1) SNC-LAVALIN SCANDAL: BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR LIBERALS

 

People's Voice Commentary

 

The news stories about members of the Prime Minister’s Office attempting to pressure former Justice Minister and Attorney-General Jody Wilson-Raybould, and her subsequent cabinet demotion and resignation, are compelling evidence that contrary to Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises, his government follows the same course as every previous government in Canadian history. In this country, the primary focus of ruling class political parties is always to serve the interests of big capital, not the working people who form the vast majority of the population. Far from being “neutral”, the state in capitalist countries is actually the executive committee of the bourgeoisie, as Marx and Engels wrote

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Far from being an exception to the rules, the PMO’s alleged intervention on behalf of SNC-Lavalin, a corporate entity with long connections to the Liberal party, was simply business as usual. This was the intention when the Liberal majority in Parliament introduced “deferred prosecution agreements” — DPAs, which allow sentencing agreements between prosecutors and corporations charged with white collar crimes. For engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, the DPA option would allow the company to pay fines and make “restitution” while escaping criminal prosecution and the threat of a 10-year ban on receiving federal contracts. In effect, DPAs were the Liberal government’s way of giving a “get out of jail free card” to SNC-Lavalin, a transnational corporation with an extensive record of bribery offenses in many countries.

 

The most serious potential crime in this situation was the corruption committed by the Trudeau Liberals, who set out to protect the interests of a private corporation. If there was any real justice in Canada, those politicians responsible for this criminal scheme would be forced to resign.

 

Of course, nobody expects that this will happen, although the Liberals may well pay a heavy price at the polls for their actions. This is particularly true considering the circumstances around Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation. Justin Trudeau’s claim to lead a “feminist government” building a new and equal nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples has been totally discredited by this shameful episode. The truth is that when it came time for the Liberals to use a “deferred prosecution agreement” to aid a corporate ally, the Justice Minister/AG was expected to simply rubber-stamp the PMO’s “suggestion.” In simple terms, it was made clear to the most prominent Indigenous cabinet minister in Canadian history that keeping her seat at the big boys' table would require her complicity in a backroom deal which violated even the business-friendly terms of the DPA.

 

This entire sordid case reflects the ongoing sellout of the working class to private corporate interests. It also deeply insults women and Indigenous peoples who were promised a fundamentally new and fair deal by Justin Trudeau. As long as big capital keeps a firm grip on political power in Canada, true democratic change will be impossible to achieve. In the federal election this fall, we urge voters to support candidates of the Communist Party, campaigning for a People’s Alternative, based on policies that put the interests of working people and the environment ahead of the drive for corporate profits. That would be the strongest possible message that real change is needed, not just a remix of big business parties in Parliament.

 

(The above article is from the March 1-15, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US r o$50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)