RCMP Investigating Justin Trudeau
In a recent development, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has denied launching an investigation into allegations of political interference during the SNC-Lavalin affair. The SNC-Lavalin scandal, which took place nearly four years ago, involved Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pressuring a former justice minister to intervene in the prosecution of the Montreal-based engineering firm.
The denial came after Canadian democracy watchdog, Democracy Watch, claimed to have evidence of an ongoing investigation into the matter. Throughout Monday, the RCMP remained silent in response to inquiries from the National Post regarding the alleged investigation. However, in a late-afternoon statement on social media, the RCMP clarified that it was not conducting any investigation into the allegations of political interference in the federal government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Justin Trudeau Obstruction of Justice
The allegations initially arose from an access-to-information request filed by Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, on May 25. The RCMP had partially denied the request, citing an ongoing investigation, and invited Conacher to resubmit the request after the conclusion of court proceedings.
Conacher’s access-to-information request explicitly sought records regarding all decisions made in relation to the examination and subsequent investigations into the alleged obstruction of justice by Prime Minister Trudeau, former finance minister Bill Morneau, members of their staff, and former Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick. These allegations revolve around claims that they pressured former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to halt the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
Could Justin Trudeau Go To Jail
When this news first broke, the initial reports stated that Justin Trudeau would be facing up to ten years in jail. However, the RCMP’s statement on Facebook stated, “In response to numerous media reports, the RCMP can confirm it is not investigating allegations of political interference in the trial of SNC Lavalin.” This marks the first public comment by the RCMP since 2019 when a spokesperson mentioned that the matter was being examined carefully, following the ruling by the federal ethics commissioner that Prime Minister Trudeau had violated the Conflict of Interest Act.
The SNC-Lavalin affair began in February 2015 when the RCMP filed fraud and corruption charges against the engineering firm for its involvement in business dealings in Libya. In 2018, the Trudeau Liberals introduced legislation allowing for remediation agreements, a provision that had been advocated for by SNC-Lavalin. Later that year, Wilson-Raybould alleged that the prime minister had asked her to find a solution for SNC-Lavalin, raising concerns of potential political interference.
Despite the company’s threats to divide itself and divest from Canada, the prosecution service rejected SNC-Lavalin’s request for a remediation agreement. Wilson-Raybould was subsequently replaced as justice minister by David Lametti in January 2019. The matter was eventually resolved in December 2019, with SNC-Lavalin pleading guilty to one count of fraud and agreeing to pay a $280-million fine over five years, along with three years of probation.
During the summer of 2019, RCMP investigators began looking into the SNC-Lavalin affair. However, their efforts faced obstacles as the federal government refused to lift cabinet confidentiality. These developments were reported by The Globe and Mail in September 2019, just before the dissolution of Parliament for the upcoming federal election.
With the RCMP’s recent denial of an investigation into the alleged political interference in the SNC-Lavalin affair, the controversy surrounding the affair continues to be a contentious issue in Canadian politics. The impact of this latest development remains to be seen, but it raises questions about accountability and transparency in the country’s governance.
Published by HOLR Magazine.