Monday, March 11, 2019

The Fake Scandal and the Toxic Trudeau Haters Part II

When I first heard about the accusations that Jody Wilson-Raybould had been removed as Attorney General because she insisted on prosecuting SNC-Lavalin, rather than allow the corporation to have a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, my ears perked up. You see, it's a pet-peeve of mine the way corporate criminals and fraudsters are almost never held accountable for their actions in this country.

Billionaire whining asswipe, untalented golden-spoon fuck-face Galen Weston's family-owned "Weston Bakeries" conspired with big supermarket chains (including Galen Weston's own "Loblaws") to fix bread prices for FOURTEEN years. Supposedly lil' Galen is really stupid and incompetent. Because he never knew about this all the years it was going on. Unnamed middle-managers supposedly did all of this and AS SOON AS GALEN FOUND OUT ABOUT IT he went to the government and promised his full cooperation in rooting-out the evildoers. It's either that or (much more likely) Galen Weston was very much a part of this conspiracy and someone tipped him off that an investigation was underway and came up with the bullshit story about how he was innocent of any knowledge as to what was going on FOR YEARS at two firms that he, himself ran. He was "cooperating" and so he could go back to the hard work of denying his companies' employees a living wage.

Bell is found to have been coercing employees to upsell customers with services that they neither want or need; gouging customers for services that aren't delivered, and lying about costs. Sickeningly, employees were told to refuse requests from relatives of deceased customers to cancel services and, instead, upsell them on new ones. Through a shameless wreak of a human being (called a "public-relations representative") Bell lied and insisted that none of these accusations of fraud and bullying (coming from thousands of customers and dozens of employees) were true. Don't worry though. A CRTC investigation might happen any decade now.

Leaks from two offshore tax-havens showed that Canadian corporations and wealthy individuals were illegally stashing their money there. The Canada Revenue Agency has done sweet fuck all to try to recover these funds. Apparently these wealthy people can hire top legal talent and it's expensive to take them on. CRA (and the Canadian federal government) simply don't have the resources to match any of these scofflaws, win in court with the fucking evidence handed to them on a silver platter, and make an example of even one of these assholes and hold them liable for the costs of having to prosecute them. Nope. Instead CRA is going after ordinary schmucks for alleged Child Benefit "over-payments" and forcing people to jump through hoops to prove they're entitled to the money. Because these targets of harassment can't afford fancy lawyers and fight back. Predators go after the weak.

So yeah, I was interested to hear that super-corrupt SNC-Lavalin might have had a non-compliant Attorney-General/Justice Minister removed because she wouldn't act in their favour. I didn't know the whole story. These were rumours based on anonymous sources. But it was serious stuff.

I didn't even know Canada had Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA's)at the time this story came out. Turns out that was part of the plan of the giant Liberal omnibus bill. Just like harper's regime: Use a majority to ram-through lots of legislative changes with little parliamentary oversight or debate. DPA's were created at the behest of SNC-Lavalin by the way. So there's that. All-in-all, pretty sleazy.

Well, that's enough non-paying blogging for one day. I'll post this AZ-IZ and finish it in my own sweet time. You the few, proud and brave readers of mine can come back in a few days and it'll probably be finished.

Right. So, continuing ... In Canada the Attorney General also serves as Justice Minister. Supposedly this had its origins in Sir John A. [let's starve the Plains Indians to death] Macdonald wanting to have as much power centered on his own person or something like that. But it puts the Attorney General in a bind. As Justice Minister they have to support the government in which they serve while as the Attorney General they are expected, nay obligated, to enforce the law without fear or favour to any party, including their own.

Do you understand this? The Attorney General is supposed to protect the rule-of-law and not act in a partisan manner. This means (among other scenarios) that if a member of the government or one of its "friends" (such as a wealthy benefactor of the party who can also provide lucrative post-government employment to said government's members) violates the laws, the Attorney General must not bend the law to accommodate the government or its friends.

