Well, well we finally have our own home grown scandal that has made some waves internationally. Take that Adolph Trump!
The Name SNC-Lavalin has been burnt into our brains over the last month as the engineering and construction giant, based in Montreal, has been nabbed for greasing the palms of Libyan officials to obtain contracts there. This sort of behaviour is quite common in the corporate world, but political dynamite in the right hands.
Jody Wilson-Raybould was a rookie in dealing with corporate shenanigans but to her credit she decided that Lavalin’s behaviour was clearly unlawful and so, instructed her staff to proceed with corruption charges against the corporate giant. She contended that the PMO’s office wand others were pressuring her to find an easier way out for Lavalin. You see folks, SNC-Lavalin is a giant in Canadian engineering and construction, not just in Quebec, but all across this country. For this company to be tried and convicted in Canadian court was just too much for the Trudeau government, especially in an election year.
Lavalin employs roughly 11,000 workers across this land.
This is a classic case of by the book legal interpretation versus political expediency. The mere threat of this company leaving Montreal and Canada scared the hell out of the Liberal government. Imagine yourself in their position, wouldn’t you try to find a way out. Miss Raybould, however, in her role as attorney general felt it her duty to take this corporate giant to task for clearly breaking Canadian law.
This yin yang between large corporations and national governments in Canada has been quite common. Here are a few examples:
1) Our first P.M. Sir John A. MacDonald’s government was brought down in the 1870s over the scandal resulting from the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
2) Yet another Conservative government under the leadership of John Diefenbaker was to suffer the same fate after the cancellation of the Avro Arrow fighter plane in the 1950s and ‘60s.
3) Joe Clark’s Conservative administration was brought down by the gas tax issue in the 1970s. Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal administration was similarly brought down by his handling of the F.L.Q. crisis in the late ‘70s.
So in this situation, in an election year, what are our choices? Conservative Andrew Scheer is gleefully wailing in the wings to continue the dismantling of the Canadian social fabric, continuing the work of the Harper government. I firmly believe that this course of action would reduce this country to the level of a giant soulless corporate hardware store. Wow, I can’t wait.
The Greens and the new Canadien party are none starters in my opinion. The N.D.P. has a new leader who now has a seat in Parliament, but many of the veterans of the party as it existed under Jack Layton’s leadership are not running in the fall of 2019. Trudeau’s liberals have lost much of the shine of 2015 because of the Lavalin scandal and other failures.
Folks, I apologize for painting such a bleak picture, but in spite of all of this I still prefer the ballot box to the A.K. 47 or the M16 as our way of managing our affairs.