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  #251  
Old 04-03-2019, 03:33 PM
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The resignations at the top of SNC-Lavalin were because those people actually pleaded guilty to crimes. I don't consider it reasonable governance to only fire executives when they actually have to plead guilty to felonious behavior in a court of law.

The Deferred Prosecution Agreement actually says that it matters HOW the company changes the executive and its practices. It is supposed to apply to companies whose own self-policing and self-reporting detected and exposed the wrongdoers. For example, a company ombudsman gets a tip from a whistleblower that an executive bribed an official. The company fires the executive, implements new controllership, and reports the infraction to the government. Such a company does not deserve a 10 year ban on contracts. That's the logic of the DPA.

SNC-Lavalin has been convicted of offenses many times, over many years, and perpetrated by many people. It had actual bogus expense classifications specifically put in place to hide bribe money. Its shenanigans didn't stop in 2011-2012, but continue to this day. The last guilty plea from that company came down just two months ago.

I have worked for big companies. I worked for one that had a problem with a sales manager giving bribes. He was fired, the company used his case in new training materials to make sure everyone understood what he did wrong, and we had to take classes that specifically went through various scenarios and we had to identify the ethical failings in each one. Then they put in a new Ombudsman and made his phone number part of the training, and we were all told that there was zero tolerance for cheating or bribery, and that there would be no consequences for whistleblowing.

That's the kind of thing companies are expected to do when they discover malfeasance in their ranks, and that's how they protect themselves from corporate punishment. Those are the companies the DPA was designed for. Not a company that apparently treats the buying of politicians as formalized, standard procedure as is apparently the case at SNC-Lavalin. They do it in foreign countries, and they do it in Canada.

I would really love to see that list of the Canadian politicians who benefited from SNC-Lavalin's little kickback scheme to violate campaign finance laws and hide corporate donations to Liberals behind individual donations. My guess is that we might find one or two people close to the current scandal.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 04-03-2019 at 03:34 PM.
  #252  
Old 04-03-2019, 04:25 PM
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I suspect you're right.
  #253  
Old 04-03-2019, 05:55 PM
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SNC-Lavalin whistleblower comes forward with new allegations

According to an insider from SNC-Lavalin who is now talking to authorities, the company has actually been borrowing money from the Export Development Bank to fund bribes, and bribing officials is standard operating procedure for the company.
Yes, that's pretty shocking corruption alright. It's all the more disturbing because Export Development Canada is a Crown corporation accountable to the federal government and reporting to the Minister for International Trade. The feds even appoint its board members. And SNC Lavalin was paying many of its bribes with EDC money!

And who was the Prime Minister responsible for federal oversight during this period when SNC Lavalin was not only bribing corrupt officials all over the world, but doing it in collaboration with EDC and with funds helpfully provided by EDC, a de facto agency of the federal government? Why, none other than your beloved upstanding former Conservative leader Stephen Harper! But it's all Trudeau's fault!
  #254  
Old 04-03-2019, 06:17 PM
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Sorry, but you are just reaching now. No one blames Trudeau for what happened before he was Prime Minister, and Harper is long gone. Nice try at deflection, though.
  #255  
Old 04-03-2019, 06:50 PM
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Sorry, but you are just reaching now. No one blames Trudeau for what happened before he was Prime Minister, and Harper is long gone. Nice try at deflection, though.
No reaching, no deflection -- you're the one regaling us with all these stories about SNC Lavalin's alleged corrupt practices over many years, and I'm just pointing out that those many years spanned both Liberal and Conservative governments. So one wonders about the relevance of these tales in a discussion about Trudeau. Are we to believe that no one in the Harper government had a clue about all the bribery that SNC Lavalin was involved in -- over the span of nine years that they governed -- despite all the public findings of guilt and their close working association with EDC? If Trudeau appears to have given them a pass for reasons of realpolitik, it appears he was hardly alone.
  #256  
Old 04-03-2019, 07:11 PM
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But it's not about which governments were in power when the corruption happened. The point is that the company has established a very long history of corrupt practices which made it ineligible for the Deferred Prosecution agreement. You're the one trying to flip this into an attack on Harper, who has absolutely nothing to do with whether the company should have been given a deferred prosecution.

Let's put it this way - even if the CEO of SNC-Lavalin was giving Harper a daily BJ, it wouldn't change the fact that SNC-Lavalin is corrupt, has a long history of corruption, and therefore shouldn't be a candidate for the DPA. Which is what the attorney general concluded.

If you want to go after Harper for enabling corruption, then do it. Show us the evidence in another thread and we can debate it. But whether he did or not has NOTHING to do with the current debate. It's a hijack.
  #257  
Old 04-03-2019, 08:48 PM
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Is that what this is all about? The DPA? I'm not aware of all the details of what was being suggested to Wilson-Reybould or what her legal options may have been with or without the DPA. And I think your unquestioning conclusion that the DPA absolutely would not apply is far from clear, as all or most of the individuals involved in the scandals you've been citing are long gone. Note that even before the DPA there was such a thing as "prosecutorial discretion", and note also that other countries (like the US, for instance) have had their own versions of the same thing for longer than we have.