I'll now provide two sources to illustrate how this pertains to JWR and SNC-Lavalin. First of all, there's the Tyee, with a very restrained, objective summary of the events and their significance. In "Five Facts to Help You Assess the SNC-Lavalin Affair," Paul Willcocks offers analysis that both mitigates the extent of the scandal but also clearly illustrates the troubling aspects of the Trudeau government's behaviour. And it's because a certain faux-progressive, partisan wingnut has been screeching hysterically about how this is all a "fake scandal" that I will focus on what Willcocks shows is the scandalous part:

Second, it is wrong ethically — and perhaps legally — for those same people to press Wilson-Raybould to shut down the prosecution because it’s bad for the Liberal Party of Canada. That would be a fundamental subversion of the justice system, a confirmation that there is one law for the politically well-connected and another for the rest of us. Wilson-Raybould says that she was repeatedly pressured to intervene on the basis of partisan political interests.
As soon as politicians can decide who face charges and who doesn’t, justice ends and cronyism and corruption begin. Again, Wilson-Raybould’s evidence suggests that line was crossed by pressure from the most powerful long after her decision was made, including “veiled threats.”
No one has denied pressuring Wilson-Raybould or raising partisan political concerns as reasons to allow SNC-Lavalin to avoid prosecution. No one has challenged her evidence to the committee about meetings and phone calls and “veiled threats” aimed at heading off the criminal charges.
Perhaps they will. The justice committee will hear from more witnesses.

Again, the entire article looks at the issue as a whole and is quite objective and fair. I'll point out that Willcocks wrote his piece on March 4th and that Justin Trudeau's long-time friend and [now] former principal secretary Gerald Butts would testify before the Justice Committee on March 6th and attempt to challenge JWR's interpretation of events.

Now, for my next source, I'm sure Liberal partisans and apologists will sneer, but as I said here (and on other occasions), Andrew Coyne showed himself to be a principled defender of Parliament and a consistent critic of stephen harper's abuses of it. As such, while I have agreed with Trudeau-groupie Montreal Simon that some of Coyne's criticisms of Trudeau have been overblown or even unjust, I have no qualms on using him as a source here.

Coyne gets to the heart of the matter (and dismisses the rancid Liberal hypocrisy) in this editorial: "If the system truly worked it would not hang on the defiance of one woman":

One response is to say: the system worked! Rather than dwell on the many attempts by officials up to and including the prime minister to subvert a criminal prosecution for nakedly partisan ends, we should instead give thanks, it is suggested, that their efforts did not succeed.
The shields held, that is, despite his own best efforts, and those of the various other political staff, ministers and civil servants sent to undermine and overwhelm them. The shields, in fact, amounted to one person, Wilson-Raybould, and her refusal to submit to the demands of the prime minister and his delegates to do something unprecedented and probably unlawful: interfere in a prosecution to suit the partisan interests of the government.
This Liberal stupidity reminds me of the desperate flailing of harper-apologists when the Conservative's electoral fraud in 2011 election was being uncovered. Then, those shameless, stupid, anti-democratic scum farted out how it couldn't be proven that anybody sent to a phony voting address failed to vote and that therefore there was no crime. (I even recall the Con lawyer insisting that it was an insult to Canadians' democratic spirit to believe they'd let his party's criminal activity stymie our determination to exercise our franchise.)

Coyne continues:
So the glass may is 10 per cent full, perhaps. The former attorney general was indeed able, while she remained in office, to prevent the prime minister and his flunkies from trampling all over the independence of the prosecutor. The precedent was averted of a wealthy corporation with a history of bribery and corruption escaping prosecution by lobbying everything that moves and threatening to shift its headquarters out of a politically sensitive province.  ...  If the system were really working as it should, basic constitutional norms like prosecutorial independence would not hang on one woman’s defiance. If the system really worked, the minister of justice and attorney general of Canada would not have had to listen to lectures from unelected political staffers and supposedly non-partisan civil servants on the need to submit the rule of law to the higher demands of Liberal election strategy.
Coyne makes it crystal clear: The rule of law and the independence of the judiciary count for more than the government party's self-interest. Now, we can argue whether the Trudeau government really stepped over the line or not. But what brazen Liberal apologists are doing is showing us that they don't even understand the importance of this issue.

In a later editorial, "It was Wilson-Raybould's decision to make, as long as she decided it their way" Coyne examines Gerald Butts' [not under oath] testimony to the Justice Committee. Coyne argues that Butts' friendly, seemingly open manner betrayed a complete failure to appreciate the principle of judicial autonomy, incoherence, and a determined effort to not understand what constitutes "pressure" and what Wilson-Raybould said about it.

