Canada’s parliament condemned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday for “acting improperly” after former Justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould claimed Trudeau issued “veiled threats” to pressure her into settling a corruption case.
Trudeau allegedly sought to influence a criminal case against Montreal-based multinational SNC-Lavalin—which stands accused of bribing Libyan officials with roughly £28 million between 2001 and 2011.
The deal would have fined SNC-Lavalin, avoiding a criminal conviction which would bar the company from government work for years. Unable to compete for lucrative government contracts, the company may have cut jobs, or even left Canada.
Some observers consider this a damning example of how one woman attempting to protect judiciary independence was bullied out of her post by a liberal party calculating electoral gains.
Indeed, SNC-Lavalin employs 9,000 Canadians, and Quebec is an essential swing state, often granting Liberals significant parliamentary majority.
Nevertheless, the prime minister did not give undue orders, and prosecution continued after Wilson-Raybould refused to cut SNC-Lavalin a break.
Moreover, Trudeau acknowledged discussing potential harm to employment with Wilson-Raybould, affirming that it was his duty to protect Canadian jobs.
How should leaders balance preserving jobs with respecting judiciary independence?
Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.