In disclaiming the applicability of the DPA you seem to be trying to imply that SNC Lavalin in its entirety is essentially a criminal organization, which is ridiculous. No, it's a multi-billion dollar company with over 50,000 employees and operations in 160 countries. They need consideration, too, not just convicted former executives.
  #258  
Old 04-04-2019, 03:12 AM
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But it's not about which governments were in power when the corruption happened. The point is that the company has established a very long history of corrupt practices....
My Dad was a surety bondsman. Basically, he underwrote large construction projects. Dad's projects included the Coquihalla Highway in BC, Calgary Airport, and Robarts Library at the University of Toronto. He guaranteed the completion of these projects. And they we completed, and Dad collected his fee. (He did kick himself once because he had the opportunity to underwrite the completion of Skydome in Toronto, but he turned it down, thinking, "That roof will never work.")

Dad would absolutely not touch a project in Quebec. Why? "Because Quebec engineers and contractors are corrupt. They expect bribes." Since he was not willing to bribe anybody, he simply did not do business in Quebec. He had plenty of other projects that interested and engaged him, from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

An anecdote is never data, especially here on the SDMB, but I think Dad's refusal to underwrite Quebec projects is significant. Dad was not shy about saying that the construction business in Quebec was corrupt. Given what we're seeing about SNC-Lavalin today, it seems that Dad had the right idea.
  #259  
Old 04-04-2019, 10:14 AM
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In disclaiming the applicability of the DPA you seem to be trying to imply that SNC Lavalin in its entirety is essentially a criminal organization, which is ridiculous. No, it's a multi-billion dollar company with over 50,000 employees and operations in 160 countries. They need consideration, too, not just convicted former executives.
Lavalin broke the law, yes? The DPA was meant to be used if the infraction seems to be an isolated activity and the company is proactively making changes to root it out. Lavalin has a history of these issues and only fired the people who got caught. It's as simple as that -- no implications of anything else is necessary. I haven't seen a single lawyer on the news channels say Lavalin is a good test case/poster child to qualify for a DPA. They all said the opposite, actually.

Last edited by CarnalK; 04-04-2019 at 10:15 AM.
  #260  
Old 04-04-2019, 06:06 PM
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Lavalin broke the law, yes? The DPA was meant to be used if the infraction seems to be an isolated activity and the company is proactively making changes to root it out. Lavalin has a history of these issues and only fired the people who got caught.
So who do you think they should have fired? The innocent ones, too? All 50,000 employees?
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I haven't seen a single lawyer on the news channels say Lavalin is a good test case/poster child to qualify for a DPA. They all said the opposite, actually.
Not a single lawyer? You need to get out more. Or switch channels once in a while. Donald Johnson is a former Liberal, true, but also a former AG and secretary general of the OECD during the time that the Anti-Bribery Convention was adopted, so maybe he knows a thing or two that is worth listening to.

That same article also quotes the Canadian Bar Association as stating that "debarment [from procurement contracts] can lead to the kinds of harm to blameless persons that DPAs are intended to avoid. … An automatic five-to-10 year debarment carries significant consequences and may effectively dissolve a firm that is highly dependent on government contracts."
  #261  
Old 04-04-2019, 06:31 PM
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Thank god you found a partisan hack to back you up. Too bad he wasn't still AG, then we never would have heard about this.
  #262  
Old 04-04-2019, 07:26 PM
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Heh, fun fact: the guy who wrote that opinion piece served in père Trudeau's cabinet.
  #263  
Old 04-04-2019, 07:42 PM
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It's interesting seeing someone ostensibly on the left trying his best to hand-wave away the behaviour of a corrupt mega corporation.

Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.
  #264  
Old 04-05-2019, 12:37 PM
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Trudeau's Liberals blew it by not forcing proportional representation through when he had the chance, for the ongoing splits in the left might make the difference in whether or not the Conservatives get a majority now that the never-ending corruption of SNC-Laval and allegations of it having at times involved the Quebec Liberals are back in the public's eye.
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  #265  
Old 04-05-2019, 12:59 PM
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That's the first time I ever heard anyone suggest proportional representation as being a benefit to one of the major parties. But I guess you're not quite saying that. You're saying they should have passed PR so as to deny the Conservatives a majority in this one election in the wake of a scandal.

Yeah, can't see that as "blowing it".
  #266  
Old 04-05-2019, 09:19 PM
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SNC-Lavalin appeals to Federal Court of Appeal; seeks judicial review of the decision by Crown prosecutors not to offer a deferred prosecution agreement.

https://postmediatorontosun.files.wo...0-19-doc-1.pdf
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  #267  
Old 04-06-2019, 03:14 AM
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SNC-Lavalin appeals to Federal Court of Appeal; seeks judicial review of the decision by Crown prosecutors not to offer a deferred prosecution agreement.

https://postmediatorontosun.files.wo...0-19-doc-1.pdf
That's... ballsy.
  #268  
Old 04-06-2019, 11:15 AM
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Yes, especially since the Supreme Court has held that the courts do not review the decisions of prosecutors on whether and how to charge someone. It's a separation of powers issue: the executive is responsible for deciding whether and how to prosecute. The courts are responsible for judging the case the Crown brings.

