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Roy Green: SNC-Lavalin probe takes on shades of ‘Adscam’

Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Jody Wilson-Raybould. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Jody Wilson-Raybould confirmed Canada’s national police held a meeting with the former federal attorney general and minister of justice this week.

While not conducting an official investigation, the RCMP appears interested in who, within the PMO, may have pressured Wilson-Raybould to deflect any criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

As much as she clearly wishes to, Wilson-Raybould remains barred from fully cooperating with the RCMP — barred by the prime minister of Canada because Justin Trudeau refuses to fully lift cabinet confidentiality on the matter.

Trudeau insists any such move rests entirely with the clerk of the Privy Council, Ian Shugart. Not so, argue experts, including retired judge John Gomery who headed the inquiry into the federal sponsorship scandal.

READ MORE: Scheer, Trudeau duel over report of feds blocking RCMP on SNC-Lavalin inquiry

Gomery, who led a two-year investigation and whose initial report was released in November 2005, told the Globe and Mail that his initial requests for access to cabinet minutes relating to what became popularly known as “Adscam” were rebuffed by bureaucrats citing cabinet confidentiality.

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Eventually though, after increasing national public interest, then prime minister Paul Martin lifted the ban and if nothing else, cleared the way for future prime ministers to act similarly. Stephen Harper waved cabinet confidentiality during the Senator Mike Duffy review.

Trudeau’s stumbles over the SNC issue began in February of this year when he declared the initial story “false.”

READ MORE: A look at Trudeau’s evolving statements on SNC-Lavalin

In March, Trudeau and senior PMO staffers retained outside lawyers at taxpayer expense on the matter. This, in the event government officials were to face a charge themselves, be named in a court action, face a lawsuit or the threat of such a suit.

While there is nothing illegal about Trudeau and/or PMO staff hiring outside legal representation regarding the SNC-Lavalin situation, the timing is interesting.

What should be disturbing in the extreme to all is that Canada’s national police may not receive full disclosure while they review particulars of a sitting attorney general having been possibly shoved out of her position. And how might such interference have been conducted?

WATCH BELOW: Trudeau broke ethics rules by trying to exert influence in SNC-Lavalin scandal, report says

Trudeau broke ethics rules by trying to exert influence in SNC-Lavalin scandal: report
Trudeau broke ethics rules by trying to exert influence in SNC-Lavalin scandal: report

 

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Parliamentary ethics commissioner Mario Dion, while facing identical obfuscation obstacles in his investigation still concluded in his report of last month “the prime minister, directly and through senior officials, used various means to exert influence  over Ms. Wilson-Raybould,” adding “the authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions, as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson-Raybould.”

Trudeau’s response then and as recently as Thursday?  He won’t “apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs.”

Well, Mr. Trudeau, if you indeed have committed no infraction, yet continue to be faced by two former senior ministers in your cabinet, as well as a parliamentary ethics commissioner who insist you have, step aside, lift the cabinet confidentiality, and prove to an increasingly questioning Canadian electorate that you are being maligned.

There are questions as well for the RCMP. Why did the national police wait months to begin a review of Wilson-Raybould/PMO/SNC matter? Five former attorneys general wrote a letter to Commissioner Brenda Luckie in late February urging a full criminal investigation.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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