SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is a Canadian company based in Montreal that provides engineering, procurement, and construction services to various industries, including mining and metallurgy, oil and gas, environment and water, infrastructure, and clean power.
The SNC-Lavalin affair was a political scandal involving attempted political interference with the justice system by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The Parliament of Canada’s Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion found that Trudeau improperly influenced then Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in an ongoing criminal case against Quebec-based construction company SNC-Lavalin.
The affair became public when The Globe and Mail published an article uncovering the allegations on 7 February 2019, shortly after Wilson-Raybould had been shuffled to another cabinet position. Four days later, Ethics Commissioner Dion announced he would investigate the allegations. Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet later that day. This was followed by the resignation of Gerald Butts, the Principal Secretary to Trudeau. This was then followed by the resignation of fellow Liberal cabinet minister Jane Philpott, over the government’s handling of the affair. The House of Commons’ Justice Committee held three hearings into the affair. Wilson-Raybould, Butts, and Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council testified before the committee. Wilson-Raybould said there was a breach of prosecutorial independence when members of the government pressured her to offer SNC-Lavalin a DPA instead of continuing with a criminal prosecution. Butts and Wernick testified that they had contacted Wilson-Raybould to find a “political solution” after the decision to not offer SNC-Lavalin a DPA was made. Controversially, Wilson-Raybould revealed that she had secretly recorded a conversation she had with Wernick while she was Attorney General.
Following the hearings, Wernick announced his early retirement from the Privy Council. Leader of the Official Opposition Andrew Scheer called for Trudeau’s resignation. He further accused Trudeau of political interference, lying to Canadians, and corrupt conduct. Trudeau responded to those comments with a threat of a libel lawsuit through his lawyer. Opposition parties and former attorneys-general asked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to investigate whether Trudeau’s conduct qualifies as obstruction of justice. In April, Trudeau expelled Wilson-Raybould and Philpott from the Liberal caucus.
After a six-month-long investigation, Ethics Commissioner Dion issued a report that concluded that Trudeau had contravened Section 9 of the federal Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring Wilson-Raybould. Dion wrote that while Wilson-Raybould was never officially directed to interfere, this influence was “tantamount to political direction”. Dion did not find that any actual political interference in the prosecution occurred; however, he reported he did not have access to all of the evidence. Under the Act, there are no sanctions specified for the violation. After the commissioner’s report was released, the Prime Minister released a statement both taking responsibility for and defending his actions. The opposition leaders have called for further investigations.
· Write a report about this case study. Each report should include an introduction and conclusion, should be 4-6 pages (double spaced), 2.54 cm margins (the default on MS Word), and 12 pts size font. The paper should follow the APA guidelines for format and citation. (See the course page for the source to how to do report-writing)
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Evaluation and Feedback
a. Identify the elements of the case.
b. Evaluate the ethical elements in this case
c. Support the paper with appropriate sources, including at least four academic sources (books or juried articles such as those found in the YU library)
d. Identify the impact of the unethical action on all stakeholders.
e. Make an argument for the course of action that Enron should take.
a. Uses language clearly and effectively
b. Information organized intelligently and holistically (i.e. not simply answers to questions)
c. Proper introduction and conclusion to paper
Attention to Detail (15)
a. APA Formatting (title, headings & references)
b. Spelling and grammar
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