CBC has summarised the basis for the appeal here: "Prosecutor cited 'gravity' of alleged SNC-Lavalin offences: Court documents"

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5086604

Apparently the Crown gave three reasons why they decided not to consider a deferred prosecution agreement:

1. The "nature and gravity" of SNC-Lavalin alleged corruption in Libya;

2. The degree of involvement of senior company officials in Montreal;

3. SNC-Lavalin's failure to self-report.

SNC-Lavalin argues in its notice of Appeal that it had answers to those comments, which weren't relayed to the Attorney General. Also seems to be arguing that a prosecution would now be politically tainted and unfair.
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  #269  
Old 04-06-2019, 12:37 PM
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How's Trudeau doing, Canada?


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Not a single lawyer? You need to get out more. Or switch channels once in a while. Donald Johnson is a former Liberal, true, but also a former AG and secretary general of the OECD during the time that the Anti-Bribery Convention was adopted, so maybe he knows a thing or two that is worth listening to.
Ah yes, one of the friendly op-eds that Ms Telford said the PMO would start lining up to defend their decisions.

Minister of Justice under Trudeau père? Member for Saint-Henri-Westmount? Former President of the Liberal Party?

Yes, he's clearly a neutral, disinterested public commentator.

And he says that he doesn't know the reasons why the Crown prosecutors decided not to offer a deferred prosecution agreement. Undeterred by his admitted lack of knowledge of the case, he confidently asserts "If ever there was a case for a deferred prosecution agreement, it was here."

That's not how prosecution decisions, or decisions by the Attorney General should be made. Decisions should only be made on full information, not what you've read in the papers.

He also seems to criticise the fact that the Crown office has not disclosed their reasons for refusing the DPA. But it's an essential part of our criminal system that the Crown doesn't hold press conferences to gain public support for their prosecutorial decisions. Doing that inevitably politicises the prosecution service. They've communicated their reasons to SNC-Lavalin, who is the affected party, and to the Attorney General, the chief law officer of the Crown. That's how the system works, to protect the target of a prosecution and the non-partisan nature of prosecutions. I would have thought that a former Attorney General would know that.

He also takes a nasty little swipe at the entire federal prosecution service, asserting that the issues around deferred prosecution agreements are beyond their understanding, poor things

Only an outside, private lawyer, hand-picked by the PMO, apparently can be trusted to deal with this type of criminal prosecution decision.

And, he also criticises the Canadian voters. If only the PM and his people had had a better media plan in place to explain how DPAs work, this wouldn't be a story. Better media spin by the PMO would have defused this whole situation and Canadian voters would have just nodded and said, "Sure, it's okay if a major company uses its political influence to get out of a criminal conviction. They'll pay a little fine and the Crown comes after the company minions, but not the company? Well why didn't you tell me?!?"

Sorry Don, but I think Canadian voters aren't that easily "spun" and have a pretty good idea of what's going on here.

Got anything better? Maybe someone who doesn't have any ties to the Liberal party and la famille Trudeau?

Quote:
That same article also quotes the Canadian Bar Association as stating that "debarment [from procurement contracts] can lead to the kinds of harm to blameless persons that DPAs are intended to avoid. … An automatic five-to-10 year debarment carries significant consequences and may effectively dissolve a firm that is highly dependent on government contracts."

Sure, but that was speaking about the idea of deferred prosecution agreements in general, back when the federal government was first floating the idea. It's a general comment on the proposed law, not a comment about whether a DPA was appropriate in this particular case.

I'd be surprised if the CBA would comment on an ongoing prosecution, knowing that they don't have the complete record. But if you can find a comment from the CBA on this particular case, I'd be interested in seeing it.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 04-06-2019 at 12:42 PM.
  #270  
Old 04-06-2019, 03:24 PM
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I suspect everyone is going to get away with this. SNC-Lavalin will continue to poke at this decision, and it will be quietly overturned sometime down the road when no one is paying attention. And by the time of the election, the media will dutifully take the line that this is old news, and that the other parties are desperate to keep it alive for political reasons, and the Trudeau is actually the maligned party by having an old obscure issue repeatedly brought up for partisan reasons and it's time to move on and talk about the real issues Canadians care about, such as how great Justin Trudeau is.

After all, he did just give them a $600 million dollar gift in an election year.
  #271  
Old 04-06-2019, 05:05 PM
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Well, it will be old news. And I doubt the charges will be dropped

At the end of the day, this is a very unsexy scandal. Nothing really happened. Trudeau et al may have pushed ethical boundaries but they didn't break a law, and the pushing of ethical bounds didn't change anything.

Yes, the media will dutifully drop this in a couple months, because their duty is to be interesting. Everyone but partisans will be bored of this by August..

Last edited by CarnalK; 04-06-2019 at 05:07 PM.
  #272  
Old 04-06-2019, 05:35 PM
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...Minister of Justice under Trudeau père? Member for Saint-Henri-Westmount? Former President of the Liberal Party?

Yes, he's clearly a neutral, disinterested public commentator....
LOL
  #273  
Old 04-06-2019, 06:11 PM
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Yes, especially since the Supreme Court has held that the courts do not review the decisions of prosecutors on whether and how to charge someone.
Correct, but that's not the basis of the appeal. The basis of the appeal is the allegation that there was an "abuse of process", which is, in fact, valid grounds for judicial review. I don't actually think they have much of a chance, but let's keep the facts straight.
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Minister of Justice under Trudeau père? Member for Saint-Henri-Westmount? Former President of the Liberal Party?

