Monday, 8 April 2019

Collusion and Obstruction, are they just words?

For the past two years the media has been obsessed by the words collusion and obstruction of justice. The focus of the reports has been Trump and the alleged Russian connection during the 2016 presidential election, and his firing of the FBI Director James Comey. However the Canadian media has vastly ignored what was under their noses at home.
Now that the anticipated Mueller report is out, finally the Canadian media can now focus on the SNC Lavalin/Liberal government scandal. Was there collusion and obstruction of justice? Well the recent events seem to clearly point in that direction.  While the Democrats are still fighting the findings of the Mueller report, which found no collusion and no clear evidence of obstruction of justice by the President, perhaps it is time for the Canadian public to understand what is really happening in this country.
SNC Lavalin is a Canadian Company based in Quebec which operates internationally. It is alleged that during their business dealings with foreign governments, officials have used bribery to obtain contracts. The law strictly forbids Canadians and Canadian companies to use bribery in foreign countries. As a result of SNC’s dealings in Libya, the company may be facing criminal charges. But under an agreement which came into law last fall, SNC Lavalin could apply for a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) which would allow the company to pay its way out of lengthy and costly criminal trials. It is further reported that the DPA law may have been passed to allow SNC Lavalin to avoid the trials, because employees of the company had been donors to the Liberal party.
The former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, was removed from her position in a Cabinet re-shuffle, and caused a tsunami of events that saw the Prime Minister and others defending their actions. It seems that many actors, including the Prime Minister were  involved  in a  systemic cabal to pressure  Wilson –Raybould to grant a DPA to SNC Lavalin. Those who have lost their jobs a s result of testimonies are the PMO chief of Staff  Gerald Butts and the top civil servant, and  Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, who had become too political in his position .
After disclosures and the release of a recorded conversation between Wilson-Raybould and Wernick, it became quite apparent that it was no longer a whiff of a scandal but in fact a full blown scandal of collusion and obstruction of justice. To further exacerbate the situation The President of the Treasury Board Jane Philpott resigned in solidarity with the former Justice Minister. In response to these resignation and the growing scandal the Prime Minister made the decision to eject the two former High Level Ministers from the Liberal party and said : ““The trust that previously existed between these two individuals and our team has been broken, whether it’s taping conversations without consent, or repeatedly expressing a lack of confidence in our government or me personally as leader,”
What Canadians should be concerned about this whole affair, is this scandal is very reminiscent of the Watergate case. High level resignations and tape recorded conversations. As reported by the Washington Post In the most traumatic government upheaval of the Watergate crisis, President Nixon yesterday discharged Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and accepted the resignations of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus.”..
Perhaps with the Prime Minister suing the Opposition Leader, Andrew Scheer, for defamation, Canadians will possibly get the real truth. However we should not hold our breath, because a court case may not come forward before the elections in October or sooner.
The question is why does the Canadian media focusses so much on United States scandals and yet just gleans  tit-bits on Canadian possible collusion and obstruction of justice. Maybe the Canadian media has different meanings for these infractions.

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