Pathetic Liberal hacks have made sport out of how JWR was only asked eleven times about her decision to allow prosecution against SNC-Lavalin. When you tell someone "It's your decision" and then you question that decision ELEVEN TIMES it should be clear to anyone who isn't a total shithead that the sentence "It's your decision" is a lie. And, when it's a decision made by the goddamned Attorney General and it is very much their decision by custom and convention and by the rule-of-law, then this constitutes interference.
The emphasis of Butts’s testimony was that the sustained and mounting pressure the former attorney general said she was under — from ministers, political staff, civil servants and the prime minister himself — was not really pressure at all. Or if it was, it was merely pressure to seek an outside legal opinion on the matter, perhaps from a former Supreme Court justice.
Various reasons were presented as to why this was justified. Wilson-Raybould had taken only 12 days to arrive at her decision not to overrule the DPP. The law permitting prosecutors to negotiate remediation agreements was “new,” having only been passed (in response to years of lobbying by SNC-Lavalin) earlier that year. Decisions on prosecutions are never final, but must be constantly reassessed in light of fresh evidence. And, of course, those 9,000 SNC-Lavalin jobs that were supposedly at stake. ... All of these may (or may not) be true. They’re just not anyone’s business but the attorney general’s, and the DPP’s. It is not relevant, as a matter of law, what the prime minister, or Butts, or anyone else outside the attorney general’s office, thinks about Wilson-Raybould’s decision-making process, or the new law, or what fresh evidence there might be. Those are considerations exclusively for the DPP, or in exceptional circumstances, the attorney general.
Just so, she was told: the decision was hers and hers alone to make. She was the “final decision-maker.” Only the decision was also “never final.” She could make it, that is, but she would have everyone from the prime minister on down coming back to her again and again — not because there was any fresh evidence, but just because they could — all the while implicitly questioning her judgment, in the sly form of that repeated suggestion that she seek an outside legal opinion.
This last is a distraction. The attorney general has available to her all the legal advice she requires. The only point of demanding she seek a second opinion was because they did not like the first.
And then there's Butts nonsensical testimony that it wasn't until 2019 that he learned of JWR's discomfiture:
Ah, but if she felt this was interference, Butts wondered aloud, why didn’t she tell anyone? If she had made up her mind, why didn’t she say anything?
According to her testimony, she did: to the prime minister, at their Sept. 17 meeting (“I told him that I had done my due diligence and made up my mind on SNC”); to the clerk, at the same meeting; to the finance minister on Sept. 19 (“I told him that engagements from his office to mine on SNC had to stop — that they were inappropriate”); to Matthieu Bouchard and Elder Marques, officials in the PMO, on Nov. 22 (“I said NO. My mind had been made up and they needed to stop – enough”); and to Butts himself, on Dec. 5 (“I needed everyone to stop talking to me about SNC as I had made up my mind and the engagements were inappropriate”).
Regardless of the obviousness of the truths that Coyne is telling, for some Liberal dead-enders, Butt's stupid, simpering testimony actually constituted "Blowing the fake scandal out of the water." It's everyone's right to question a legal decision. But in the process leading up to the making of any decision, the principle of the independence of the judiciary must be respected. This is especially so when the critic of the decision is the government. Butts demonstrates that he doesn't understand this and he willfully disregards JWR's testimony that she repeatedly told Trudeau, Butts and their henchmen to back-off.

Now, ex-Liberal blogger: The Mound of Sound has stated on several occasions that he's really not all that invested in this story. It's nothing compared to the scandal of the petro-state corruption that is causing Trudeau to betray the country and the world's future and push the carbon economy in the face of global warming. He's right about that. FWIW: I'm not all that consumed by it either. This country (and its progressives) have snored through the covering-up of torture and child-rape in Afghanistan. We have shrugged our shoulders (or cheered) the spitting upon responsible government. We have whined in impotence over the theft of the 2011 election. Contempt of Parliament. Global warming. Unilateral abrogation of treaties. Nothing is going to change. Certainly nothing I write is going to change anything.