Yes, he's clearly a neutral, disinterested public commentator.
I didn't say he was "neutral" or "disinterested". I said he was worth listening to. The OECD doesn't appoint someone as their secretary-general because he's a useless partisan hack, as someone referred to Johnson upthread. Let's face it, everyone who votes has a position here tainted by some degree of partisanship. It doesn't mean their arguments are wrong.
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Sure, but that was speaking about the idea of deferred prosecution agreements in general, back when the federal government was first floating the idea. It's a general comment on the proposed law, not a comment about whether a DPA was appropriate in this particular case.
It was speaking about the damage that can be done to many innocent parties by the prosecution of a few, which seems to me to be right on point here.

I'm hardly a diehard Liberal Party partisan. I've also voted both Conservative and NDP at different times. Quite frankly, my concern here is both about the Canadian and Quebec economies and also the fact that throwing Trudeau under the bus for this is the proverbial throwing out of the baby with the bathwater. Trudeau has been a notable and laudable icon of progressivism in a world that lately seems to be dominated by populist regressives, bigots, and xenophobes. The last thing we need in Canada now is Harper Lite.
  #274  
Old 04-06-2019, 09:30 PM
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.
I didn't say he was "neutral" or "disinterested". I said he was worth listening to. The OECD doesn't appoint someone as their secretary-general because he's a useless partisan hack, as someone referred to Johnson upthread. Let's face it, everyone who votes has a position here tainted by some degree of partisanship. It doesn't mean their arguments are wrong.
Hmm, the only time the word "useless" seems to appear in this thread is in your posts.

Johnston was nominated to his OECD position by Chretien. I have no idea what rigorous vetting takes place before the members vote on it, so feel free to impress me. But I'll offer a slight change to my original statement, I haven't seen a single non-party affiliated working lawyer say SNC was a good candidate for DPA.
  #275  
Old 04-06-2019, 10:02 PM
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I didn't say he was "neutral" or "disinterested". I said he was worth listening to.
Johnston's own words:

"If there was ever a case for a DPA, it was here. Canada had an opportunity to illustrate how corporate wrongdoing can be addressed effectively without destroying globally competitive companies, leaving jobs, skills and technologies to be profitably harvested abroad."

Acting in the national economic interest is specifically something that CANNOT be used as a reason for a DPA regarding the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. It says so in the legislation.

Quote:
Quite frankly, my concern here is both about the Canadian and Quebec economies and also the fact that throwing Trudeau under the bus for this is the proverbial throwing out of the baby with the bathwater.
There are the sorts of sad excuses that often accompany a disinterest in democracy and the rule of law. "We certainly can't prosecute this big company, that would be bad for business! Never mind the norms of governance, that might mean the right candidate won't get elected!"
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  #276  
Old 04-06-2019, 11:09 PM
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Johnston's own words:

"If there was ever a case for a DPA, it was here. Canada had an opportunity to illustrate how corporate wrongdoing can be addressed effectively without destroying globally competitive companies, leaving jobs, skills and technologies to be profitably harvested abroad."

Acting in the national economic interest is specifically something that CANNOT be used as a reason for a DPA regarding the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. It says so in the legislation
EXACTLY! (I think I made that point earlier in this thread but can't be bothered looking for it. )


Quote:
There are the sorts of sad excuses that often accompany a disinterest in democracy and the rule of law. "We certainly can't prosecute this big company, that would be bad for business! Never mind the norms of governance, that might mean the right candidate won't get elected!"
And, the legislation also prohibits taking into account "the identity of the organization or individual involved." So arguments that "This is SNC-Lavalin, Jody! We can't let it go under!" are equally irrelevant.

In other words, for whatever reason, Parliament decided that it's harder to get a DPA for prosecutions under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act than "ordinary" corruption offences under the Criminal Code.

Again, you would think that a former Attorney General and exec sec from the OECD would appreciate that you can't make an argument about "SNC might leave Canada and take their expertise, like Avro did!"

That sure sounds to me like an argument based on the identity of the organisation involved, which is prohibited.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 04-06-2019 at 11:11 PM.
  #277  
Old 04-07-2019, 11:51 AM
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Correct, but that's not the basis of the appeal. The basis of the appeal is the allegation that there was an "abuse of process", which is, in fact, valid grounds for judicial review. I don't actually think they have much of a chance, but let's keep the facts straight.
That is one of the grounds of appeal now, but SNC-Lavalin did not allege abuse of process in their initial application (SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. v. Canada (Public Prosecution Service, 2019 FC 282):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane J, Federal Court
[64] The Respondent notes that although prosecutorial discretion may be reviewed for abuse of process or flagrant impropriety by the prosecutor, this is not alleged by the Applicants.

[159] The Applicants submit that the Respondent has lost sight of the remedy they seek in their Application, which is to set aside the DPP’s decision and to be offered to negotiate a remediation agreement. They do not allege abuse of process or seek a stay of proceedings.
(my bolding)

They are now trying to raise abuse of process on appeal, but it's hard to introduce new issues on appeal.

