National Newswatch

Justice department memo says Ottawa has wiggle room to allow SNC-Lavalin to bid on federal contracts even if convicted

Apr 3 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — The Liberal government could invoke a “public interest” exception that would allow SNC-Lavalin to avoid a 10-year federal contract ban even if it is criminally convicted, according to a justice department memo. But the justice department advice, which had been requested by the Privy Council Office (PCO) but never delivered, says the reasons to grant […]

Legal team told Wilson-Raybould that intervening in SNC-Lavalin case would be unprecedented

Mar 28 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — As former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould debated whether to intervene in the corruption prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, she received legal advice from her department that underscored what an unprecedented move that would be. The legal advice prepared by the department set out her possible options on the SNC-Lavalin prosecution, including the ability to seek outside legal […]

Trudeau refuses opposition demand to recall Parliament over SNC-Lavalin affair

Mar 1 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — The Trudeau government has refused an opposition demand to recall Parliament to deal with the SNC-Lavalin affair, and is setting the stage to counter Jody Wilson-Raybould’s allegations of improper political meddling in the company’s criminal trial. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh wrote Trudeau jointly Friday to ask him to recall MPs […]

Deal for SNC-Lavalin could still be on the table, says Trudeau’s public services minister

Feb 28 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — A deal to allow SNC-Lavalin to avoid criminal liability could still be on the table amid a furor over whether the Trudeau government tried to meddle in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, the Star has learned. “My understanding is when criminal proceedings are ongoing that that option is always available,” Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla […]

Liberals to face vote on public inquiry into SNC-Lavalin affair

Feb 19 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — Justin Trudeau faced stunned cabinet ministers and a blistering NDP call for a public inquiry Tuesday, a day after his principal secretary Gerald Butts resigned while vowing to fight allegations of political interference by the Prime Minister’s Office in a criminal case. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who along with Butts and Trudeau’s chief of […]

Trudeau admits Wilson-Raybould challenged him on SNC-Lavalin

Feb 15 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admits his former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould challenged her boss last fall to clarify if he was “directing” her to make a decision in the disputed bribery prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau refused Friday to say exactly what he told his former attorney general or whether he indicated his […]

Decision whether to extradite Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou will take political factors into account, new justice minister says

Feb 8 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — Justice Minister David Lametti says foreign affairs will be a factor if and when it comes time for him to make what he acknowledges is a political decision whether to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to the United States over China’s furious objections. Lametti, named three weeks ago to take over the justice file after […]

Trudeau sought U.S. help to release two Canadians after Trump hinted he might use Meng’s extradition as a bargaining chip, official says

Jan 24 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — The Trudeau government asked the Trump administration to ensure China releases two detained Canadian men if — as U.S. President Donald Trump suggested last month — the U.S. drops Meng Wanzhou’s extradition request as part of negotiations for a trade deal with China, the Star has learned. A senior Canadian official speaking on condition of […]

China rejects Canada’s plea for clemency for Robert Lloyd Schellenberg sentenced to death for drug trafficking

Jan 16 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — The Chinese government has rejected the Trudeau government’s appeal for clemency for Robert Lloyd Schellenberg who saw a 15-year jail sentence on drug trafficking converted to the death penalty. In a news conference in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying turned aside Canada’s criticism of a hastily-convened judicial appeal Monday where Schellenberg was sentenced to […]