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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

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.