Their main argument in the Federal Court was that the decision to offer a deferred prosecution agreement was not an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and therefore could be reviewed by the courts. The Federal Court dismissed that argument, saying that just because it doesn't lead to a conviction and sentence doesn't take it out of prosecutorial discretion. The Crown's decision whether or not to offer the deferred prosecution agreement is part of the prosecutorial discretion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane J, Federal Court
The law is clear that prosecutorial discretion is not subject to judicial review, except for abuse of process. The DPP’s decision to not invite the Applicants to enter into negotiations for a remediation agreement clearly falls within the ambit of prosecutorial discretion.
They seem to have argued that a remediation agreement is just that: an agreement, more like a civil settlement, and that takes it out of the scope of prosecutorial discretion. (Curiously, that argument seems to match the arguments advanced by the Clerk of the Privy Council in the taped phone call...).

The Judge firmly rejected that argument. She reviewed numerous cases which held that when the Criminal Code gives the prosecutor discretion to consider alternative measures to the classic trial guilty/not guilty, it is still an exercise of prosecutorial discretion to decide whether to offer the alternative measures (paras. 133-136).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane J., Federal Court
[141] In conclusion, the decision for which the Applicants seek judicial review is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion that falls within the prosecutor’s role in bringing and continuing the prosecution and all that entails.
She also highlighted the constitutional nature of prosecutorial discretion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane J, Federal Court
[76] In Miazga, the Supreme Court of Canada highlighted that the independence of the Attorney General as prosecutor is constitutionally entrenched. The Court noted at para 46:
The independence of the Attorney General is so fundamental to the integrity and efficiency of the criminal justice system that it is constitutionally entrenched. The principle of independence requires that the Attorney General act independently of political pressures from government and sets the Crown’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion beyond the reach of judicial review, subject only to the doctrine of abuse of process.
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I didn't say he was "neutral" or "disinterested". I said he was worth listening to. The OECD doesn't appoint someone as their secretary-general because he's a useless partisan hack, as someone referred to Johnson upthread. Let's face it, everyone who votes has a position here tainted by some degree of partisanship. It doesn't mean their arguments are wrong.
I just think that equating the partisan interest of a past president of the Liberal Party to that of the individual voter is a bridge too far.

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It was speaking about the damage that can be done to many innocent parties by the prosecution of a few, which seems to me to be right on point here.
...
Quite frankly, my concern here is both about the Canadian and Quebec economies ...
But as RickJay and I have pointed out, the Criminal Code prohibits the Crown from taking into account "the national economic interest" and " the identity of the organization or individual involved", when it's a charge of bribing foreign public officials. See Criminal Code, s. 715.32(3).
  #278  
Old 04-07-2019, 04:24 PM
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There are the sorts of sad excuses that often accompany a disinterest in democracy and the rule of law. "We certainly can't prosecute this big company, that would be bad for business! Never mind the norms of governance, that might mean the right candidate won't get elected!"
I'll respond to that by beginning with this quote:
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
At the end of the day, this is a very unsexy scandal. Nothing really happened. Trudeau et al may have pushed ethical boundaries but they didn't break a law, and the pushing of ethical bounds didn't change anything.
I agree with this. The whole discussion of the technicalities of a DPA or the larger question of prosecutorial discretion in general, or of the alleged pure evil of SNC Lavalin, are all peripheral to the larger issue that concerns me here. One can acknowledge that what Trudeau is alleged to have done was wrong, and still legitimately ask whether it rises to the level of wrongness that should cost him the right to govern and perhaps his political career, particularly given that it was done with good intentions and not self-serving motives like self-enrichment.

Because ISTM that most of those who profess their outrage at this supposed "scandal" are of a Conservative-supporting inclination who would be happy to see Trudeau gone, just on general principle, like my Conservative buddy who can't even mention his name without throwing in a juvenile insult. So again, I'm not saying that Trudeau wasn't wrong, I'm commenting on the political opportunism seeking to exploit it to the maximum possible extent. They had no problem at all when SNC was distributing bribes all over the world using funds from Export Development Canada under Harper's watch, but are suddenly scandalized when Trudeau regards a major Canadian company as too big to fail, particularly in the hypersensitive context of Quebec politics. The perception in Quebec that the federal government was torpedoing one of Quebec's biggest companies and biggest employers would be politically explosive, particularly if they were banned from all federal contracts.

Remember that all this back-and-forth started when I simply expressed my annoyance with seeing Wilson-Raybould's smugly grinning mug on the front pages of news sites every single day. She single-handedly escalated this tempest in a teapot to a national spectacle, often using unethical sleazy tactics, and created a largely artificial scandal out of all proportion to the actual transgression. And she did it for reasons that I personally find suspiciously self-serving. I don't see that "democracy and the rule of law" were ever under any real threat, or that Wilson-Raybould's sanctimonious grandstanding has done anything to save democracy or take the country in a better direction. Andrew Scheer, meanwhile -- speaking of political opportunism -- is worried that this may all fade away and as recently as today was handing out alleged new material to keep the "scandal" alive.
  #279  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:01 PM
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To the OP's question:

Well, he's going to be mocked on the Simpsons this weekend.

Bit of a come-down from a Vogue glamour shot.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...cing-1.5106507
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
To the OP's question:

Well, he's going to be mocked on the Simpsons this weekend.

