Canada's Corrupt Foreign Policy Comes Home to Roost
by Yves Engler - TRNN
March 3, 2019
Justin Trudeau’s government is engulfed in a major political scandal that lays bare corporate power in Ottawa. But, SNC Lavalin’s important role in Canadian foreign policy has largely been ignored in discussion of the controversy.
The Prime Minister’s Office has been accused of interfering in the federal court case against the giant Canadian engineering and construction firm for bribing officials in Libya.
Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould claims she was repeatedly pressured to defer prosecution of the company and instead negotiate a fine.
Facing a 10-year ban on receiving federal government contracts if convicted of bribing Libyan government officials, SNC began to lobby the Trudeau government to change the criminal code three years ago.
The company wanted the government to introduce deferred prosecution agreements in which a sentencing agreement would allow the company to continue receiving government contracts. At SNC’s request the government changed the criminal code but Wilson-Raybould resisted pressure from the PMO to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the company headquartered in Montréal.
Incredibly, before Trudeau went to bat for SNC after the firm had either been found guilty or was alleged to have greased palms in Libya, Bangladesh, Algeria, India, Kazakhstan Tunisia, Angola, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Cambodia and Zambia (as well as Québec).