What's motivated me to write is the sickening way that a former progressive comrade has mutated into a sickening embarrassment of a Liberal apologist. I have watched in dismay as Montreal Simon has ignored one Liberal scandal and betrayal after another to fixate on the way that the Conservatives have attacked Trudeau. Yes, Scheer and the Conservatives are disgusting. Yes; the Islamophobia, homophobia and the death-threats of these imbeciles are horrible things. But if you fail to honestly hold their opponents; the Liberals, the Greens, the Democrats, the NDP, whatever, to account, then your hypocrisy will only contribute to the stupid and useless polarization of our society into two warring-camps of idiots.

Regardless of what you might think about DPA's and their application to SNC-Lavalin; you MUST admit that even the potential of partisan interference in the Attorney-General's office on this is a serious issue. But from his very first post Simon has been carrying water for the Trudeau Liberals. Seeing the whole thing from the perspective of the Liberals. Instantly taking as gospel truth anything that undercuts JWR and that supports Trudeau. In short: shameless hackery.

In one of my first attempts to bring Simon back to reason as he began to soar to heights of partisan absurdity, he said "I haven't changed." That might be true. He despised the Conservatives and he still does. He never showed himself particularly interested in (or able to) critique anything more progressive than that.

Summarizing this hackery and its significance will be the topic of my next post.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Fake Scandal and the Toxic Trudeau Haters Part I

We are hard-wired to be indulgent to good-looking people. But adults understand that an attractive package is meaningless.

It's depressing what's happened to Montreal Simon. Perhaps he was so traumatized by the revolting, anti-democratic regime of stephen harper that his mind snapped and now he won't hear anything bad about the guy who finally defeated him, Justin Trudeau.

But how a guy can blog every day and never have mentioned Trudeau's murderous hypocrisy on global warming? His utter hypocrisy on reconciliation with the First Nations? His maintenance of harper's Orwellian spying legislation? The deranged, imperialist policies of his foreign minister? His taxpayer fleecing infrastructure bank? Etc., etc.

Yes. It's nice to have a prime minister who isn't an Islamophobic asshole/idiot like stephen harper was. But that's like saying that a good husband is a guy who doesn't beat his wife.
I don't follow politics as much as I used to, but even I'm aware of these things. But go to Simon's blog and it's invariably something about how rotten the Scheer Conservatives are. And, yeah, Scheer is a scary, Christo-fascist scumbag. And the grassroots base of his party (and many of his MPs) are nazi troglodytes. But Trudeau is the prime minister now. And as such, his actions should be held up to more scrutiny than the party that isn't in power. Because as much as his perennial commentator "Jackie Blue" might protest, when the liberal neo-liberal party continues to fuck people over, some among those people are the nazi troglodytes who vote Conservative. And the angrier they get the more crazed and deranged they get.And, sorry "Jackie" that is very much what happened in the USA and none of your screaming and babbling to the contrary is going to change that.

And, anyway, we wouldn't even have to worry about Scheer and his nazis getting a majority in an election if goddamned Justin Trudeau hadn't betrayed us all by reneging on his goddamned promise to reform our antiquated electoral system of "first-past-the-post." At the time, Simon and his horde of Liberal-lovin' commentators ranted and raved about how it was somehow the opposition parties' fault that electoral reform failed. But this is nonsense. Trudeau's Liberals have a commanding majority and they could have passed anything they wanted.

And it's refreshing to be done with that pathetic homophobe stephen harper and his disgusting, bigoted, sometimes closeted gang of freaks. But when Liberals pursue the immiseration of the majority while championing cost-free identity politics they only increase the hateful venom of right-wing chumps who associate their woes with the championing of identity politics. Liberal arrogance makes things worse in the long run.

It is the height of delusion, the height of hypocrisy, the height of arrogance, to shriek about the dangers of a Conservative majority and how we must all vote Liberal or defend the Liberals, when it is the Liberals we have to blame for the fact that the Conservatives are still capable of getting a majority.

That's enough for today. I'll continue tomorrow.

