Trudeau’s sunny ways are turning into dark days

Will the Norman affair have more political impact than SNC-Lavalin when voters head to the polls this fall?

Trudeau’s sunny ways are turning into dark daysWhat will be the bigger political scandal involving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government? SNC-Lavalin is well out in front, but the Norman affair is slowly starting to catch up. It all begins with a $668-million deal signed by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper with the Quebec-based shipbuilding company Chantier Davie Canada…

Corporate corruption spreads its wings around the world

Even in our law-abiding, transparent country, graft happens. In some countries, it’s the cost of doing business

Corporate corruption spreads its wings around the worldFederal politics are transfixed by apparent managerial indiscretion yet again. SNC-Lavalin – whose officials have been found guilty of corruption in the past – faces criminal prosecution with consequences that could cripple it if found guilty. The company would face a ban on federal contracts for years, and such a ban could be honoured by…

Wilson-Raybould’s next political home?

The former Liberal cabinet minister doesn't fit the Conservative mould, nor does she belong with the NDP. So how about the Green Party?

Wilson-Raybould’s next political home?On April 2, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tossed former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus. Their cabinet resignations on principle and subsequent removal from caucus two months into the SNC-Lavalin controversy appear to be unprecedented in Canadian politics. Wilson-Raybould and Philpott haven’t determined what they’ll do next – or at…

SNC-Lavalin reminds us that big government invites big scandals

If we want fewer scandals, we must scale back government to limit the temptation to indulge in scandalous behaviour

SNC-Lavalin reminds us that big government invites big scandalsThe SNC-Lavalin scandal, which continues to dominate headlines across Canada, has many moving parts. It’s hard to disentangle everything so as to assign blame. But the situation provides an important lesson that seemingly many have forgot: big government invites big scandals. Political power can be misused for personal gain. It can be wielded in ways…

Political parties have become a threat to Canada’s democracy

The Liberal caucus has shown again that it values blind obedience over principle and that it puts party before country

Political parties have become a threat to Canada’s democracyThey're gone! The caucus of the Liberal Party of Canada has officially expelled Jody Wilson-Raybould, former minister of Justice and attorney general, and Jane Philpott, former president of the Treasury Board. These one-time party stars have been forced from the governing party and won’t be allowed to run as Liberals in the upcoming federal election.…

SNC-Lavalin affair strikes at the heart of legal integrity

Democracy can’t survive when equality before the law becomes a cynical joke

SNC-Lavalin affair strikes at the heart of legal integrityAndrew Scheer contributed significantly to Canadian political life by saying recently that the SNC-Lavalin affair isn’t just about choosing between Justin Trudeau and Scheer. The Conservative leader did further good by making clear that the SNC-Lavalin mess isn’t even just about an abstraction called the rule of law. It is, he spelled out for those…

Soybeans, pork, lobsters and beef could be next on China’s hit list

Canada's diplomatic juveniles have jeopardized the Canadian target of $75 billion in agriculture and food exports by 2025

Soybeans, pork, lobsters and beef could be next on China’s hit listTwo recent cases make Canada’s political elite look like diplomatic juveniles. The SNC-Lavalin debacle refuses to go away, garnering global media attention for weeks. The Meng Wanzhou case in Vancouver has made things much worse. The arrest of Meng – a Huawei vice-president and daughter of the company’s CEO – in December exposed Canada to…

Why an SNC-Lavalin failure would be good for Canada

Canada shouldn't tolerate bullies. And we need to stand firm in the face of business practices we find unacceptable

Why an SNC-Lavalin failure would be good for CanadaWhen I was in secondary school, there was a bully who had to have his way. He figured because he was bigger and stronger than most other kids his age, he should be able to do whatever he wanted. He coerced other kids to do his dirty work and sometimes even his homework. He intimidated…

Finding the middle ground between Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau

It is possible to mediate between identity politics and old school democracy

Finding the middle ground between Wilson-Raybould and TrudeauFor the past few weeks, the Canadian public – and increasingly the world – have witnessed the quintessential Canadian scandal. So far, no one has proven any law has been broken, no one has been physically injured, and the core issue is whether 9,000 (or 3,500 or 6,000 or any) jobs are at risk because…

Powerful anti-oil groups march into Canada’s halls of power

With Gerald Butts and others at the epicentre of power, it’s no wonder the oil industry has plummeted into purgatory

Powerful anti-oil groups march into Canada’s halls of powerCanadians watch Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election comfortable in the belief that such foreign interference couldn’t happen here. Except it did happen here. And while the Russians adamantly deny interference in American political affairs, the perpetrators of interference in the 2015 Canadian federal election not only devised and…

Trudeau should lift the gag order on Wilson-Raybould

Failing to do so creates the horrible image of a government unwilling to get to the bottom of an important controversy

Trudeau should lift the gag order on Wilson-RaybouldThe House of Commons justice committee heard the testimonies of former principal secretary Gerald Butts, Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick and deputy justice minister Nathalie Drouin last week. They provided different accounts to what former Justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould told the committee about allegedly being pressured by the prime minister’s office to…

Trudeau taking Canada down the road to authoritarianism

A democracy should respect the rule of law and the rights, values and tax dollars of its citizens

Trudeau taking Canada down the road to authoritarianismChina’s dictatorship, once the apparent favourite of Canada’s prime minister, has become his biggest problem. When Justin Trudeau first visited China as prime minister, the Chinese lauded him as the “Little Potato” (with his late father Pierre being the big one). The name may be apt. A young potato has no eyes. Now that a…

The end of Pierre Trudeau’s vision of Canada

The former prime minister's "vision" of Canada created the culture of entitlement and corruption in Quebec that has led to the SNC-Lavalin scandal

The end of Pierre Trudeau’s vision of CanadaThe SNC-Lavalin affair has become a nightmare for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But more importantly, it signals the beginning of the end for a Canada designed and built by his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. It seems Justin Trudeau attempted to bully his minister of Justice into helping SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution. By doing…

What to do when you have a values clash with your boss

First, you need to pause and acknowledge that people hold different values and it doesn’t necessarily make them bad people

What to do when you have a values clash with your bossSo many leadership lessons lurk in the events that have plagued the Canadian political landscape over the past few weeks that it’s hard to know where to start. Leadership lessons that emerge from crises are easy pickings; they’re so obvious and it’s so easy to be self-righteous. A much tougher question is: What on earth…

Jody Wilson-Raybould’s deeply Canadian courage

The former minister has demonstrated quality we should all be proud of. And the system shows it can deal with such honesty

Jody Wilson-Raybould’s deeply Canadian courageI can’t remember feeling more proud to be Canadian than I have since Jody Wilson-Raybould began speaking to the House of Commons justice committee on Wednesday afternoon. As a little kid at Nov. 11 cenotaph ceremonies, I might have been as proud in the misty half-understood way of childhood. When Paul Henderson scored the immortal…
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