, 03.31.2019 09:10 AM

A reminder of what #LavScam is all about

This.



As we enter the week in which Justin Trudeau will almost certainly expel two women who stood up for the principle of prosecutorial independence, here is what the prosecutors themselves had to say about that – and on the very day Trudeau refused to apologize for #LavScam.

They did not issue that tweet by accident. They were not unaware of the impact it would have, coming – as it did – a couple hours after Justin Trudeau angrily refused to apologize for possibly obstructing justice.

It was Canada’s Public Prosecution Service sending up a flare. It was a warning, from those who would know, that something critically important is at risk.

And that is this: the constitutional principle that our criminal justice system needs to be free and fair. The notion that serious cases of corporate corruption, as SNC-Lavalin is, needs to be fought in open court, with lawyers – not in backrooms, with lobbyists.

“Free from political influence.” That is what motivated Jody Wilson-Raybould to do what she did – and, later, for Jane Philpott and Celina Caesar-Chavannes, to do what they did. They lost their careers to that. They have been defamed and demeaned for that.

We must have a criminal justice system that is free from political influence. We must ensure that justice is free and fair, and not for sale to the wealthy.

That is what this scandal is all about. And that is how history will tell it, too.

23 Comments

  1. bhsk says:

    As soon as the politicians set a precedent to allow for political interference in the legal system we are in trouble. They can stop prosecutions of their friends or direct prosecution of their enemies.

    if Trudeau goes forward with this, then it is justified for Andrew Scheer to do exactly the same thing for his friends.

    That protection of the rule of law and the constitution comes down to the personal integrity of the AG, Deputy AG, and DPP is a big problem for they call all be replaced.

    The rule of law and the constitution need better protection than this. JWR is a hero, but she shouldn’t need to be.

  2. Max says:

    Just watched Michael Serapio interview Minister of Employment Patty Hajdu. Hajdu says JWR should have told Justin. Wakey, wakey Patty! When Michael Wernick calls, its on behalf of Justin. When Gerry Butts, Justin’s best bud and Chief of Staff, she’s talking to Justin. When Elder Marques and Mathieu Bouchard drop by for chit chat, its on behalf of Justin. In the USA, they call them surrogates Patty.

  3. Max says:

    Ah, the “on-the-fly” Liberal strategy comes into view. Those tapes? “Nothing new here” will be the talking point by spineless Liberals. Except, before the tape, it was “he said/she said”. But now we know who was telling the truth, and it ain’t Justin. And just so we’re all clear, The tape reveals Team Trudeau is concerned about the loss of 9000 jobs and SNC Lavalin moving out of Canada. JWR says “no, its not about jobs” and there will be no DPA. So, despite the “9000 JOBS Lost”, Wernick decides NOT to inform Justin. And Justin doesn’t ask. Something about vacation and Christmas. Oh, well. So many priorities. So much to remember. Being PM is hard.

  4. Max says:

    Lastly, “the Prime Minister is firm about this… he’s in a mood…. its not good you’re at loggerheads…. he’s gonna find a way to get it done…. you have the tools, why won’t you use them…”. She saud No. No means no, right Justin? So he fired her and brought in Lametti. If there was no tape, Lametti would be giving that DPA to SNCL. And the spineless Liberal Caucus? They focus not on the truth of the tape, but that they feel she acted unethically by taping. They conveniently ignore what she was doing. She was standing alone against a corrupt Justin to protect the independence of the Prosecutorial Office entrenched in the Canadian Constitution. My point is, that tape is damn inconvenient ain’t it.

  5. the real Sean says:

    If they are expelled, expect a few dozen Liberal M.P.s to go with them and more cabinet resignations…. as a start. If you aren’t standing up against political interference with criminal prosecutions, WTF are you even doing in Parliament?

    • Fiona McMurran says:

      I hope you’re right that other Liberal MPs will leave if JWR and Jane Philpott are expelled. I’m not a Liberal, but I respect my MP, in part because he works hard for his constituents. I’ll be very sorry if he caves to peer pressure on this issue.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Will they, though?

      I’m afraid that short-term party loyalty is going to trump any other consideration, even though expelling JWR and JP may be damaging in the long run.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      TRS,

      Colour me incredibly skeptical after so much time where JP’s fellow ministers did diddly squat.

  6. Nick M. says:

    I may be an engineer and not a lawyer, so this sleaze affects me differently. To me it’s all about different issues.

    For me it’s the Moral Hazard that the Government of the day is telling Engineering firms. That you are allowed to get away with illegal behaviour, and the Law is simply lip service.

    My experience from working in Toronto to working in Alberta, is that in Alberta if a company stresses safety, than it is serious about safety. Report all incidences and near misses, no hiding safety infractions. I can not say the same from my experience in heavy industry in Ontario.

    That is why I also think it as Western Canadian values vs Eastern Canadian Values. Where eastern Canada believes this behaviour is simply the cost of doing business. (This is my perception from working on both sides of Canada)

    I beleive this is the reason why Trudeau’s popularity has been hurt most in BC. (His popularity was already too low in the Prairies to see large changes in the polls.)

    To me it is also about protecting what I perceive as eastern Canada’s economic interest over Western Canadas growing economic influence. As a portion of SNCs share of government contracts would go to Western Canadian firms. Since Western Canada is the growing powerhouse for Engineering Procurment and Construction (EPC) firms.

