Wilson-Raybould affair – Does it stink and will it stick?

Wilson-Raybould affair – Does it stink and will it stick?

By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

The twists and turns, allegations and rebuttals that come seemingly by the hour in the SNC-Lavalin affair are catnip to political watchers. But let’s get real: It’s not as though most people are leaping out of bed in the morning having dreamed in their precious sleeping hours of the Shawcross Doctrine.

While it is the job of Ottawa insiders to report and consume every detail and do their best to interpret how it’s affecting the Justin Trudeau government’s political fortunes, for everyone outside the beltway, assessing the prime minister and his officials in this an election year comes down to two things: the Stink Factor and the Stick Factor.

To recap: There have been allegations Trudeau and his then-principal secretary Gerald Butts pressured now-former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to interfere in a decision over whether to prosecute Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin on fraud and bribery charges arising from past dealings in Libya, or whether to instead negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement.

The former would see the company, if convicted, banned from bidding on lucrative Canadian government contracts for 10 years. The latter would see SNC-Lavalin avoid a trial in exchange for admitting responsibility, giving back any profits earned from wrongdoing, and paying a major fine. The situation reportedly led Wilson-Raybould to resign as a cabinet minister. Days later, Butts was gone as well.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site, where it was initially published.