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Letters to the Editor Feb. 14: Letter writers explore the many ‘whys’ surrounding SNC, a PM, his PMO and a minister ...

A picture of MP Jody Wilson-Raybould next to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pictured inside the MP's closed office in Vancouver on Feb. 12, 2019.

BEN NELMS

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Why would then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould have needed to be influenced or pressed or directed – take your pick – to see the significant value of the remediation route in the SNC-Lavalin debacle?

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Would the minister have better recognized the value of all those jobs if the company had been located in her Vancouver-Granville riding instead of Quebec?

It can plausibly be argued that such an absence of practical judgment warranted her demotion to Veterans Affairs. In any event, I have heard no one, save for journalists, talking about this issue here. It may not be the political catastrophe for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Globe and Mail columnists are suggesting.

Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver

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While it is very likely the PM did not cross a legal line in his dealings with the former justice minister regarding SNC-Lavalin, it is also quite possible that his – and his political staff’s – dealings with her left something to be desired.

What can be said with some confidence is that his demotion of Jody Wilson-Raybould from justice was far from the PM’s shrewdest political move. When all is said and done, this may be as much as we will ever know.

Simon Rosenblum, Toronto

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The PM expressed surprise at Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation. He says she never complained to him about how the SNC-Lavelin file was being handled, thus implying she had no problem with it. If all that he says is correct, why did he remove her from the justice portfolio? If it wasn’t SNC-Lavalin that triggered her demotion, what exactly was it? And why is he pointing to Ms. Wilson-Raybould for landing him in this stew, which was almost certainly cooked by people in his own office? This distinguished, principled woman deserves better than she’s been getting from the PM and his advisers.

George Galt, Victoria

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Aren’t A-Gs and prosecutors routinely subjected to extraordinary pressure in their decision making? Isn’t it part of their job to handle the pressure, stick to their guns and make the appropriate decision under the law of the land? Is it that Jody Wilson-Raybould didn’t want to have the responsibility for the loss of thousands of jobs in Canada? (Not a good career move in politics.)

Her decision to resign from cabinet smells like revenge to me. Does the former A-G truly believe she has served her country well, in particular the Indigenous people to whom she gave a cabinet voice?

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Did the PM or PMO violate the law by directing the A-G, in writing, to overturn the Public Prosecutor’s decision? If not, there is no issue here. He-said, she-said arguments do not stand up well in a court of law.

Elizabeth Tyner, Forest Mills, Ont.

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I want to register my utter dismay at the news of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation from cabinet. Through her actions, she showed herself as one of the most competent ministers.

As a lawyer and former chief legislative counsel of Ontario, I completely support her opinion that the prosecutorial functions of the attorney-general should remain free of political interference. The way that the Prime Minister treated the former minister certainly does not fit with his sunny-ways narrative. I will do my best to find someone other than a Liberal to vote for in the election.

Alison M. Fraser, Toronto

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While the PM is no doubt accurate in saying that he did not direct Ms. Wilson-Raybould to interfere in the SNC-Lavalin case, and that the decision was hers alone to make, neither statement rules out the possibility that pressure was put on her by the PMO to make the decision her masters wanted. Was she thrown under the Bu(tt)s?

James A. Duthie, Nanaimo, B.C.

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Jody Wilson-Raybould was the justice minister when the Criminal Code was amended to allow deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) – the remediation mechanism now being suggested for SNC-Lavalin to avoid prosecution.

She had to have understood fully the political implications of her decisions, both to run for Parliament and also of DPAs, the first applicant for which would almost certainly be SNC-Lavalin. And how important the loss of Quebec jobs would be to the Liberals’ re-election prospects, should this company be successfully prosecuted? Shouldn’t the introduction of this legislation have been the moment to take a principled stand in cabinet or, if that failed, publicly by resignation?

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Instead, she waited weeks to resign following the cabinet shuffle that saw her moved to Veterans Affairs, and her colleague Jane Philpott moved from Indigenous Services to Treasury Board.

Methinks her behaviour reflects neither Indigenous affairs nor “rule of law” issues, but rather simmering discontent with the PM’s leadership. We may learn the truth if her lawyer, former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell, advises her to proceed with a public statement. Or not.

James G. Heller, Toronto

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The more I read about the mysterious case of SNC and Jody Wilson-Raybould, the more I am convinced that in its presentation, The Globe and Mail and many of its columnists are doing a disservice not only to Canadian unity, but also to a fair assessment of whether a remediation agreement makes sense for SNC. It seems evident, at least to me, that her attitude to SNC had little to do with her “demotion,” and much more to do with her undermining her own government by criticism of its efforts on Indigenous issues, which earned her a rebuke from the Clerk of the Privy Council.

Carrying a chip on the shoulder is never a recipe for genuine solutions to complex issues.

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Masud Sheikh, Oakville, Ont.

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“It was her responsibility to come forward to me … She did not.” The PM’s words remind me of an occasion when I was a young troop leader in the Canadian Forces. One of my soldiers got into some minor disciplinary trouble and our commanding officer was adjudicating the situation. It turned out the soldier had marital and financial troubles that I confessed to not knowing about.

The CO, as we used to say then, “ripped me a new one.” He told me: “You damn well should have known. Your soldiers are your responsibility. You should know when they are troubled. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Ask questions.”

Perhaps the PM should spend more time with our troops. He might learn something useful about the responsibilities of an honourable leader.

Martin Birt, Uxbridge, Ont.

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There is another aspect to this scandal: Veterans Affairs. Reporting of recent events makes it clear that this is the ministry, at least in the current government, that is reserved for “demotion,” assigned to out-of-favour ministers or given out as a “starter ministry” for the politically hungry.

How do you think all this makes Canada’s veterans and serving military personnel feel? And does anyone actually care?

Helga Grodzinski, Kingston

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It seems to me that the sun is setting a lot quicker on our Prime Minister’s sunny days than he originally planned …

John G. Bullivant, St. Catharines, Ont.

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