There is a law in Canada (and the US and the UK) that says you cannot bribe foreign officials, even if that is not a crime in their country. For example, you cannot go to Libya and bribe a government official to let you do business in that country. However, over a period of about 10 years SNC Lavalin did exactly that.
First to the merits of the law. The reason we even have this law is because the Americans have a similar law, and under NAFTA we needed similar legislation to avoid ‘unfair competition’ with American companies. Fine, so we are competing fairly with other Western nations, but how about China? It is not surprising that Donald Trump thinks this law is “horrible,” and in fact the few American companies that violate this law are rarely prosecuted.
So, SNC Lavalin, one of the few domestic industrial companies that even has the ability to compete outside Canada gets caught up in this law, and the consequences to the (publicly owned) company and its Canadian employees could potentially be severe. What Trudeau got right was his defense of SNC Lavalin, because ultimately who benefits if they are prosecuted? The government coffers when a multi-million dollar fine is imposed (which, let’s face it, would probably just be spent to ‘compensate’ some new ‘victim’), China laughing all the way to the bank when they pick up SNC’s lost contracts (“The world is laughing at us”), and the internationalists who get to see another Western company destroyed from within. There is no benefit to Canada or Canadians, for whose interests it is the job of an MP and PM to defend, and the one time Trudeau does this he gets pilloried. What Trudeau got wrong, however, was pretty much everything else.
“I’m a big girl, you can’t tell me what to do!”
The Attorney General at this time was of course Jody Wilson-Raybould (JWR), a star member of Trudeau’s gender equity cabinet. JWR and her colleague Jane Philpot were recruited to cabinet because of the number of their X chromosomes and other ticked boxes. However, in the world of politics being a team player and being willing and able to ‘play ball’ are essential traits, and these are exactly the traits that Trudeau’s socially-blinkered vision could not see. The media told us JWR was a ‘strong and independent woman,’ but ‘independence’ is exactly not the quality you want in a cabinet minister; you need a team player and JWR was certainly not that. She is a person who secretly records your meetings with her and then sends the recording to the media.
The media and the opposition spun this story as Trudeau, the corrupt and misogynistic tyrant trying to protect his wealthy friends, whereas the real story is a prime minister unable control a cabinet put together from a disparate patchwork of individuals meant to fill racial and gender quotas. Of educated but inherently simple people who can only see the material facts directly in front of them, but with no capacity to see nuance or the bigger picture. Of such an overdiversity of opinions and backgrounds and experiences that there is no common ground to act as a foundation for any group consensus. Of bureaucrats and lawyers. It is a microcosm of what our entire society has become and will become; no more doing business on a handshake or taking people on their word. Today Trust and Honour and Nobility are archaic concepts. It also shows how and why women and minorities succeed in politics; despite the supposed social ‘progress’, it is still considered unseemly to attack a woman or minority. They get to have their cake and eat it too, but you have to pay for it.