Aug 14, 2019

Trudeau violated Canada's ethics code, commissioner rules

Trudeau walks to a press conference on the SNC case. Photo: Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images

Canada’s ethics commissioner has ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated ethics regulations by pressuring his then-justice minister over her handling of a case against SNC-Lavalin, the engineering and construction giant, the Toronto Star reports.

Why it matters: This ruling on the biggest scandal of Trudeau’s tenure comes ahead of a general election in October, a contest that has Trudeau's Liberals polling neck-and-neck with the opposition Conservatives. After fading to the background, the SNC-Lavalin affair will now once again be front page news.

Catch up quick: SNC-Lavalin would have been banned from bidding for government contracts for 10 years if convicted of fraud and corruption over its dealings with the Moammar Gadhafi regime in Libya from 2001 to 2011. That put thousands of jobs at risk, many of them in Trudeau’s home province of Quebec.

  • Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former justice minister, testified in March that she faced "consistent and sustained" pressure from Trudeau’s top aides to settle the matter out of court.
  • She claimed Trudeau personally asked her to "find a solution" that wouldn’t force SNC to slash jobs or relocate.
  • The scandal has resulted in multiple resignations from Trudeau's Cabinet and inner circle.

The latest: Mario Dion, the ethics commissioner, said Trudeau's "flagrant attempts to influence" Wilson-Raybould violated rules against seeking to influence a decision to "further another person's private interests" — in this case SNC-Lavalin.

Go deeper

Canada's Trudeau back under a cloud heading into tight election

Trudeau at at press conference on the SNC-Lavalin case. Photo: Dave Chan/Getty Images

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada got some bad news at a very bad time.

The big picture: Trudeau was already in danger of losing October's general election — polls show his Liberals in a dead heat with the Conservatives. Yesterday, the biggest scandal of his tenure burst back into the spotlight.

Go deeperArrowAug 15, 2019

Trudeau triggers Canada's election for Oct. 21 as polls show tight race

Trudeau opens the 2017 Invictus Games. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has officially declared the date for Canada's general election: October 21.

Why it matters: The election will effectively be a referendum on Trudeau's first term. That's not necessarily good news for the telegenic PM — an ethics scandal and unfulfilled expectations mean it's far from certain he'll win a new term. Polls show his Liberals neck and neck with the opposition Conservatives.

Go deeper: Trudeau under a cloud heading into election.

Keep ReadingArrowSep 11, 2019

G7 summit: Leaders flash baggage en route to Biarritz

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Little sunshine is expected when the leaders of most of the world's major economic powers gather this weekend in the French seaside town of Biarritz.

The big picture: With President Trump reprising his role as disrupter-in-chief and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving aboard a runaway Brexit train, there's little the leaders of the G7 countries agree on. So little, in fact, that the host has already warned that there won't be a joint statement.

Go deeperArrowAug 22, 2019