You can post as many pictures of this handsome man as you want but it doesn't change the reality that many of his policies truly stink.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Exciting (Futile) Times

So, Roger Cohen is testifying against Donald Trump. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's questioning of him created several leads for Congress to follow in order to expose the "con-man for life" Donald Trump's corruption. If Trump is impeached it'll be a good thing. That will, of course, bring us President Michael Pence, which would be worse. Although he'll only have a year. Then, the Presidency would probably fall to a Democrat. Which is often "less worse" or "lesser evil" (as Democratic Party apologists tend to argue). Although a President Sanders, or President Warren or President Gabbard would be far less worse and dareIsay "better."

The Wilson-Raybould saga continues to unwind. As of late, partisan Liberal hacks (when they're not stupidly insisting that this whole thing is a non-scandal) are clinging to two main arguments:

1. All of this special favouritism and interference with the independence and impartiality of the Attorney General was not bad because Wilson-Raybould didn't immediately offer her resignation.


2. Wilson-Raybould supposedly didn't interfere with the Director of Public Prosecution's decision because a subordinate of the DPP produced a memo saying that SNC-Lavalin should get a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

The problem with 1) is obvious. Whatever honest or squalid reasons JWR had for not resigning does NOTHING to change the fact that the Trudeau government's heavy-hitters were all putting intense pressure on JWR to save SNC-Lavalin from the consequences of that firm's monstrous criminality. And they were doing so based on political calculation (elections in Quebec), financial calculations (SNC-Lavalin is a major contributor to the Liberal Party) and etc.

JWR might not have looked at the subordinate's memo, but she didn't have to. It was her decision. That's what the independence of the Attorney General is all about.

The fact of the matter is that the Trudeau government admits to major interference in the legal system on the behalf of SNC-Lavalin. This is a prime example of the capture of our political system by corporate oligarchies. Supposedly JWR was told that the Liberal Party could swing it so that sympathetic media types would speak in her defence, justifying her decision in the press if she felt it necessary to keep up appearances of integrity.

Polls are showing that most Canadians don't care about this scandal anyway I'm told. That's neither surprising, nor relevant. Most Canadians sleep-walked through the serial scandals of the harper years; up to and including covering-up torture and electoral fraud. That they can't grasp or don't care about the significance of this rotten behaviour is just par for the course.

Supposedly this helps the Conservatives. First of all, if Justin hadn't have betrayed principled Canadians on electoral reform we wouldn't even have to worry about those hypocritical troglodytes. But that's one of the reasons Justin betrayed us. Because the Conservative bogeyman is so useful for neo-liberal assholes like the Liberals. They just point to the monsters to their Right and insist that we all have to vote for them and that anyone who doesn't is responsible for the nightmare to follow.

So, yeah. The slimy corporate media in Canada hasn't spent much time on shit-head Andrew Scheer's sharing a platform with racist Nazi Faith Goldy.  Scheer should be getting pilloried for that disgusting behaviour continuously. But Canada's political culture is corrupt, racist, oligarchic, hypocritical, stupid, ignorant and profoundly anti-democratic.

Speaking of nightmares: Doug Ford just continues to disgust and appall. He's going to attack public healthcare. He's pursuing ruinous austerity. He's a completely scuzzy, rotten, stupid, nauseating individual. I get people not voting for Wynne (although I voted for her directly as my MPP). But I can't forgive the stupidity, ignorance, greed or what have you, of a vote for the ridiculously horrible Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

Listen Liberals; If you're going to insist that our only political choices are to be between the rotten and the horrible, then you have to admit that the path we are on will continue to be rotten. Inequality, corruption, austerity, and "business-as-usual" capitalism are going to lead to disaster and perhaps the extinction of our species. You're all going to have to grow-up and do the hard thinking that's required to get us all out of the mess that we're in. You can't be stupid, partisan hacks and expect people to take you seriously.

