountant Cory Litzenberger on Charles Adler Tonight

Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr is the President & Founder of CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors; you can find out more about Cory’s biography at http://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html

CEO | Director, Canadian Tax Advisory CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors With the Income Tax Act always by his side on his smart-phone, Cory has taken tax-nerd to a whole other level. His background in strategic planning, tax-efficient corporate reorganizations, business management, and financial planning bring a well-rounded approach to assist private corporations and their owners increase their wealth through the strategies that work best for them. An entrepreneur himself, Cory started CGL with the idea that he wanted to help clients adapt to the ever-changing tax and economic environment and increase their wealth through optimizing the use of tax legislation coupled with strategic business planning and financial analysis. His relaxed blue-collar approach in a traditionally white-collar industry can raise a few eyebrows, but in his own words: “People don’t pay me for my looks. My modeling career ended at birth.” More info: https://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Fortress Australia Gets Its Scalp, Tosses Djoker Out

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The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity. —W.B. Yeats

There has always been a large reservoir of affection for Australia in the West. The sun-kissed land down under. Kangaroos. Beaches. Crocodile Dundee. Aussie Rules Football. Men At Work. Foreigners embraced all the clichés gleefully.

The Australian Open tennis tournament was part of that scenario. The first Grand Slam, played in scorching sunshine while the Northern Hemisphere freezes in January. TV coverage was laced with tourist entreaties to fly 14 hours to the Great Barrier Reef and Gold Coast.

But with the nation’s behaviour in fighting Covid-19, this is all (in the words of Yeats) “changed, changed utterly.” The fever-swamp regime now running the nation has gone off the rails with detention camps for unvaxxed, flying squads of police roaming the streets and total lockdowns in emulation of the Chinese.

Australia’s heavy-handed “cures” for Covid would make Curfew Quebec look a model of tolerance. While America is moving away from draconian lockdowns, (Associated Press is now asking its writers to play down Covid numbers) Australia is still singing from the 2020 WHO hymn book that pretends lockdowns save lives. For example, mask mandates were recently re-imposed when five— count ‘em— five local cases were spotted in Perth.

Look, Australia is entitled to run their nation any way they want. They have the constitutional right to act like so many scared kookaburras in the face of a virus that will spare 99.98 percent of them. But don’t push the “shrimp on the bar-b” hokum on the world when the tennis begins.

This whack-a-mole mania culminated in Sunday’s expulsion of Covid rebel Novak Djokovic. After granting the No. 1 men’s player in the world a visa to play, Australia’s Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke said he had cancelled the 34-year-old’s visa for a second time on “health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”. He said Djokovic’s example was— wait for it— a threat to his people.

Good order? Hawke and his government have to lock up the population because their Island Fortress strategy isn’t enough to curb Omicron’s arrival. Yet Djokovic is the threat, not their frantic search for a fifth column of viral killers in Canberra.

Djoker knew he was going into headwinds as he sought to play in the Open as an unvaccinated player. He was less than forthcoming on his entry documents. So his highly political stance made him a target. But a threat to the people of Australia? Please. (The cops escorting him to the airport was reminiscent of Judy Garland being shooed from the country in the 1960s for being too drunk to perform.)

The Australian PM Scott Morrison, with his eyes on re-election, greeted the expulsion, mumbling about needing to “keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe… It’s now time to get on with the Australian Open and get back to enjoying tennis over the summer.”

Djokovic’s argument is that the Australian government that initially granted him a visa is now using him as an easy target to whip the natives in line. The independent, unapologetic Djokovic has certainly served the Aussie politicians well as a convenient whipping boy for the petrified millions who put their faith in governments and health “experts” to save them from the dreaded virus.

(Sounds like France, which never misses an opportunity to enforce the status quo, will emulate Australia by banning an unvaxxed Djokovic if he ventures there in June for the French Open.)

The “burn the witch” frenzy feeds into the non-vaxxed insanity currently underway in Canada and the U.S. There are demands that those who declined the juice be denied healthcare or fined or have their taxes audited. Immunity is dismssed. Cobbled hospital numbers are conflated with truths. Instead, images of gap-toothed hillbillies saturate progressive media who find their allies have been unable to halt the virus as promised.

Inconveniently, polling by Abacus in Canada has shown that the typical anti-vaxxer is not a swaggering tennis player, a bow hunter or toothless yokel but is in fact a 42-year-old Ontario white woman who votes Liberal.

The bright side of this Kafkaesque farce is that Omicron is fading like old Xmas decorations. Many are predicting that it is peaking now and will be a spent force by February. The tinpot tyrants in Australia, having booted Djokovic, will need something else to reinforce their desperate grasp on power.

Ditto here in North America. Unless a follow-up variant can be swiftly produced (remember that subsequent viruses are always weaker) Skippy and Biden will be left to explain their enforced vaccines and virus solutions to a public disinterested in their ongoing need for power.

To use a tennis analogy they’ll be down two breaks and facing Djokovic’s best serve. Should be entertaining.

