ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
By John Devine & M. Samuel Anderson
Awakening News, Feb. 13th, 2019
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police seems to be hesitating about launching an investigation into obstruction of justice regarding the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Why an investigation has not yet happened is perplexing. Even a retired judge from Saskatchewan said that the RCMP must investigate the scandal concerning this Montreal-based engineering and construction giant that employs some 50,000 people and has offices in over 50 countries—looking like the Canadian version of the American construction-and-oil colossus known as Halliburton.
According to mainstream news sources, Canada’s now-former Attorney Gen. Jody Wilson-Raybould on Feb. 12th tendered her resignation from PM Justin Trudeau’s cabinet in the wake of a Toronto Globe and Mail report in January 2019 which claimed she was improperly pressured by Trudeau’s office to intervene in a legal case involving SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and seek an out-of-court settlement in a legal matter that dates back to 2012. She’ll remain an MP, but evidently without portfolio, at least for a while.
A REVEALING DEEPER LOOK
Canadian Civil Liberties Association Executive Director Michael Bryant, a former Ontario attorney general, recently expressed some insightful concerns about the governmental matters surrounding the SNC-Lavalin allegations, including the RCMP’s apparent reluctance or refusal to probe the matter—although Bryant also is offering insights on the larger issue of the general obstruction of justice across Canada.
“I wonder if a police investigation is already under way or whether one will start soon,” he said.
Mr. Bryant is to be commended for speaking about a deep-seated political matter that usually is met with indifference and only the most sporadic media coverage, if there’s any coverage at all.
“This is a constitutional crisis no matter how you look at it,” Bryant also said, speaking in a televised interview posted in this You Tube video (click directly below).
Interestingly, Bryant added that this is one of the rare cases where the federal attorney general perhaps should have been involved, because, otherwise, SNC-Lavalin would be tried under a different set of rules—one set for big government and giant corporations, another set for the common folk.
Bryant even went so far as to say that this is the kind of thing that “brings down governments” because certain people in high places “think they’re above the law,” and that would make Trudeau “equivalent to a despot.”
Bryant, who’s careful to note that he is making impartial observations and is not prescribing a particular course of action, also said: “It suggests that the government is corrupt . . . a corrupt government cannot stand.”
A PRE-EXISTING CONSTITUTIONAL BREACH?
But as Awakening News has reported numerous times while taking a longer view, the refusal of the RCMP to investigate our own news outlet’s whistle-blowing efforts, over the course of several years, has established that the Canadian Constitution was breached long ago.
In other words, the SNC-Lavalin affair didn’t punch a hole in the Constitution; rather, the hole was already there.
Therefore, the vital “Constitutional crisis” concerns that Mr. Bryant has brought forward, valid though they are, have been happening a long time in various contexts. And we’ll toot our own horn just a little by saying that Awakening News (as well as its predecessor, Worlds Apart) appears to be the only news outlet to give years of sustained coverage to the kind of justice-obstructing, democracy-dissolving subjects that most Canadians only now are hearing about in a vivid fashion for the first time in a long time—or perhaps for the first time ever.
Due to all of this, Awakening News just wrote to the CCLA, as of Feb. 12th, about the bigger picture, asking for their interpretation of Canadian law regarding threats against whistleblowers and the willful obstruction of justice, regarding several specific issues.
For an example, here’s an excerpt of our letter to the CCLA which explains an experience that an Awakening News editor had when working at Casino Rama a few years ago:
“[T]he Ontario Provincial Police advised me to go to the Ministry of Labour regarding Casino Rama’s often egregious violations of the Ontario Health & Safety Act. We wrote to the Ministry of Labour (anonymously, per procedure) and MOL enforcement officers arrived at Casino Rama to inspect the casino’s work environment, yet they refused to remove various workplace hazards which had placed a cloud over the death of one Casino Rama employee and the lifelong illness of another.
“The OPP told us they would keep our concerns about the obstruction of justice in their file. We reached out to journalistic entities to get our story out. The next thing you know, the OPP arrived at our house with further threats of reprisal if we kept trying to expose such corruption. We subsequently wrote to the RCMP complaining about the OPP obstructing the judicial process. The RCMP replied, saying Casino Rama and the OPP’s criminal behavior supposedly was ‘not their jurisdiction.’”
More generally, we’re asking the CCLA whether it’s a criminal offence to obstruct a whistleblower with reprisals and threats of reprisals.
One wonders how far this issue goes—that is, how many specific issues, people and institutions are affected, involving the RCMP refusing to investigate the obstruction of the judicial process.
One also has to speculate if the media downplaying or refusing to report several apparent obstructions of justice—including, but not limited to, subject matter that Awakening News has freely shared with “big-box” media over the years—might expose such media to liabilities, perhaps accusations of withholding vital information that would’ve helped reinforce or restore justice, transparency and real democracy.
Dare we ask, should the CBC be funded to the tune of $1.1 billion annually with our tax dollars if certain key issues that pertain to keeping Canada democratic, effectively fighting crime and establishing real justice are mishandled or simply not reported?
The bottom line is that the consequences of the RCMP not investigating all obstructions of the judicial process could give future violators of this process an opening to launch a constitutional challenge, citing an unequal, discriminatory application of the law.