I really wanted to say more but I'm tired and blogging is a waste of time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The SNC-Lavalin "Non-Scandal"

Just so we're clear: The "Deferred Prosecutions Agreements" thing was quietly slipped into a Liberal omnibus bill and received no public scrutiny. DPA's were desired by SNC-Lavalin:

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dupes n' Super Radicals

I liked this recent CounterPunch essay by Patrick Walker: "Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal." In it, Walker argues that any activist group that utlilizes electoral politics in its campaigns needs to call-out those politicians when they support such abominations as regime change in Venezuela.
For those of us leftists who put faith in politically oriented movements—like the Sunrise Movement and the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC)—our illegal Venezuelan coup poses a serious quandary. If both movements fail to protest a catastrophic policy that sabotages their own stated aims, they lend credence to leftist critics who regard such movements as hopelessly na├»ve or compromised (chiefly by fear of offending Democrat politicians and their supporting media) and therefore useless.
Walker says that what such groups (for instance the environmentalist "Sunrise Movement" and the Martin Luther King inspired "Poor People's Campaign") do is important because (as much as super-radicals might deny it) US-American society is simply not radical enough to become revolutionary:
But I’m getting slightly ahead of myself. For a politically-oriented strategist like me, the crucial point is that if politically oriented movements—meaning ones (like Sunrise and the PPC) dedicated to pressuring politicians and facing them with potential electoral repercussions—aren’t sufficiently principled and consistent to resist business-as-usual sabotage of their own aims, we leftists (who hold humanity’s future in our hands) are left without a viable way forward. For while Americans are clearly coming around to leftward-leaning agendas, they’re simply not yet radical enough to support street disruption of the Yellow Vest brand.
Obviously this confirms my own biases. I've long held that leftism is divided into Two Solitudes in Canada. The social-democratic NDP mixes constantly with LibroCon politicians and corporate media types and LibroCon-oriented bureaucrats on a daily basis. Repeated exposure to such an environment turns them into the ideological jellyfish that they are today.

Meanwhile, the super-radicals, disgusted with the system, sneer at the NDP and its grassrots of deluded saps, and insist that the only true way to the revolutionary transformation of Canadian society is by having twelve people block a doorway somewhere for half-an-hour; or to have 50-100 people shouting "demands" to politicians who are nowhere within earshot; or to have 1,000+ people march around on city streets for an afternoon.

Obviously, BOTH of these strategies are hopeless. Super-radicals and politicians NEED each other. The politicians need to hear from people who aren't centrist idiots and super-radicals need to grow-up and realize that very few people think the way that they do and they'll have to think harder to come up with strategies that deal with this reality.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

How To Transition To A Sustainable Society

I'm a Canadian. Which means I live in a country strongly influenced by British parliamentary traditions and British history. It also means I'm heavily influenced by US-American political and social history. And, obviously, US-American traditions were heavily based on British ones.  The long and the short of it is that Canada is an heir to a politics of "gradualism" (at least since the 17th Century).

Now, the British can, with good reason, pat themselves on the back for a lot of things. And as I type it seems that there's a lot of evil mixed-up with the good in such things as the scientific and industrial revolutions that I'm referring to. To say nothing of the definite evils of imperialism, elitism, and general despoilation. But whatever else you can say, you have to admit that the British political-social structure has been very, very stable. Since the 18th Century, they have introduced innovations gradually and this has resulted in fewer catastrophes and greater social cohesion than in many other societies. Some very ancient societies cracked by resisting change too stubbornly, or embracing change too willingly.

And I think that this is relevant for the apocalyptic crisis of climate change that we face today. My hobbyhorse of "Workers as Citizens" advocates for changing as little of the details of our present capitalist pseudo-democracies as possible. It advocates for one major change, based on long-established liberal principles of individual rights and equality. From that one change, all the others follow in their own good time and in a natural, organic way.

I say this because the other alternatives (either tinkering with public policies or childish, hazy "revolutionary" scenarios offered by radical dimwits) are either insufficient to the emergency or they depend on so many other things mysteriously changing of their own, that one has difficulty taking them seriously.

I've said all this before to no avail. The only reason I've typed it here, today is because I had a topic that I wanted to write about but the historical record is thinner than I'm able to hang my thesis on. So I just typed this instead.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Random Musings About the Wilson-Raybould Affair

Ah, what the hell. Here we go: I wasn't too aware of the existence of Jody Wilson-Raybould, until Canada's first Indigenous Attorney General was demoted to Veteran's Affairs. This happened right before lying scum-bag Justin Trudeau was going to begin implementing his policy of respectful, nation-to-nation relations with Canada's First Nations, all in the spirit of reconciliation and of honouring our obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), by sending the RCMP to attack road blocks set up by the Wet'suwet'en Nation to stop an oil pipeline going through their territory.

