During a 2016 investigation by the Federal Elections Commissioner, Yves Côté, it was revealed that between 2004 and 2011, executives at the Montreal-based company, SNC Lavalin, solicited donations for the Liberals and Conservatives from their employees, and they reimbursed those donations through bonuses or expenses claims.
- For the Liberals, the donations were made between June 2004 – September 2009. Amount: $110,000.
- For the conservatives, the donations were made between January 2006 – April 2011. Amount: $8000
In SNC – Lavalin compliance agreement with the commissioner in 2016, SNC – Lavalin agreed not to break the law again. Lists of names of beneficiaries went to the Liberals and Conservatives so they could reimburse the receiver-general for the associated donations, which both parties did.
These improper donations to two political parties were made over a decade ago. Under my leadership, we have raised the bar on openness and transparency…that is not what happens anymore.
– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
On Feb 12, 2019, Jody Wilson-Raybould after losing her job as the attorney general, accused the Prime Minister and other top officials of trying to politically interfere in Canada’s judicial system by pressuring her to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution but rather a deferred persecution agreement(DPA) on fraud and bribery charges for dealings in Libya.
— TooFact (@tooFact) June 14, 2019
Is DPA illegal?
A deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) is a voluntary alternative to adjudication in which a prosecutor agrees to grant amnesty in exchange for the defendant agreeing to fulfill certain requirements. The DPA protects investors and employees who are totally innocent of the crime committed by rogue senior officers in a large company.
A case of corporate fraud, for instance, might be settled by means of a deferred prosecution agreement in which the defendant agrees to pay fines, implement corporate reforms, and fully cooperate with the investigation.
According to McCann, an Ottawa based counsel, the DPA “addresses the unfairness of the situation when you have a large company that has a rogue senior officer” who has committed a crime with the entire company getting blamed.
The Conservative’s Theory
The Prime Minister’s office has maintained that he was acting in the best interest of Canadians and was doing this according to law to save 9000 Canadians jobs.
The conservatives accused the Prime Minister of the cover-up of the SNC Lavalin Campaign donations by not releasing the list of names of the beneficiaries.
Crown prosecutors Sara Moussa and Marc Cigana said that kind of information likely would have been part of a trial. But because Morin, SNC Executive pleaded guilty before it went to trial, they said they could not reveal which ridings, candidates, or leadership contenders who received donations from SNC Lavalin.
On 25th March-2019, citing anonymous sources, CTV News and The Canadian Press reported that Trudeau had disagreed with Wilson-Raybould’s choice to replace Beverley McLachlin on the court in 2017. Wilson-Raybould had preferred Manitoba Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, the reports said, but Trudeau rejected that choice because he saw Joyal as too critical of how courts apply the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Trudeau eventually chose to appoint Alberta Judge Sheilah Martin to the top court and promoted sitting Justice Richard Wagner to the role of chief justice. The reports said the episode led Trudeau to doubt Wilson-Raybould’s judgment, and it soured their relationship long before the SNC-Lavalin affair came up.
With the numerous ways Jody has handled the situation after losing her job as attorney general, her release of secret recording she had made of her conversation with Privy Council Clerk, Michael Wernick, and her critical comments on the Federal effort on indigenous people reconciliation, could this charade be a tale of a disgruntled employee?