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Once Biden’s Ace Against Trump, Covid Now Sinking Him

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“220,000 Americans dead,” said Joe Biden during the second presidential debate.”If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this — anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America,”

In March of 2020, the Democratic Party was dead in the water. Despite three years of Impeachment Theatre, RussiaGate inquiries, SCOTUS witch-hunts and the assault by Hollywood/ mainstream media on #OrangeManBad, the Dems were facing the likelihood that Donald Trump would win a second term in November 2020.

It was the economy, stupid. What to do with a front bench of mediocrities, radicals and lunatics running for the party nomination if the markets are booming?

Then the political gods gifted the party with Covid-19 in February 2020. The Wuhan-sourced pandemic was the ultimate political Hail Mary, an exploitable vehicle the Dems would manipulate to win the White House. From the time of the first deaths in February to Nov. 3, the Dems made sure everything Covid was attributed to the tempestuous Trump. And it stuck.

Trump’s attempts to marshal Operation Warp Speed, his confrontational press conferences, his bans on foreign travellers and, ultimately, 15 Days To Flatten the Curve— no matter. The DEMs tied the shocking death numbers in the U.S. to Trump. Might early and alternative treatments have helped slow the pandemic? It didn’t matter. Trump could not be given a win.

It mattered little that every other nation was helpless to stop the virus. The Dems made Americans believe Trump was making it worse. Looking at his opponent, Biden said in October’s debates. “He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was… The president has no plan… It is what it is, because you are who you are.” And so on.

This cynicism allowed the Dems and their leaking pals in the bureaucracy to flail the idea of vaccines being available in 2020. “If Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it,” future VP Kamala Harris shouted during her debate with Mike Pence. They also got a hand from their Big Pharma donors who delayed release of the vaccines till after the election, robbing Trump of a needed PR victory before the vote.

Famously, the DEM media party eviscerated Trump’s attempts to discuss early treatment options such as Ivermectin, HCQ, vitamin therapy and, of course, falsely accusing the blustering Trump of telling people to drink bleach. It all stuck— and became Covid orthodoxy. Trump said it? Print it.

The “approved” CDC, WHO, NIH and Democrat prescription? Go home if you get sick, and wait till either you recover or go to the hospital to die. Anyone daring to contradict Team Fauci on Covid catechism was tossed from Twitter, Facebook and the MSM. Trump, Alex Berenson, Ivor Cummins, Naomi Wolff, Mike Lindell, Steve Bannon and the New York Post were among the many suspended or banned for “seditious” thought.

The October banning of the Post was the apogee of Pandemic Cancel Culture hubris. Because nothing was allowed to deflect from the pandemic, the oldest newspaper in America was banned for an October series of sourced stories on how Biden and son Hunter had been operating a shakedown scheme for years in China, Ukraine and other nations. How complete was the blackout? One in six Bidden voters later said they wouldn’t have voted for him had they known.

(Canadian media, in the process of being bought out by PM Justin Trudeau, swallowed the Democrat narratives and sold them to mortified Canadians who were told Trump was the Grim Reaper. If anything, Canadians accepted harsher restrictions and lockdowns for fear of the media-manufactured apocalypse “created” by Trump.

The pandemic panic also allowed DEM operatives and sponsors to have election rules changed to permit mail-in voting, vote harvesting and to have ID rules relaxed— often in states run by GOP legislatures. It paid off as DEM votes went from 65,853,625 in 2016 to 81,284,666 in 2020. (Trump jumped from 62,985,106  to 74,224,319.)

The problem for new president Biden was that, having captured the WH, he now had to live up to the standards he’d imposed on Trump. Having told the public he was the man to conquer Covid Biden was soon eating humble pie. As of this writing 330,000 Americans have died on Biden’s watch— 110,000 above the number he’d used to attack Trump. No surprise, Biden isn’t resigning.

The media forces that put Biden in power quickly began campaigns of acceptance for one, then two, then three, now four shots of vaccine. Vax passports become good-behaviour badges. The unvaxxed were ostracized, portrayed as sub-human to distract from the collapse of the Omnipotent Vaccine narrative.

If the end result had not been thousands of deaths one might have even admired the hubris of the Biden operation. But people have died in large numbers as a result of a political scam.

Further, polling now shows the weary public is not distracted by this chicanery. Having failed to deliver on his Covid election promises, Biden now sees numbers at levels Trump experienced. Worse, a midterm massacre is in the offing, one that could see GOP take over both Houses of Congress. And repeal many of the progressive policies now being fed to the public.

The Biden media is now signalling the failure of its Covid strategy, pivoting to voting rights. DEM operative Donna Brazile catches the rage flavour. “Just as Revere and other patriots rode through Massachusetts on the night of April 18, 1775, warning rebellious colonists that the British were coming to prevent the creation of American democracy, Biden and Harris have warned that Republicans are coming now to destroy our democratic processes.”

And all this because the Left, smarting from 2016 defeat, put its selfish destruction of Trump ahead of the safety of Americans. Karma is a bitch, no?

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

 

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