Bit of a come-down from a Vogue glamour shot.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...cing-1.5106507
Thanks for the heads-up -- that looks like it's going to be fun!

But I don't see any basis for the "going to be mocked" comment. From the guy who did the Trudeau voice-over: "I think if there was a clear intention to mock someone or make someone look bad, then there would be some problems. I can honestly say there's absolutely no malice either for [Trudeau] or anybody else. It really is just about trying to be funny," he said."
  #281  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:15 PM
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Any other time i’ve Seen a political leader on Simpsons, they’ve been mocked: Ford, Bush I, Dole and Clinton all come to mind. But maybe they ‘ll break the pattern for Trudeau.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:11 AM
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There will be mockery, I'm sure, but it will be gentle and of the sort that even Mr. Trudeau and his family can laugh at.

Remember the Simpsons episode with Bush the First was a "Dennis the Menace" parody, with Mr. Bush playing Mr. Wilson to Bart's Dennis; and Bob Dole was an "inaction" figure, who, when you pulled the string, said, "You are hearing me talk." Ford invited Homer over for nachos and beer and TV football. No biting satire, like SNL might do; just gentle humour exploiting the various presidents' (and others) petty foibles and habits.

I'm sure that it will be the same with Mr. Trudeau. There won't be any serious issues or inappropriate mannerisms addressed, just things that Mr. Trudeau can laugh along at, and perhaps say, "Okay, you got me there."
  #283  
Old 04-25-2019, 10:50 AM
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What? A Simpson's Trump character will not be grabbing Trudeau by the . . . ?
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:24 AM
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SNC-Lavalin ordered to stand trial on corruption charges


SNC-Lavalin to stand trial on corruption charges, Quebec judge rules

Allegations of bribes in the order of $48 million, and defrauded a number of Libyan institutions out of $130 million.

Media asked the lead Crown prosecutor if a DPA is still possible. Me Roy simply stated: "The director of public prosecutions has made a decision in that regard."

No comment whether the federal AG will intervene and change that decision.
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  #285  
Old 06-02-2019, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
and Bob Dole was an "inaction" figure, who, when you pulled the string, said, "You are hearing me talk."
If I remember right, that was actually an Al Gore doll. Though Bill Clinton and Bob Dole were also featured in a Halloween episode.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:19 AM
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If I remember right, that was actually an Al Gore doll.
You are correct, but some dolls are styled, "action figures." I attempted a bit of humour by calling it an "inaction figure," though rereading my remark, I could perhaps have worded it better.

Quote:
Though Bill Clinton and Bob Dole were also featured in a Halloween episode.
Don't blame me; I voted for Kodos!

I seem to recall Tony Blair being featured in an episode too, and I believe he even provided his own voice.
  #287  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:14 PM
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Trudeau's numbers are now far worse than Donald Trump's.

49% of the country disapproves of the current government. Only 33% approve.

When asked about Justin Trudeau himself, 47% of Canadians have a negative impression of him, and only 33% have a positive impression. When he was elected, it was 57% positive and only 24% negative.

Trudeau is now a liability to the liberals, and there are rumors that the liberals are thinking of ways to replace him before the election.

Cite.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 06-03-2019 at 08:15 PM.
  #288  
Old 06-07-2019, 10:33 AM
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I mean you can object to Trudeau's policies and handling of issues but I'm not sure how you can compare an Abacus Data poll on Canadian politics and politicians with American polling on Donald Trump. Seems a reach.

So I looked at the "Reputation of Leaders" portion of the poll and found it odd they arrange the Trudeau numbers positive/negative and the Sheer numbers negative/positive. So I'l list the actual numbers here. It's not nearly the liability you seem to be making it out as Sam

Trudeau 33% positive, 47% negative (unchanged from last review)
Sheer 29% positive, 35% negative (down 2 positive, up 4 negative)
Singh 23% positive, 27% negative (unchanged from last review)
May 32% positive, 17% negative (up 5 positive, down 0 negative)

So the next election will be tight and hing on a number of things like SNC, China, NAFAT 2.0 etc. I'd bet though that Canadian will take their typical approach consider "voting out a government" instead of "voting in an opposition".
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  #289  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:27 AM
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His latest stammering response to how he and his family cut down on plastics while defending his poorly thought out "plastic ban" is just.... embarrassing really.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCv6n91ikB8

How could he not have been prepared for this question? Any intelligent person would have just said "I just don't use plastic water bottles"... except apparently the Trudeau family spends $300/month on bottled water.

Secondly, any "drink box water" would contain more unrecyclable waste in foil, plastic, and waxed paper, and straw than a a regular water bottle.

He also missed the opportunity to emphasize that we spend billions in building and upgrading facilities, treating, testing and regulation to ensure safe drinking water throughout the country so that bottled water is largely unnecessary in most of Canada.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:57 AM
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Do you hate the guy personally or something? That stuff isn't important.

What is important is being a role model for others and finding workable solutions to the Earth's health problems. Maybe the plastic ban won't be perfect immediately, but you need to start somewhere.
  #291  
Old 06-16-2019, 01:50 PM
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That stuff isn't important.
It's important to me. I have yet to live any place where I find the tap water palatable. I use tap water for cooking and most other things, but I'm a huge consumer of bottled spring water for drinking -- actual spring water, not filtered stuff. I practically live on the stuff. We're fortunate to live in a part of the world where pure clean spring water is abundantly available, and I would consider being forced to drink evil-tasting tap water by some ill-conceived government policy to be a personal affront. And if I'm going to be forced to buy and maintain an expensive high-quality filtration system as an inferior alternative to bottled spring water I expect Trudeau Junior to pay for it.