    Western Canada’s largest skyscraper is named after an engineering EPC after all.

    So to me it’s all about the Engineering Profession and letting everyone in the industry know that the Law is the Law is the Law. Illegal behaviour will not be tolerated.

    No more, “we fired the bad actors, so let us resume business as usual.”

  7. margaret Beresford says:

    Now, do any of these ‘I know more but refuse to compare the litany of abuses on the rule of law that our (still running Conservatives) who to a politician should totally recuse themselves as supporters of Harper’s misuse of our Crown prosecutors to ‘undo’ Constitutional laws vetted thru Parliament. I mean what is the point of even having a House that debates and then votes on legislation…If anti-Constitutional idiots elected, do more to destroy any opposition and undoing our laws…why is this not discussed because these are the yahoos who will again do all to dismantle our democracy as they supported and worked to do under Harper….?

    And our totally supportive media CBC News, cares about the truth as much as they care about doing proper journalistic work…Imagine, laughing because you are paid to at minimum know what NAFTA is and how the ISDS affects the (public) your employers …Nah, let them pay but we’ll make fun of our ignorance of what the initials ISDS –even mean…How gross, how irresponsible…Privatizing CBC is long overdue.
    Bottom line, Trudeau has stood up and unlike any of the cowards from the conservative party, he said …go ahead and say your piece..Jody..
    Whereas Harper and the Conservatives –BARRED —three ministerial staffers from simply answering questions of the Operations Committee in Parliament…To the extent of bullying the House and then appearing instead of these same staffers…How that for a lesson in no-democracy from these hypocrite Conservatives….scammers by trade and the CBC is on my radar for no more public funding —period.

    • billg says:

      But Harper….
      Ain’t gonna work Margaret.
      Every major print and media outlet is on this, the damage is done, not by the evil dark prince Stephen Harper but by an arrogant and possibly our country’s worst PM ever.
      Fake, phoney, arrogant, mean spirited and lacking intelligence.
      That’s our current PM.
      Easily fixed Margaret, but it’s gonna take more then ” but harper”.

      • Kelly says:

        This was started before Trudeau (and no I’m not defending him, just arguing that he unwisely is behaving according to the rules the previous government established with their politicization of the judicial appointments process, the attempted removal of judicial discretion with mandatory minimums, the blatant ampaign attacks on “Liberal” judges and the harassment of the chief justice of the Supreme court.) Scheer’s party wrote the book on this stuff and they poisoned the well. They won’t win the next election because in the campaign voters will be reminded of their hypocrisy over and over again. I think the NDP has a shot.

  8. Joseph says:

    The PM is going to expel them?
    No, thats not how he works.
    He has some pressure brought to bear on the caucus and then he makes them vote them out.
    Don’t you remember? He doesn’t take responsibility for any of the tawdry stuff.
    But here’s the rub.
    Before they pass judgement on their soon to be cashiered MP’s will Jody be allowed to speak to caucus?
    And if so will it be to remind her colleagues why they are being asked to oust two MP’s?
    And then ask her colleagues if they think this will make the story go away?
    Then the biggest if, will the vote be unanimous or not?

  9. J.H. says:

    I keep waiting for someone to point out the Libs and their media pals that it was not JWR who released the tape of the Wernick conversation. It was the Lib dominated Justice Committee.
    Not that I believe the bleating over this is nothing more than a failing attempt to deflect from the damage it has done to Trudeau & LPC.
    & this was devastating
    https://globalnews.ca/video/5114271/liberal-party-has-a-sense-of-entitlement-phillip

    • Vancouverois says:

      That’s a good point – I hadn’t even considered that the Liberal majority may have voted to release the recording.

      I don’t think it will make a difference, though. I expect that the pro-Trudeau MPs are incensed by the very fact that she made it in the first place.

  10. Saba Ahmad says:

    I see it rather differently. The AG is not just in charge of the justice system. It’s the AG’s job to provide advice & counsel to the government. It’s a double role.

    It’s clear to me that JWR was unfamiliar with the latter aspect of her job. She misinterpreted a simple request for a more detailed legal opinion as a threat to judicial independence.

    JT was having trouble glad handing SNC. He wanted his lawyer to help bolster his negotiating position. He wanted an analysis so he could credibly say “I tried everything” – and even said “If you don’t give me a memo, I’ll have to hire Beverly McLachlin”. And that sounded like meddling? McLachin wasn’t going to give him a rubber stamp to make a deal.

    JT merely wanted to be able to say to SNC that he considered all options.

    JWR did not understand it was her job to help JT consider all options.

  11. Robert White says:

    The Canadian Criminal Justice System has historically catered to the moneyed class via fees for service. The poor in Canada have historically been given the shaft by the so-called Criminal Justice System to date. At no time in Canadian historiography do we evidence a fair & just system of jurisprudence. Aboriginal Canada has historically been shafted by the Government of Canada too.

    The list of less than fair outcomes is long in our shared history. The Canadian Criminal Justice System is by no means fair or impartial when it comes to doling out jurisprudence to the poor of Canada.

    First Nations reserves are still in third world conditions for septic systems & potable water. That should have been outlawed years ago IMO.

    RW

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