Please note: The above photo is not of Don Vito Corleone; it's the big gun at SNC-Lavalin.
SEE ADDENDUM added Wed. Apr. 3 at 5:10 PM:*
Lessons in Tap-Dancing:
How to keep one's place in line
Justin Trudeau is an expert tap-dancer. It may actually be what he does best; that, and dropping people from caucus.
CBC: Parliament 101 - January 2014: What's a caucus anyway?
Sometimes I read what I've written and think maybe I shouldn't be so sarcastic and insulting to political self-styled paragons (see? I've already done it) who have aspired to what they like to call "public service" yet comes across as high-maintenance play-acting.
It seems as if they've dressed up in their parents' clothes and looked in the mirror and chanted, "I'm good; I'm great; I deserve your vote", when here I am thinking they should do good, have some humility, and think more about how to actually earn the compliment paid them by the voters.
Oh, you have to see this video of the great and dearly departed Gilda Radner expecting approbation, full of confidence, but with a rather dubious resume. "I really want this job", she says.
I know from my own childhood tap dancing lessons that the step she does across the stage from the viewer's right to left is called "The Buffalo". And I was delighted to see that she couldn't do the return from left to right because I never could either. And if "left" means liberal, and "right" means conservative, then you can see why I'm now in political limbo.
I wonder where so many politicians get their conviction that they are deserving of the public's full trust and respect; so much so that they actually convince the voters of that. Perhaps it begins early in life.
Watch a very smug, gum chewing Justin Trudeau at age 18: "I've never been affected by peer pressure. Never."
What the young Trudeau said was easy for a guy considered to have few actual peers due to his lineage. He also knew it didn't matter what the other kids said about Quebec; his own father and his father's peers were against Quebec separation, so he really didn't have to think at all. Not so easy now to admit that his current peers expect him to provide what he can only hope are believable explanations for the public's consumption.
O course, not every politician has had the advantages of a Trudeau, but somewhere along the way the notion that they were special seems to have taken hold.
Now, you may have noticed that I have not been anywhere near so caustic in the case of The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould. That's because she does truly seem honourable and decent and more grown-up and self-disciplined than most of what one sees on the floor of the House.
I'm fairly sure my respect for her is justified, but it's impossible to feel respect for Trudeau and his closies, though I wish them no evil other than that they should grow up, own up, clean up, and make amends or else -- or maybe also -- resign.
If I were as pressured as Wilson-Raybould was regarding her take on the SNC-Lavalin issue, and so many "important" people were trying to make it appear that I was exaggerating, even lying, I'd feel strongly motivated to back up my assertions with a voice recording of the worst of it -- not primarily to make someone else look bad but to stop others from casting me in the role of liar.
An opinion piece by a CBC writer appears to agree:
CBC Opinion: Wilson-Raybould's intentions might not be completely righteous. And?:
That writer's opinion is eloquently shared by commenter Dean Noble:
It seems that the recorded phone call may have had some effect on SNC-Lavalin's big boss, Neil Bruce who has now placed a notice on the SNC website, saying, in essence that he never said what they said he said:
CBC: SNC-Lavalin boss says company could lose 9,000 jobs overseas, despite evidence to contrary
CBC: An economic reality check on SNC-Lavalin: Are 9,000 jobs really at stake?
Maybe the more pertinent truth can be found in the following:
Huffington Post: SNC-Lavalin Walks Back CEO Neil Bruce's Statement On Potential Job Losses
CanadianLawyer Magazine: Opinion: The real scandal in the SNC-Lavalin affair
As to decisions made by the Attorney General, you may have already heard the term "The Shawcross Doctrine" during the Justice Committee hearings, but if the above opinion piece doesn't make it clear enough, here it is defined courtesy of "Craig Forcese's Public Law Blog":
It seems clear that Wilson-Raybould's colleague, Jane Philpott knew the details of the Wernick phone call prior to the disclosure:
Macleans: Jane Philpott: ‘There’s much more to the story that needs to be told’
How best could the story be told? Needless to say, the recorded phone call said it all, and high time it was too, though Philpott is skeptical about any investigation by the Ethics Commissioner:
Well, if Mario Dion was an appropriate tool, they certainly no longer had him on hand to turn the screw: CTVNews: Mario Dion Stepping Away From Office For Medical Reasons
I don't know a whole lot about high finance; it just doesn't interest me, maybe because I don't believe that the welfare of the population depends on how many millions of dollars land in the pockets of corporations and their executives. I can't help wondering, though, if our Justin took a bit too seriously the duplicitous American movie (IMDB) "Too Big to Fail" 2011, which, Hollywood style, made the protagonist out to be a much greater saint than he actually was. (Scroll down to the bottom of the IMDB page and read the featured User Review.)
