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Today, readers are responding to a Nanos poll reporting that more than half of Canadians say fraud and corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. should go to a criminal trial rather than a negotiated settlement.

A man walks past the headquarters of SNC Lavalin in Montreal in November 2014.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Rick Taves1:

Law enforcement by poll. Interesting and scary prospect.

Snowaway in response:

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Hardly law enforcement by poll in this instance. Just a poll - to let Canadians know how their neighbors feel, what their gut instinct tells them, about the handling of the SNC-Lavalin sins by the Liberals. And a useful poll to inform Trudeau that 66% of those outside Quebec favor prosecution. If at any time law enforcement by poll was occurring it was when Trudeau and the PMO were considering the political fallout when pressuring Jody Wilson-Raybould.

dbatty75:

Canada should go for a negotiated settlement. If not, then you stand to chase away other large engineering companies. The world is a competitive place and Canada should follow other countries lead.

Agnostic:

I wish people would stop making this about Quebec. We are one country. What happened is an outrage and wrong no matter where you are from.

warren333:

Here's the problem I have: SNC-Lavalin is just a legal fiction. The company committed a criminal act, but fining the company harms the shareholders and employees who had nothing to do with the criminal act. The executives who engaged in the activities should be prosecuted - they should be fined and maybe even jailed, but fining the company lets the actual criminals off scot-free while hurting innocent parties. Remember, the fine which would be paid by SNC-Lavalin is somebody else's money. There isn't a guy named SNC-Lavalin who is going to reach into his pocket and feel the pain.

ThinkAboutIt42:

Most Canadians have integrity and see corruption as a danger to our society and judiciary as a whole. Former Minister Wilson-Raybould’s testimony is very credible to more than half of Canadians and they trust her judgement and that of the Department of Public prosecution. The fact that Jody Wilson-Raybould was shuffled because she stood by her judgement and that of the independent prosecutor likely convinced Canadians before her testimony that SNC-Lavalin should face prosecution.

poll: Charges against SNC-Lavalin

Question: Some people think that the charges should go to criminal trial because of the seriousness of the fraud and corruption charges, others say that a negotiated deferral of the charges where SNC-Lavalin would pay fines and other restitution would be more appropriate. Which of these two options, if either, best reflects your personal view?

The charges should go to criminal trial

because of the seriousness of the fraud

and corruption charges

A negotiated deferral of the charges where

SNC-Lavalin would pay fines and other

restitution would be more appropriate

Unsure

Wave 2: Feb. 28 to March 1

55%

35%

10%

Wave 1: Feb. 23 to Feb. 26

53%

35%

12%

Note: Charts may not add up to 100 due to rounding

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos research

poll: Charges against SNC-Lavalin

Question: Some people think that the charges should go to criminal trial because of the seriousness of the fraud and corruption charges, others say that a negotiated deferral of the charges where SNC-Lavalin would pay fines and other restitution would be more appropriate. Which of these two options, if either, best reflects your personal view?

The charges should go to criminal trial because of

the seriousness of the fraud and corruption charges

A negotiated deferral of the charges where SNC-Lavalin

would pay fines and other restitution would be more

appropriate

Unsure

Wave 2: Feb. 28 to March 1

55%

35%

10%

Wave 1: Feb. 23 to Feb. 26

53%

35%

12%

Note: Charts may not add up to 100 due to rounding

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos research

poll: Charges against SNC-Lavalin

Question: Some people think that the charges should go to criminal trial because of the seriousness of the fraud and corruption charges, others say that a negotiated deferral of the charges where SNC-Lavalin would pay fines and other restitution would be more appropriate. Which of these two options, if either, best reflects your personal view?

The charges should go to criminal trial because of the

seriousness of the fraud and corruption charges

A negotiated deferral of the charges where SNC-Lavalin would

pay fines and other restitution would be more appropriate

Unsure

Wave 2: Feb. 28 to March 1

55%

35%

10%

Wave 1: Feb. 23 to Feb. 26

53%

35%

12%

Note: Charts may not add up to 100 due to rounding

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos research

The Internet:

Why even have polls like this? Does the judiciary system work now by polling people generally poorly informed on the topic?

Agnostic in response:

Because the attempts to influence the judiciary by the prime minister made this topic a political one, this poll is more than relevant. The question implicitly is was the Prime Minister doing what you wanted?

Lisa Weber:

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For those lamenting that Canadians do not understand enough about Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) to fairly judge if SNC-Lavalin deserves one, point taken. But, that is not the point. Prosecutors are not allowed to let public opinion (informed or otherwise), the media, or politics interfere with their decision making process. That is strictly forbidden. What they can consider, however, is public trust. Assessing whether, or not, a trial will erode or promote confidence in the administration of justice is important and a required consideration. This poll certainly seems to suggest there is little public trust that a DPA would serve justice in this case. In my opinion, that lack of trust is justified. A DPA, unfortunately for SNC-Lavalin, and the government of Canada, would not be in the interest of public trust because of the close ties between SNC-Lavalin and the government. A DPA is not a public process, but rather a behind the scenes punishment administered by the government. The government, in this case, directly benefits from the avoidance of criminal prosecution. That is not exactly going to build confidence in our judiciary system.

Dutchelm:

My guess is that one half, if not more, of Canadians have no idea what the SNC-Lavalin scandal is all about.

SNC-Lavalin, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau’s PMO: The story so far

GClaude:

The results are not surprising in view of the way the question is biased. The person who wrote the question raised the seriousness of the charges but omitted to talk about the consequences of a guilty verdict on innocent employees and pensionners of the company.

Fasteddy5:

What nonsense, of course charges need to be laid. We are either a nation of laws or not. In fact, if the Liberals broke the law they should be charged as well. Totally disgusting how those that have money can break laws with impunity and not be charged.

Kidster in response:

A modest correction to your post -- charges have been laid, and that is not the question. The question is whether there should be a trial or negotiated deferral of the charges with an agreement on the sentence - punishment without a criminal record so SNC Lavalin is not barred from future government contracts. I agree with your sentiment that SNC-Lavalin should not benefit from such an arrangement given its history of corrupt practices. That was the call made by the prosecution and that is the decision with which it is alleged that the Prime Minister wished to interfere.

TerryQ also in response:

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Siemens, a huge German company also fed bribes into the Libyan tyrants, among others, and settled their case in three different DPAs. One in Germany, the UK and the U.S., in which they paid total fines of over $1-billion USD. This how SNC-Lavalin needs to be treated, as DPAs are now used in most of the Western world. I believe these types of fines will definitely slow down the bribery business because the companies need to subject themselves with monitoring by authorities.

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