Topping the national headlines has been the SNC Lavalin scandal. Many may not understand what the situation is in regards to SNC Lavalin. We reached out to our MP for Battle River-Crowfoot, Kevin Sorenson to help clarify the situation and the implications it may have on the country going forward.
The issue with SNC Lavalin is that they are a large company that is involved in many sectors of construction within and out of Canada. The company bid on some contracts overseas and was charged by the RCMP in 2015 with corruption and fraud. If convicted, the company could not bid on federal projects in Canada for 10 years and any current contracts would be in jeopardy.
The government and Prime Ministers Office has been accused of pressuring the Attorney General to get federal prosecutors to negotiate remediation, which would be a fine instead of going through with criminal charges. The government and Prime Ministers Office is denying that they had directed Jody Wilson-Raybould, then Attorney General, to make any decision. The government did shuffle Wilson-Raybould from the position of Attorney General to Minister of Veterans Affairs in January and replaced her with David Lametti. Wilson-Raybould resigned from the cabinet in January and testified to the House of Commons Justice Committee about the controversy on Wednesday, February 27th.
Sorenson summarises what the reaction has been in the constituency. "Canadians watched. Canadians believed that what she was saying was true and are just shaking their heads. I know the many calls that we are having into our constituency office just livid with the type of leadership. You've heard of the 'golden rule,' this is more like the rule where he who has the gold, sets the rules and that's the Prime Minister and that's unacceptable."
Sorenson thinks this is concerning for our country. "Well it is if there is two sets of law. If we have the law for you and I and then the law for big corporations, Prime Ministers and Finance Ministers and all those who feel they can usurp and change the course of a law suit and so that's the difficulty here."
"The politiciztion of a justice system is wrong. It would seem here we have a Prime Minister, for his own political causes because he talks so much about the election and him getting re-elected in Papineau (riding) and in Montreal, that this should be changed. Those allegations would point toward a criminal charge. This is huge, I've never really seen anything like this in Canadian politics before."
According to Sorenson, the issue is the loss of confidence in our justice system. "I think it's not just what laws will change, it's what confidence level Canadians and countries all around. Already China has come out talking about the politicization of our justice system so really what does that do when Canadians start to lose confidence in a system that has served us quite well and they believe that it's just up for political direction."
As this situation continues to develop, we will continue to reach out for clarification for our local area.