SNC-Lavalin Mess: This Week

This week, the House of Commons Justice Committee adjourned without voting on whether to call Jody Wilson-Raybould to testify again.

Half an hour into an emergency meeting of the justice committee, Liberal MPs used their majority to adjourn without holding a vote on whether to recall Ms. Wilson-Raybould, drawing cries of “shame,” “despicable” and “cover-up” from opposition MPs. – Globe & Mail

This week, Lorne Gunter wrote about the scale of the corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin.

The scope of SNC-Lavalin’s previous corrupt practices is staggering, even if those dark days are all now in the past. – Toronto Sun    

This week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development notified Canada that it’s watching this story.

The OECD Working Group, which brings together the 44 Parties to the Anti-Bribery Convention, will closely monitor Canada’s updates, and has also sent a letter to the Canadian authorities confirming its concerns and next steps in this matter. – OECD website

This week, Andrew Roman published another of his informed, insightful,and admirably apolitical pieces on the legal issues and the testimony to date.

The “rule of law” is not really a rule, or a law, or even about a law. It is about the limits of politics in a democracy.  The rule of law is an unwritten, but fundamental constitutional law principle of democratic governments everywhere.  It draws a circle around politicians, saying “You can play politics inside this circle, but if you step outside, you are attacking our democracy itself.” – Andrew’s Views


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10 Responses to SNC-Lavalin Mess: This Week

  1. Andrew Roman says:

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog.

  2. I will read Andrew Roman’s entire blog piece, but I disagree on the basis of the quotation with his premise that politics is “play” that should be circumscribed and that the rule of law is necessarily superior to changes in the laws that rise through an elected legislature, which, please note, is the essence of the democracy. We need a process that is co-operative whereas Roman cheerfully shifts power into the hands of those who interpret and enact the laws. As a “fundamental constitutional law principle,” is it not subject to interpretation by the politicians no less than by the attorneys. How else can we the people participate in wiser and more equitable legislation?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – A misleading excerpt, perhaps. Mea culpa. In context, it’s clear to me that Roman is talking not about “politics” the legislative or governance function, but, rather, “playing politics” as in the partisan activity.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    Seems to me that nobody looks good in what you, rightly, call a “mess.” The “nobody,” by the way, includes the opposition parties.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Yes, one side deflects, the other hyperventilates. For this we pay their salaries? I guess so.

  4. Wayne Holst says:

    This story is not yet over. It is a very complex, sensitive issue.

    Beside the fact that I am a loyal liberal, I realize mistakes were made.

    But read the foreign press and see that Canada has a reputation for
    fairness and integrity. All sides need to be heard and tended to.

    I wait for evidence of that and it takes time.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Wayne – Yes, it does seem to take time. I think the sooner this gets a complete airing the better. Distrust of political processes can be corrosive.

  5. John Francis says:

    Perhaps play is the right word. After all, what passes for politics is usually the play of opinions, used like swords or daggers to make a point (hmm!) It seems that the facts of this SNC-Lavalin matter are clear enough otherwise there would be no court case. But facts and opinions are seldom good company or productive of good outcomes. Facts permit discussion. Opinions never do.

    Ps: Thank you for your coverage of this matter. None of it reaches us in NZ.. It is a quiet place except when the All Blacks are playing or we have an earthquake. Otherwise the recent shooting in Christchurch is not just a very tragic occurrence but out of place and an unwanted import from the USA and the EU.,

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – And thanks for reading from NZ. This aspect of the internet is the greatest wonder of my time, for sure — that sense of community without any spatial limits. And please know that we know of the criminal attacks in Christchurch and are appalled and saddened.

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