Jody Wilson-Raybould former Attorney-General told the justice committee she was ‘hounded’ about the SNC-Lavalin criminal prosecution by top Liberal officials, even the Prime Minister. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/Feb. 27, 2019)

SNC Lavalin scandal: Another faux-pas for the Liberal government?

The scandal that is rocking the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has grown yet again. The government also seems to be continuing on a rocky path and strategy.

An emergency meeting of the Justice Committee investigating the situation was shut down almost immediately by the Liberal majority sparking outraged cries of from the opposition of “cover-up”, “disgusting” and “shame”.

Jennifer Wallner (PhD) is a professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa.


The scandal involves the dual role of former Liberal Justice Minister (partisan position) and Attorney-General (non-partisan), Jody Wilson Raybould. She was re-assigned as Veterans Affairs Minister in a cabinet shuffle, in turn seen as a demotion for not bowing to what she says was undue political pressure from the leaders to withdraw the company SNC Lavalin from criminal charges and instead offer them a plea bargain known as Deferred Prosecution Agreement..resulting a fine.

Jennifer Wallner (PhD), professor political studies, University of Ottawa (supplied)

Top government officials have given testimony which differs from that of Ms Wilson-Raybould, and the committee wants to hear back from her. The latest Liberal action in adjourning the Justice Committee meeting is seen as the latest tactical faux pas by the government. An earlier speech by Trudeau which has hoped to quell the rising storm, accomplished very little to that end.

The Canadian scandal is now spreading to world news, with some media claiming the squeaky clean image of Trudeau has been tarnished. The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development has also made a rare statement saying they are “watching” the situation which involves an international incident of bribery and fraud by the Canadian-based multinational SNC Lavalin.

VIDEO: The Liberal majority on the Justice Committee shuts down the emergency meeting yesterday, to outrage from opposition members in a move that continues to put Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in a bad light

The government seems to hope that the budget release next week will push this scandal to the background in this election year. At this point, it seems the scandal dogging the government and dragging both the Liberal party and Trudeau every lower in opinion polls is not about to disappear anytime soon.

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