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Originally Posted by Palooka View Post
What is important is being a role model for others and finding workable solutions to the Earth's health problems. Maybe the plastic ban won't be perfect immediately, but you need to start somewhere.
A good place to start is making rational decisions, not feel-good virtue signaling. I understand that plastics can be an environmental problem, and that microplastics in the oceans are a serious concern. But plastic water bottles are fully recyclable, and mine are invariably recycled. Not only are they recyclable, but the brand I buy uses bottles that are themselves made from 100% recycled plastic, so when they go in the recycling bin, they're going in for at least a second round of recycling. How is this an environmental problem deserving a ban?

The proper course of action here is to make sure that recycling systems are effective and properly managed and that everyone participates, not banning useful and important products.

I hate to say it because I was a big fan of Trudeau, but this sort of misguided idealism is part of a recent trend that is really pissing me off.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:24 PM
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Yep. One way to tell if something is readily recyclable is if people are willing to pay you for it. Around here, empty plastic water bottles are worth 10-25 cents each. That makes them one of the plastic materials that aren't being shipped to Asia to be burned or dumped in the ocean.

Plastic water bottles are not the problem. In fact, the biggest problem may be misguided recycling programs that simply ship containers full of garbage to Asia, where they are increasingly being disposed of in terrible ways due to the expense of sorting and recycling the stuff.
  #293  
Old 06-16-2019, 05:54 PM
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A couple of easy solutions to not having single use water bottles but not liking tap water:
(1) use multi use water bottles that are returnable with a very hefty deposit,
(2) use 18.9 litre (50 US gal) bottles that are returnable with a very hefty deposit and dispense into multi use water bottles or mugs. This is what I do, given the water in the ground where I live is skanky.

The Lake Superior municipal water (@ p. 6-7) water where I work is very good compared to many other municipalities -- the chlorine is barely noticable, but still I'd rather drink the divine rather than the almost imperceptibly tinged. It helps that the source is relatively clean compared to most lakes. More importantly, when in town I do not want to ingest lead even if only in miniscule amounts. Older buildings and the downstream end of municipal delivery often still have lead piping, so although the municipality ph balances the water (acidic water increases corrosivity of lead), I'd rather go with the bottled spring water that leaves its treatment at deionization and reverse osmosis, without sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) and the possibility of lead.

But bottled water comes with its own concerns. In my area there are two wells that sell bottled water. Only one of them has never had a problem (significant bacteria led to the the other being closed down for a while, which led to the a bit of quid pro quo -- the closed supplier delivered the open supplier's bottled water to the closed supplier's thirsty customers, which was a marketing coup for the open supplier).

There are several non-local brands of bottled water available in chain grocery stores, but up here they are either water from a municipal supply that has been further filtered to remove the trace chlorine, or they are from non-local out-of-basin aquifers that would not be replenished with the same water once it is used, which is a concern for the folks in southwestern Ontario near Elora who's water is being taken out of basin by Nestle, and is a concern for folks on Superior which is being eyed by Ogallala region (although Superior is huge, it's flow only only averages 2,100 cms (at the St. Mary's River discharge); by comparison, the average flow of Niagara Falls is 2,400 cms).

Non-local brands also have a greater environment cost due to the increased pollution incurred through gas/diesel transport, albeit bottle water transport is only a small portion of consumer goods shipped about. All these little things add up.

Assuming that you can find a local producer with a good track records, the final thing to keep in mind is to not use a plastic drinking bottle that contains BPA, BPS or phthalates (some plastic Nalgenes are free of all these). Ironically, the ultra-light and easily crushed disposable plastic water bottles usually do not contain BPA, BPS or phthalates.

So ya pays yer penny and ya takes yer chance. I'd much rather the penny be paid by way of a little more effort (returning bottles) than by way of trashing the environment that we share with all other living things.
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  #294  
Old 06-16-2019, 07:22 PM
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A few comments to that, though I don't want to sidetrack the Trudeau thread too much into either this plastics ban or the water bottle thing specifically.

It's undoubtedly true that in some general sense bottled water may be riskier than tap water simply because it tends to be subject to fewer regulations -- though most of us remember the Walkerton (Ontario) disaster where E. coli in the municipal water supply sickened two thousand people and six of them died. But there are trusted choices of great bottled spring water, some of them originating in northern Ontario but surprisingly close to the Greater Toronto Area, hence cases of 24 of this wondrous elixir often sell for as little as $1.99.

Buying the big 18.8-liter jugs instead may be an option, but I find the 500-ml bottles super convenient and a pleasant way to consume the water. In fact when I'm stressed I find it comforting in the same way that an infant might when sucking on its bottle -- maybe there's some deep subliminal connection there!! And from a more pragmatic perspective, re-usable bottles aren't sanitary because of bacterial growth in there after the first use, unless they're thoroughly washed. And glasses are no good for water. Glasses are made in appropriate forms for rum, Caesars, Coke, martinis, and wine. There is no glass that is the right shape and size for spring water, end of story. I have spoken.

