More than half of Canadians say fraud and corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. should go to a criminal trial rather than a negotiated settlement where the Montreal engineering and construction giant would pay fines and avoid prosecution, according to a new survey.
The numbers, provided exclusively to The Globe and Mail and CTV News, are based on a Nanos poll of 750 Canadians from Feb. 28 to March 1. The poll comes after testimony from former justice minister and attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould to a parliamentary justice committee on Feb. 27, when she alleged “consistent and sustained” political pressure from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other senior officials to shelve the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
Before the committee, Ms. Wilson-Raybould alleged inappropriate conduct on the part of Mr. Trudeau and 11 people in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office and the Office of the Minister of Finance. This included Mr. Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, and former principal secretary Gerald Butts, as well as Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his chief of staff, Ben Chin. The committee will hear this week from Mr. Butts, who resigned shortly after Ms. Wilson-Raybould quit cabinet on Feb. 12, and hear again from Mr. Wernick.
SNC-Lavalin, which is facing criminal charges over allegations of bribery in Libya between 2001 and 2011, has been seeking a negotiated settlement in which a company admits wrongdoing and pays a fine, but avoids a trial. Last September, however, the federal director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, informed the company that the prosecution would continue. MORE
Judge already ruled there could be constitutional right to a safe environment
Thousands of youth strikers gather in Parliament Square in central London to protest the government’s lack of action on climate change. Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
A group of children are suing the US government for failing to protect them against climate change, in a case which could force the authorities to rapidly decarbonise the American economy.
The unprecedented lawsuit accuses successive administrations of knowing the science of climate change but not taking enough action to protect US citizens from the damage it causes.
The case, first filed in 2015, was initially dismissed by most legal observers as hopeless, but in 2016 a federal judge, Ann Aiken, stunned the government by refusing its attempt to end the case.
Ann Carlson, a professor of environmental law at UCLA, said this was a major development as no court had ever previously upheld the idea the government had a duty to provide its citizens a stable and safe environment. “[But] I think that Judge Aiken actually does a very good job of saying it’s not radical to ask the government to protect the health, and the lives and the property of this current generation of kids.” MORE
A Yale University survey shows more than 70 percent of Americans agree we must limit global warming. The climate emergency is real, but the chaos is larger than the climate disruption. New research shows the frequency and severity of heat waves will get worse. Sea level rise, extreme weather events, drought, crop failure, and water scarcity are driving countries to stop the flow of climate refugees. Poor islands and developing nations are seen as collateral damage.
Inaction is a criminal response
There are two main forces driving inaction. Air, water, and soil are sacred gifts of nature. But frackers, miners, loggers, and land developers see the sacred as inconvenient externalities. The GOP mindset is all about money. Our priceless sacred gifts of nature are seen as worthless because no money is involved.
The goal is clear, but people are easily distracted by daily events and short-term rewards. The 24/7 media and twitter-man keep Americans glued to the TV and silent, with no time to think, read, or act.
Fear, greed, and hate are unspoken reasons for inaction. We are facing an ethical crisis where future generations are helpless victims. [a recent post explores fear as a motivator] MORE
Source: Extinction Rebellion Canada Facebook page
The Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement was formally launched with a declaration and a direct action on October 31, 2018 in London, England. Just over four months later, how is it faring?
First off, XR was formed as an explicitly direct action-focused movement. Guardian columnist and XR supporter George Monbiot has written, “This is a movement devoted to disruptive, non-violent disobedience in protest against ecological collapse.”
UK-based XR campaigner Tiana Jacout has commented, “We have tried marching, and lobbying, and signing petitions. Nothing has brought about the change that is needed.” And her colleague Gail Bradbrook has stated, “Only large-scale economic disruption can rapidly bring the government to the table to discuss our demands.”
“XR community [should] never say we’re a climate movement. Because we’re not. We’re a Rebellion.”
To date, some of the group’s direct actions in the UK have included: blocking roads that lead to Parliament Square (October 31), blocking and spray-painting the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (November 12), shutting down the Brazilian embassy with an LGBTQ+ dance party (November 15), occupying five bridges in central London (November 17), calling on the BBC to make coverage of climate breakdown a top priority (December 20), and disrupting Fashion Week to highlight the climate impacts of disposable fashion (February 17).
There are now XR Facebook pages in most Canadian cities and XR chapters have participated in actions in Victoria, Ottawa, Charlottetown and other communities. MORE
Photo by Chris Wattie
In their election platform and in ministerial mandate letters, the federal Liberals promised they would “establish the Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide low-cost financing (including loan guarantees) for new municipal infrastructure projects.”
This had the potential to be a positive initiative. The federal government can borrow at very low rates — significantly below provincial and municipal government rates. In mid-2017, the federal government could borrow for a 10-year term at 1.4 per cent and over 30 years for just two per cent. These rates are at or below inflation, and close to historic lows. The federal government could also potentially use the capacity of the Bank of Canada to finance public infrastructure projects directly, as had been done until the 1970s.
Unfortunately, it took very little time for the Liberal government to break its promise and succumb to the pressure of big money, turning this into a privatization bank instead. MORE
The ads will be aimed at commuters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on March 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will try to shift the focus from the SNC-Lavalin affair to his preferred campaign battleground — climate change — with the release this week of the Liberal party’s first election-year ads.
Radio ads will air in the four provinces where the federal government is imposing a carbon tax after their conservative provincial governments refused to levy their own price on carbon: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick.
The ads stress that the money raised from the tax will be rebated directly to residents in those provinces. In new radio ads aimed at commuters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warns that “some politicians want to go back to the Harper years when pollution was free.” MORE