Trudeau In Trouble As Justice Minister Calls Out His Corruption And Authoritarianism.
Canada's PM, Justin Trudeau, is in a world of trouble after his own justice minister became a whistle blower and exposed his corruption and mafia like practices. Four years ago, Justin Trudeau rose to Canada's highest office as the second-youngest prime minister in the country's history, promising a progressive, transparent, feminist, green and liberal administration. These days Trudeau and his staff are deep trouble after his own Canadian justice minister had blamed him and his office of trying to pressure her to drop an ongoing corruption case involving a a Canadian corporation accused of corrupt practices on three continents - including paying millions in bribes to Libyan officials during the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The case that has ensnared Mr Trudeau started in February 2015, when the Canadian authorities charged SNC-Lavalin with paying C$47.7 million (S$48.5 million) in bribes to officials in Libya to win contracts there, and of defrauding the Libyan government of C$129.8 million. The Canadian Justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, said she had confronted Trudeau over what she said were intolerable and persistent efforts by officials from Trudeau's PM office to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc evade trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials. In testimony to a parliamentary committee last month, Ms Wilson-Raybould said that while she was justice minister officials imposed “consistent and sustained pressure” on her from September to December last year to ensure SNC-Lavalin pay a large fine rather than go to trial.
“This pressure, or political interference to intervene, was not appropriate,” she said, adding that some officials had made veiled threats unless she cooperated. She also added that the head of the Canadian federal civil service told her that Trudeau would “find a way to get it done one way or another. So, he is in that kind (of) mood and I wanted you to be aware of that.” Wilson-Raybould was unexpectedly demoted in January after she refuesd to bow down to the preassure and threats from Trudeau and his staff and resigned from the Cabinet this month. She said she was convinced the SNC-Lavalin case had prompted her demotion. The case shined a light into how Canada's PM shady, if not outright gangstarish practices, and forced the resignation of Trudeau’s principal private secretary, Gerald Butts, earlier this month. Following Ms Wilson-Raybould, another member of Mr Trudeau's Cabinet, the health minister, Jane Philpott, resigned citing her "serious concerns" about the accusations of improper pressure.
"There can be a cost to acting on one's principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them," the health minister, Ms Jane Philpott, said in her resignation letter.
It is also important to note that company in the center of this scandal, SNC-Lavalin, in 2016 alone gave over $100,000 to the Liberal party, Trudeau's party, in illegal political donations through company employees or their spouses who were then reimbursed by SNC-Lavalin.
Justin Trudeau rejected an opposition call for his resignation and disputed the allegations on Wednesday by his former justice minister that government officials inappropriately pressured her to help a major company avoid a corruption trial.
“I strongly maintain, as I have from the beginning, that I and my staff always acted appropriately and professionally,” Trudeau told a televised news conference in Montreal. The ethics commissioner for Canada's Parliament has opened an investigation, and several opposition party members have called for the police or an independent inquiry to take on the case.