But here's the pertinent political point that this is all leading up to. Bottled water is a major target for witless do-gooders like young Trudeau because it's perceived to have not just one, but multiple aspects of the kinds of things that naive witless do-gooders consider to be Pure Evil and The Devil Incarnate. One, it uses plastic -- never mind that they're made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic and will mostly get recycled again. Two, it's perceived by do-gooders to be frivolous and not necessary, never mind that many of us find it very necessary indeed. Three, it undermines the narrative that municipal government are fond of advancing about how terrific their local water supplies are. So is it any surprise that the ultra-liberal holier-than-thou Toronto City Council banned bottled water from City Hall? No, it is not. It absolutely is not. Fuck those sanctimonious do-gooders.

To be fair, the feds are still vague on exactly what they will ban, but for the above reason I think it's highly likely that Trudeau Junior will ban bottled water, at least in single-serving plastic bottles, despite there being no reason whatsoever to do so. If he does that, then on top of a bunch of other things that are pissing me off, the youngster has lost my vote.

The above post can be taken as confirmation of a previous statement of mine, that wolfpup sometimes does indeed vote Conservative, at least in the Canadian context.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:46 PM
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While I agree about bottled water, I'd also like to point out that plastic is not all bad. I don't know if any of you remember back when, but when plastic bags and bottles showed up there were serious health reasons why they were a good thing, and environmentalists actually thought they were good because paper and cardboard was supposed to be causing deforestation, which was the cause du jure back then.

Plastics can be environmentally friendly for several reasons (although how they are disposed of/recycled makes a big difference). For one thing, plastic bottles and packages use very little material. They can be thinner and lighter than equivalent wood-based packaging. Single-use plastics help contain the spread of things like E. coli, which have been linked to the use of reusable cloth bags. The use of plastic utensils cuts down on the use of hot water and detergent for cleaning.

Now, there is no doubt that dumping plastic in the ocean, or in places where it can get to the ocean, is a really bad thing. This is mostly a problem in Asia, and part of the problem is that we have been shipping 'recyclables' to them so mixed in with other garbage that it's not cost-effective to separate the plastic out, leading to it being simply burned or dumped. That's generally the fault of various municipal recycling programs taking a shortcut, or taking in things to recycle for which there is no market. We should focus our energy on keeping plastics out of the Asian disposal stream, and not worry about a plastic water bottle in Toronto.

And the reason they are being vague about what they will actually ban is because once they start naming specific things, opposition will grow. If you ban all single use plastics, you will cause huge damages to the manufacturing industry. Almost every factory I've ever visited used single-use plastics for packaging, strapping, organizing, or in other ways in the production process. Those plastics are manipulated using very expensive machines, which will have to be scrapped and replaced with machines that can handle whatever packaging process they have to use instead.

Sometimes plastic packaging is used on food because it keeps the food from spoiling. Get rid of the plastic and substitute an inferior package, and food spoilage might go up, along with all the attendant economic and environmental damage that goes with it.

Tl;dr: The use of plastics in the economy is incredibly complex, and simple solutions from virtue-signalling politicians like Trudeau will bring a host of unintended consequences. There's a reason why we consider the use of plastics to be a 'revolution'. Plastics have lowered costs and improved quality of many goods and services. Any ban or restriction needs to be very carefully considered against the potential economic and environmental damage that could be caused by it.
  #296  
Old 06-16-2019, 09:52 PM
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Anyone else think it's just a political manoeuvre to try and take votes back from the Green Party in order to win the next election? Pretty much the same as the carbon tax.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:57 PM
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If they were going to do something like that solely for political ends, I think they'd target Conservative Party voters rather than Green Party voters. That would be twice as effective. I think they did it because it is the right thing to do.
  #298  
Old 06-17-2019, 02:07 PM
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As far as recycling goes, it's hard for a general recycling business to make a go of it.

The greater the success of "reduce" and "re-use", the more "re-cycle" will have to rely on subsidization. I would support a high tax on single use products for which there are non-single use alternatives that is dedicated to and sufficient to ensure a fair rate of return for recycling businesses.
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  #299  
Old 08-14-2019, 07:56 PM
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In answer to the OP, the parliamentary Ethics Commissioner ruled today that Trudeau breached the federal Conflict of Interest Act by having his minions pit pressure on the Attorney General to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution for political reasons.

Trudeau simultaneously says he doesn't accept the Ethics Commissioner's findings, but takes full responsibility.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:15 PM
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I
Trudeau simultaneously says he doesn't accept the Ethics Commissioner's findings, but takes full responsibility.
You seem to be implying that there's some sort of contradiction here. Trudeau basically said, yes, he did the things mentioned in the report, but he doesn't believe they were necessarily wrong. From the news story: "Even though I disagree with some of his conclusions, I fully accept this report and take responsibility for everything that happened," he said. "Where I disagree with the commissioner, amongst others, is where he says, and takes a strong perspective, that any contact with the (attorney general) on this issue was improper."

This was poor judgment on his part and the second time he's been on the receiving end of an ethics commissioner's report. Not good. But I do find Scheer's political grandstanding to be annoying, probably because I find Scheer himself rather cynically opportunistic and annoying.
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