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Good morning,

Canada’s new Attorney-General David Lametti says it is still possible he could issue a directive to settle corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin out of court.

SNC-Lavalin is facing charges of bribery and fraud connected to construction contracts in Libya. If convicted, it could be barred for up to 10 years from receiving Canadian government contracts.

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The Globe and Mail reported last week that the Prime Minister’s Office and other government officials attempted to pressure Mr. Lametti’s predecessor, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to direct the director of Public Prosecutions to settle the charges with SNC-Lavalin out of court. Ms. Wilson-Raybould declined to do so, according to sources. In January, she was demoted to Veterans Affairs.

On Sunday, Official Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the Prime Minister should waive solicitor-client privilege so that Ms. Wilson-Raybould can speak about any pressure she came under.

For more perspective on this story, today’s Globe Editorial argues the SNC-Lavalin proceedings raise questions about Justin Trudeau’s commitment to the rule of law and urges the Prime Minister to explain what happened.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Michael Wilson, a former federal finance minister and stalwart of Canadian business has died at 81. Under prime minister Brian Mulroney, Mr. Wilson helped negotiate the North American free-trade agreement and was described by Mr. Mulroney as "a giant in political life.”

Many know the story of Canadian Roméo Dallaire’s ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda in 1993. But 25 years after one of Africa’s most grisly conflicts, there is scant record of the second Canadian mission, known as UNAMIR II. Now, the Canadians who were part of UNAMIR II want the official record updated to show what they accomplished.

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More than six in 10 Canadians say Facebook will have a negative impact on the 2019 federal election, according to a new Nanos Research survey for The Globe and Mail.

Jill Scheer, Andrew Scheer’s wife and partner of nearly 20 years, says she has not given much thought to her role in the upcoming federal election. The Globe’s Janice Dickson sat down with Ms. Scheer at Stornoway – the official residence for the opposition party, to discuss how she is preparing for the spotlight of the Tory campaign trail.

A proposal by the Quebec government to apply stricter conditions to immigrants seeking permanent residency has been rejected by the federal government. The proposed conditions include learning French, understanding Quebec values and a commitment to living outside Montreal.

And U.S. talks on border wall funding collapsed again on Sunday after Democrats and Republicans clashed over immigrant detention policy as they worked to avert another U.S. government shutdown.

Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) on whether Canada can avoid a populist revolt: “The nations upended by right-wing populism all have one thing in common. They are all facing white demographic decline. And that is the breeding ground for populist revolts. These revolts are linked directly to immigration, as Eric Kaufmann argues in his deeply researched new book, Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities.”

Barrie McKenna (The Globe and Mail) on Trump’s pick to lead the World Bank: David Malpass’ “nomination sends a message to China. Mr. Malpass, who is part of the Trump administration team negotiating a trade deal with Beijing, has complained repeatedly that the bank should stop lending to emerging countries such as China that no longer need its financial help.”

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Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail) on Italy’s dangerous debt game:The Italian recession is not just an embarrassment for the populist government and devastating news for employers and employees in a country where the youth jobless rate is more than 30 per cent; it’s bad news for the rest of Europe, too. That’s because Italy, the euro zone’s third largest economy, is sitting on outrageous amounts of sovereign debt, much of which is held by Italian and other European banks. An Italian debt crisis – Europe’s nightmare scenario – could severely damage the wider European banking system and wreck the already weak Italian banks.”

Andrew Coyne (The National Post) on the seriousness of the SNC-Lavalin allegations: “At the very least, for the PMO to have intervened in the way alleged would display appalling judgment; at the worst it may count as obstruction of justice. The former Liberal attorney-general of Ontario, Michael Bryant, and former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond are among those who believe a crime may have been committed. Certainly it calls into doubt the government’s protestations, in the controversy over the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, about its devotion to the ‘rule of law.’”

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