The recent controversy between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould over the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin has been front-page news for days. Was this a casual conversation or improper interference with the administration of justice? This blog post by former lawyer Andrew Roman discusses the issues from a legal standpoint. The bottom line: there is no law prohibiting either of them from speaking publicly about their conversation.
Canada has come full circle, with prosecution of corporate crimes again determined by politics. Read the latest from Probe International’s Patricia Adams on SNC-Lavalin in today’s National Post opinion.
What are deferred prosecution agreements (or remediation agreements), how did Canada get them, what are the potential benefits and what are the down sides? Patricia Adams of Probe International is firmly in the latter camp: “… they turn the prosecutor into the prosecutor, the judge and the jury. Because of that they are undermining the rule of law — they are essentially political instruments.”
Better to develop trading relationships with tomorrow’s winners than to tie our fortunes to an economy that can pull us down.
In its submission to Ottawa’s 2018 Legislative Review of the Export Development Act, Probe International calls for a repeal of the Act and the privatization of Export Development Canada (EDC). Probe argues the federal government’s export-financing agency shares many of the same characteristics as China’s controversial state-owned enterprises (SOEs), characteristics that ensure market distortion and stunt private development.
Activists call the agency “essentially self-governing” in the areas of environment, human rights and anti-corruption.
Export Development Canada has perfected the art of lending billions of taxpayer dollars to scandal-ridden foreign buyers. But its transparency could use some work. Patricia Adams of Probe International shares her experience with EDC “disclosure”.
Patricia Adams: There’s no evidence that deferred prosecution agreements enhance anything other than agency budgets.
Deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) make a mockery of the criminal justice system. Join Probe International as we get to the root of this problem at our final Grounds for Thought discussion night of the year: Tuesday, November 28 @8PM.
The current exec pay hooha is a timely reminder about the real scandal here: the willingness of politicians to hand over billions of dollars in subsidies to a few favoured companies. What is Bombardier really selling? Itself as a recipient for government funds. As for planes, “it is selling the making of planes, or more particularly conspicuous government support for the making of planes, or perhaps just the idea of making planes,” writes Andrew Coyne, tongue firmly in cheek, for the National Post.
The future looks good for Canadian arms manufacturers, says journalist Paul Christopher Webster in this in-depth look at the sale of Canadian-built light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia — a sale approved by the Conservative government and supported by the Trudeau administration despite concerns the vehicles could be used against civilian populations.
The Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador needed a federal guarantee to get off the ground, which in itself testifies to its iffy economics, writes Konrad Yakabuski for the Globe and Mail. Now, he says, Newfoundland’s shrinking population faces paying for Muskrat Falls in more ways than one.
Deferred prosecution agreements that let companies pay fines for wrongdoing could backfire by encouraging repeat criminality. Probe International’s Patricia Adams for the National Post.
DPAs were virtually unheard of in business settings prior to 2004, but their growing popularity in the U.S. is now being felt in Canada with SNC-Lavalin lobbying the Liberal government to have its fate determined by a DPA, rather than the criminal trial the Harper government pursued.
Ex-Im is one of dozens of corporate welfare programs that should end. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), like Ex-Im, hurts domestic competitors, privileges big lenders and is also known to fund questionable projects. Reason.com reports.