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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

1 hour ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.