Friday , August 19 2022

Has Trudeau started to put the SNC-Lavalin scandal behind him?



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MONTREAL – After a week of stunning developments at the front of the SNC-Lavalin relationship, is Justin Trudeau's government closer to the resolution of the most corrosive crisis of tenure?

Are the Liberals worse or better for the chaotic single-personed evidence of prime minister of civilian Canada, Michael Wernick, in front of a parliamentary committee on Thursday? The short answer is a bit of both.

But first, some context: if anyone still suspects that this is a stormy storm and not just one of the leading players in the national capital that strangers out of & # 39; The shadows – one of them to self-immunization – They should have been dismissed.

In terms of power and influence, Wernick was in his continued role as Clerk to the Privy Council and Gerald Butts in the position of the chief secretary that he had expired on Monday, grade or position, slightly lower than his or her prime minister .

This is the week when the surveys began to record the damage to the Liberation re-election prospects. It's really and significant.

Among the voters watching the story, only a small minority – 12 percent – agrees with a Trudeau allegation that did not cross any line dealing with the former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould as to whether SNC-Lavalin should offer an agreement recovery rather than disclose to a criminal conviction that would result in the company being banned from applying for federal contracts for a decade.

The rest is split equally – with 41 percent on each side – between those who believe that Trudeau is wrong and those who have yet to make their minds.

Based on those numbers, the disagreements that the prime minister can ever gain from a version of events vary from holding to non-existent ones, despite what can happen again over the just a few days later and all that came to last week last week.

For the Liberals, the only victory offered in this fight is to pass the issue behind them as far as possible before the forthcoming election campaign goes on. official.

After this week they are not there yet.

By the time that Wernick appeared in front of the Justice Justice Committee, Canadians doubled the imagination of Wilson-Raybould and Butts's resignations by a series of invaluable clues provided by the prime minister.

The Clerk was the first of the leading accompanists in the saga to give a comprehensive consideration of the internal discussions that attended the SNC-Lavalin file.

At the very least, his evidence moved the goal of the story.

Before Wernick was testified, it was possible to produce a narrative involving regional PMO operators who were implied or implied by the prime minister to drown into the territory of political interference to force the general attorney to pursue his discretionary judicial course in the SNC-Lavalin file.

The clerk's appearance effectively killed the idea of ​​fraudulent PMO operation on the old general attorney. This was punished by no less than the top Canadian civil servant. One thing is encouraging or making the whole more ominous relationship is a matter of debate and one active one is already underway.

Yes, Wernick said, pressure on the general attorney – repeatedly and including it – was put in place to consider the implications of putting a company like SNC-Lavalin and the thousands of jobs that it provides at risk by following a criminal trial rather than rehabilitation agreement. But this pressure is definitely not excessive or inappropriate, but as a result of the efforts of legitimate government to "get things right".

Part of the role of Wernick as Clerk is to give leadership to the prime minister of the day and political staff about the lines that do not want to cross when dealing with the machines of the government. This would be Trudeau, and / or his advisers who would be consulting whether they had any doubts about the appropriateness of their interventions. On its own account, there was no concern.

The inevitable Wernick contribution to the SNC-Lavalin saga is placed on the same page as both Trudeau and Butts – a fact that can not be a comfort source for both of them. But he basically removes the existing possibility that common land could be found between the perspective that the former general attorney hopes to soon share with the Canadian Prime Minister about what happened between them.

Chantal Hébert is a based based columnist in Ottawa that covers politics. Follow it on Twitter: @ChantalHbert

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