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.


Purple library guy said...

I do sometimes wonder why the World Bank got on SNC-Lavallin's case in the first place. I mean yeah, they did criminal stuff, but since when does the World Bank care about that? Maybe they successfully offered someone a bigger bribe than a subsidiary of Lockheed-Martin did or something.

Not that I'll shed any tears to see them whacked with some major penalties for being the corrupt scumbuckets they are. I'm just wondering.

thwap said...


In all my reading about the World Bank I've been given to understand that they were the more benign of the two "twins" of J.M. Keynes (the IMF being the sibling). Their projects were always in the service of fostering neo-liberal, unequal development (ie., infrastructure to get raw materials to export markets) but they weren't particularly corrupt or brutal.

This was also mentioned when Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote his "Globalization and its Discontents."

And yeah, SNC-Lavalin deserves to get whacked. Along with a few other corporate Canada gougers and cheaters. Our business class has been coddled and enabled for so long that they don't even care any more.

Purple library guy said...

The World Bank is an interesting outfit. I always find it hilarious, in a horrible sort of way, the way they constantly come out with interesting, well-written reports totally debunking the neoliberal privatizing free-trade approach to development and then continue to enforce exactly that approach.

thwap said...


It's been a while since I've read anything like that. Making me nostalgic for my university days.