Besides, it's a recorded fact that 5 (count 'em) US corporations did actually fail and life went on.
So what gets solved by ejecting Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus, as at least one of her colleagues opined should and must happen. I'm so reminded of Lady Macbeth!
Sparknotes: Lady Macbeth
Recently appointed (therefore perhaps anxious to keep her job, having already seen what happens to those who fail to toe the line) Labour Minister Hajdu sounds to me as if she might have things to hide if she's become paranoid that Wilson-Raybould might record her - or might already have recorded her:
CFJCtoday: Labour minister says it was 'unethical' for Wilson-Raybould to record call
As shown above, Shakespeare had the perfect rebuttal for Hajdu, here loosely translated:
"Why should I be scared, if no one can lay the guilt upon me?" At the very least, she's guilty of wanting to banish a truth-teller.
An "Opinionated Bastard" tells Minister Hajdu to get real:
There now! And you thought I was caustic.
For the record:
Now, look at what was snuck by us yesterday while we were pondering all of this:
PennyforyourThoughts: April Global Warming Carbon Tax Fools Day!
* ADDENDUM added Wed. Apr. 3 at 5:10 PM -
A timeline of SNC characters involved in Libya:
The Great Man Made River (Posted on PennyforYourThoughts)
Covers the years from 1983-2002
Quotes "Riadh Ben Assa", (Former) Executive Vice-President of SNC-Lavalin.
(Incorrect spelling of "Riadh Ben Aissa")
Article on Penny's site re: replacement of "Riadh Ben Aissa" with new Exec.VP.
Also mentions Stephane Roy is no longer with the company. (See Feb 19/19 for more re Roy)
More re Aissa:
Inside the 'clandestine world' of SNC-Lavalin's fallen star Riadh Ben Aissa
These were kickbacks, paid to Saadi Gaddafi by Mr. Ben Aissa in return for certain Libyan contracts awarded to SNC. According to Swiss authorities, tens of millions more dollars moved through Mr. Ben Aissa’s own Swiss accounts, from September 2001 to March 2011. The money came from SNC.
RCMP charges SNC-Lavalin with fraud and corruption linked to Libyan projects
Riadh Ben Aissa’s close relationship with Saadi Gaddafi was a major asset to SNC-Lavalin who was well aware of it and fostered the relationship,” the affidavit sworn in 2013 by Cpl. Alexandre Beaulieu said.
From Penny's blog: covering years 2008 - 2010
SNC-Lavalin developed close relationship with Gadhafi son
Via: SNC-Lavalin executive vice-president, Mr. Aissa
Other SNC names involved:
Peter Langlais, general manager of SNC-Lavalin Defence Contractors; Armand Couture, an engineer and former partner at Lavalin who also previously worked as president of Hydro-Quebec; and Mr. Béland, an engineer who specializes in water projects.
Gary Wiseman, chief of staff for SNC-Lavalin Defence Contractors, whose resumé describes 25 years of military service.
Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, former head of Canada's navy.
Former SNC-Lavalin executive has obstruction charge dropped
Excessive delays leads to charges being dropped
SNC exec and his lawyer accused of $10 million bribe to key witness Riadh Ben Aissa, Executive Vice-President of SNC-Lavalin
... it took too long to bring the case to trial.
... the RCMP operation was done illegally
Sami Bebawi, a former SNC-Lavalin executive vice-president, and his Montreal-based tax lawyer, Constantine Kyres, had been accused of offering a $10-million bribe to have a key witness change his testimony in a fraud and corruption case against Bebawi.
The alleged recipient of the offer was Riadh Ben Aissa, another former SNC-Lavalin executive, who was detained in Switzerland at the time on charges of corrupting officials in Libya on behalf of the Canadian engineering firm.
Ben Aissa has given statements to authorities implicating Bebawi in the Libyan bribery scheme ...
SNC-Lavalin and two of its subsidiaries were charged with paying nearly $48 million to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to influence government decisions. The company is also accused of fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of roughly $130 million.
Kyres’s lawyer, Frank Pappas, said justice was served. “We won this case about a year ago when a judge decided, a judicial ruling, that the RCMP operation was done illegally,” he told reporters. “Finally, the delays caused by the Crown’s decision and strategies is what sunk their ship.”
Unreasonable delay: Former SNC-Lavalin VP Stéphane Roy avoids trial
The judge decries "the culture of complacency" that contributed to delays in the case.
Tyee: Redeemable? SNC-Lavalin’s Criminal Record
And why mega-project construction so often breeds corruption.
END OF ADDENDUM
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