Politics Insider

In SNC-Lavalin saga, everyone wants you to know they've turned over a new leaf

Politics Insider for May 1: SNC's big Liberal donors revealed, Liberals trail Tories in fundraising, and Kenney sworn in

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Donors revealed: A late 2000s scheme in which SNC-Lavalin reimbursed some of its employees, directors and their spouses for making donations to the federal Liberal party roared back into the headlines Tuesday, as did the decision by Elections Canada not to prosecute the company for its behaviour. CBC News obtained a list of 18 individuals associated with SNC-Lavalin who Elections Canada believed donated $110,000 to the Liberals from 2004 to 2009, as well as $8,000 to the Conservatives. The list, known to Elections Canada and the Liberals since 2016, was never made public. “We know that the decisions to take part in this scheme took place at the very highest levels of SNC-Lavalin,” said one lawyer with knowledge of election laws. “‘[It] seems to all suggest to me that there should have been a prosecution.” (CBC News)

It was a different Liberal Party then: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today’s Liberal party would never accept those donations. Citing the party’s higher fundraising standards, Trudeau said “that is not what happens any more.” (Canadian Press)

It was a different SNC-Lavalin then: In other SNC-Lavalin news, at least fifty-five pages of documents filed by the company explaining why federal prosecutors should allow it to avoid a criminal trial will not be released to the public because they contain commercially sensitive information about the company. That’s the ruling from federal access to information officials in response to a request by Global News. Some of that information is already in public court documents, like SNC’s assertion that its stakeholders would face “extremely negative consequences” if it’s prosecuted, and that the senior managers who might have been involved in the alleged acts of bribery and corruption are gone now anyway. (Global News)

Check out what page after page of redacted SNC-Lavalin documents look like, here.

Scheeriously? Conservative leader Andrew Scheer‘s favourite line of attack against Trudeau is to go after the carbon tax. In doing so he’s misleading Canadians about the most important issue we face, writes Stephen Maher:

What Scheer can’t say, if he wants to be taken seriously, is that Trudeau’s job-killing carbon tax is going to destroy our economy and do nothing to help the environment. That’s not true, no matter how often he says it, and it is going to be hard to listen to him respectfully if he wants to build his campaign around a false premise. (Maclean’s)

Raise a little mil’: Yesterday’s newsletter noted that Conservatives enjoyed a record fundraising haul, taking in $8 million in the first quarter. The Liberal numbers are out, and are well behind their Tory rivals. Liberals took in $3.9 million in the quarter. Meanwhile the Green Party also enjoyed its strongest quarter, raising $783,000. The NDP have yet to release their fundraising figures. (iPolitics)

Cruel and inhumane“—that’s how Chrystia Freeland described the second death sentence handed down by China against a Canadian since the arrest of a top-level Chinese telecom executive in December. Both execution sentences related to drug cases.  (CTV News)

Buh bye: Sen. Lynn Beyak, who posted racist letters targeting Indigenous people on her website, should be suspended without pay, the Upper Chamber’s ethics committee recommended Tuesday. The committee also said if Beyak, who was kicked out of the Conservative caucus last year over the letters, doesn’t take down the letters herself, Senate administrators should do it themselves. (Canadian Press)

Just watch me: It’s official. Jason Kenney is the premier of Alberta after being sworn in Tuesday, along with his cabinet of 22 ministers. And in keeping with one of his more blusterish campaign promises, he said he’ll now proclaim Alberta’s “turn off the taps” legislation, even if he won’t yet put it into action and block gasoline shipments to B.C.: “We will obviously keep our electoral commitment to proclaim Bill 12, just stay tuned.” (Global News)

Promises, promises: Finally, over the coming weeks and months Canadians will be inundated with campaign promises. To help make sense of it all, we’ve created a live platform comparison that will be updated daily. Bookmark this url and check back often as the campaign heats up.