About a week or so ago it was leaked that Wilson-Raybould had been pressed by the Prime Minister's Office to put a stop to Public Prosecutions Director, Kathleen Roussel's decision to pursue criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin. Wilson-Raybould refused and, it was speculated that this is what led to her eventual removal from the Attorney-General post.

SNC-Lavalin is, supposedly, a superstar engineering firm in Quebec. But it's also an international disgrace. It was banned as a contractor by the World Bank for it's practices of bribery and other corruptions. And at the time of its banishment my opinion was that its behaviour was a result of decades of non-accountability for corporate criminals in Canada. Consequence-free criminality that was only enhanced and enabled by the brazenly lawless, anti-democratic scum in the Conservative Party government of stephen harper.

Evidently, it was SNC-Lavalin that got the Trudeau Liberals to insert the creation of "Deferred Prosecution Agreements" inside an omnibus Finance bill. As is the case with the recent flurry of omnibus legislation (pushed to ridiculous extremes by the harpercons) the provision had zero public discussion and democratic oversight in its passage. DPA's are used in the corporate oligarchies of the USA and the UK to enable corporate criminals to avoid prosecution for white collar crimes by paying a fine and taking sensitivity classes. These financial slaps on the wrist are factored into decisions to break the laws as expected costs of doing business.

But DPA's need the approval of Attorneys General. And PPD Roussel and AG Wilson-Raybould were unwilling to extend one to SNC-Lavalin. And now, it is suspected that it was this refusal that led to Wilson-Raybould's demotion.

So, some people are saying that this is an attack on Quebec. That people outside of Quebec wouldn't be cheering the prosecution of a firm from their own provinces. Personally, that's bullshit. I have no affection for any of the corporate criminals in Ontario, or anywhere else in Canada. I think Galen Weston should be in jail. So should all the bankers and telecommunications gougers and liars.

Anyway, ... this is like Manna From Heaven for the detestable Adam Scheer and his collection of inbreds. Even though his own party's past government was (as I said) among the worst enablers of corporate criminality in living memory. harper continuously avoided accountability for his crimes and set the example for his corporate masters to follow. Nothing would ever be exposed if he could help it. Nothing would ever be done about massive crimes.

Walking by a television screen somewhere I saw that some network had dragged dim-bulb Peter MacKay to blather on about how bad it is that the PMO is trying to influence an autonomous state employee like the Public Prosecutions Director! As if that stupid fuck didn't order Department of Defence employees to dig-up dirt on his critics, and used DND resources as his own personal taxi-service. As if that oil-industry shit-head didn't muzzle federal sciences from reporting anything that offended corporate Canada.

So, Justin Trudeau's behaviour since this story broke has been dismal. He's just being the bimbo that he is, batting his eye-lashes at the camera and telling one stupid story after another hoping that everyone will still think he's so cute that it doesn't matter they can tell he's lying.

Thomas Walkom wrote about it. This is a blog post of my random musings. I didn't read his editorial. I read what other people said about it on F__e Book. Apparently he says it wasn't much of a scandal. Governments are allowed to exercise discretion on questions such as whether to press charges. If the PMO or the Cabinet discussed the issue with Wilson-Raybould that's no scandal. (If she was pressured and demoted specifically because she refused to budge, then that's another matter.)

Montreal Simon has been adamant that this isn't a scandal but an invented controversy on his hero Justin Trudeau, as well as an attack on Quebec and the thousands of innocent workers at SNC-Lavalin, and their families, and the firm's shareholders and the widows and orphans and the baby seals and etc., ... and he's willing to extend every benefit of the doubt to Trudeau and his government. Meanwhile, some statements from Liberal-friendly lawyers that Wilson-Raybould was an incompetent and erratic AG are treated almost as Holy Writ.

Why didn't Wilson-Raybould resign immediately???? Maybe she liked being Attorney-General. Maybe she resisted the pressure and thought the matter was over with (see the my ignorant summary of Walkom's editorial above) until she was demoted and then ... well, who knows? I also want to read Liberal partisans explain how Wilson-Raybould's non-resignation negates the significance of the Trudeau government willing to interfere with the integrity and autonomy of the justice system on behalf of a powerful corporation full of reliable fund-raisers to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Well, there you have my musings.