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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks next to the Watermark sculpture along the St. John River in Fredericton, New Brunswick on Thursday August 15, 2019. Trudeau was in Fredericton to discuss federal funding for flood mitigation.

Stephen MacGillivray/The Canadian Press

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SNC-Lavalin: ‘A great Canadian scandal’

Jody Wilson-Raybould exercised the discretion that was lawfully hers by refusing to overturn the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute SNC-Lavalin. She had the power to do so but chose not to.

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The Prime Minister’s unwillingness to abide by her decision on a major file was tantamount to loss of confidence in her ability to continue as attorney-general. He exercised the discretion that was lawfully his and dismissed her from the office.

A great Canadian scandal.

Howard Greenfield, Montreal

On the one hand, I respect Justin Trudeau for sticking to his principles and refusing to apologize for pressuring Jody Wilson-Raybould. The simple fact is that I personally do not want to hear an apology for this. What I do want is to have a Prime Minister who understands this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. If he had been successful and SNC-Lavalin had been offered a deferred prosecution agreement, would we then have other organizations and individuals lobbying Mr. Trudeau to intervene on their specific cases?

Jeff Breukelman, Richmond Hill, Ont.

Justin Trudeau apologizes to everyone about everything he had no control over (e.g. residential schools), but not for a wrong which was his to own.

Simon Farrow, Kelowna, B.C.

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Yes, our Prime Minister inappropriately used the power of his office to interfere in the judicial process. He should admit the gravity of this wrongdoing and apologize to Canadians. However, what is at risk of being lost in the fury of scandal isn’t that “the law is the offended party.” It’s that justice is the offended party.

Very few of the guilty in this case (those who perpetrated, knew of or should have known of the alleged bribery by SNC-Lavalin officials) have faced any form of justice. Several had their cases thrown out, due to excessive delays in their prosecution.

Are we to believe that justice will be served by prosecuting a corporation where those individuals are no longer present? Many people made mistakes in this saga and failed our justice system. Focusing solely on the actions of the Prime Minister and his office misses the bigger picture.

Mark Roberts, Gananoque, Ont.

While the Prime Minister has said he accepts the Ethics Commissioner’s report, his responses indicate he still does not accept that he did anything wrong. This raises the question of whether he understands the Conflict of Interest Act? Pressuring his attorney-general in order to save jobs in his home province was an attempt to further SNC’s interests. Does Justin Trudeau understand that was wrong? Do his staff understand? It wouldn’t appear so.

Equally significant is the lack of an apology. This is a Prime Minister who has apologized profusely for the misdeeds of others. Now, when an apology to the people of Canada and his former justice minister is very much in order for his own misconduct, none seems to be forthcoming. Why?

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A final, more significant question many Canadians are now asking is if there is any substance behind the polished veneer of smiles, hugs and selfies? Increasingly, it doesn’t appear so.

Roy Schneider, Regina

Why Can’t Trudeau Say He’s Sorry? (Aug. 15): Because he’s not and would do it again.

Jacquelin Holzman, Ottawa

The Globe and Mail’s coverage of the SNC-Lavalin file is replete with words and phrases such as “startling revelations,” “scathing,” “playing with fire,” “incredibly damning” and other inflammatory rhetoric. It is a fact that SNC-Lavalin is currently before the courts. Where is the emphasis on the fact that the system worked?

John Ibbitson asks, “How should [the Ethics Commissioner’s report] weigh in the balance?” This coming October we will have an opportunity to vote for a bright young Liberal with considerable accomplishments, or a lacklustre Conservative with no record to speak of. I’ll stick with Justin Trudeau.

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Willem Hart, Toronto

Pragmatism devoid of principle leads to the erosion of everything that makes society work. While the Liberals have done many good things as a government, they also suffer from the arrogance of power and need to be held to account, along with the bankers who figure in this saga.

Unfortunately, the political alternatives to the Liberals appear to be no better, despite their shrill indignation. We shall have to hold our noses while we vote for the least of the worst, and lament the loss of political vision and courage, and what that means for Canada’s future.

Peter Davison, Dundas, Ont.

Let’s be very clear here. The so-called ethics law is the federal “Conflict of Interest Act.” The Globe and Mail should publish the act and let all voters know what you are referring to. Ask them to read it word for word to decide if running afoul of the wording in this situation is really punishable by banishment from office. Give me a break.

As one of those “sovereign” voters whom John Ibbitson references (Trudeau Faces Scandal Unlike Anything See In Modern Times – But Will Voters Care?, Aug. 15), I will cast my vote after careful thought. I will take into account the policies of the other parties (vague at best) and the condition of the world (terrifying), and vote for the leader that I think will keep Canada safe and prosperous. I can assure you the SNC-Lavalin ethics scandal will figure pretty minimally in all of that.

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Marianne Orr, Brampton, Ont.

The finding that the Prime Minister has contravened the Conflict of Interest Act is not cause for celebration. But it is cause for gratitude for Canada’s Ethics Commissioner and that office’s ability to investigate and shine a light on the truth, thus exposing elected officials’ actions to public scrutiny.

As for the Liberal MPs’ supporting role as team players in this sorry saga, such allegiance belongs in sports arenas – not in Parliament when ethical standards are being sacrificed to expediency. If not for Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott’s lonely and courageous individual actions, there likely would never have been an Ethics Commission investigation and we would still be in the dark.

Catherine Kelly, Peterborough, Ont.

Do we think that anyone else who reaches the top of the greasy political pole is going to be any better? This scandal is small potatoes compared to other possible scenarios. No one died … and Justin Trudeau sure looks good in a suit. What’s not to like?

Cassandra King, Clementsport, N.S.

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Justin Trudeau is a Liberal Prime Minister who, as has been said of many in that party before him, conflates what is good for the Liberal Party with what is good for the nation. It seems that it is simply not in the Liberals’ DNA to understand that not everyone believes that the ends justify the means, when they are all so darned well-intentioned.

Dave McClurg, Calgary


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