OECD show Interest in SNC-Lavalin Scandal to determine if anti-bribery agreement was broken

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scratches his forehead as he listens to a question during an end of session news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. The past year has been a turbulent one on the Canadian political scene and the coming year is bound to get that much more tumultuous as politicians prepare for what both Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer have predicted will be a nasty campaign. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

TORONTO – The SNC-Lavalin scandal rocking the Trudeau government has now garnered international attention. The 36-member Organization of the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is closely following the allegations of political interference to see if Canada violated the anti-bribery agreement that was signed by many countries in the organization.  A statement from the organization read, “The OECD Working Group on Bribery is encouraged by these processes, and notes that the Canadian authorities stress that they are transparent and independent. The Working Group recognizes Canada’s willingness to keep it fully informed of developments in the proceedings, including at its next meeting in June 2019.”

 The organization which has members such as the United States, France, Greece, Denmark, Australia, Japan, the UK and others, received the following response from a representative of the foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, “Canada firmly supports the rules-based international order and the multilateral institutions that underpin it. As a founding country of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, Canada has a long history of combatting bribery and corruption, including through the OECD.  We acknowledge the concerns raised today by the OECD Working Group on Bribery. We will continue to work with and update the Working Group on the robust and independent domestic processes currently underway in Canada, which the Working Group has recognized and encouraged.”

The SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal has taken a toll on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reputation and brand as the law and order leader. It has also impacted adversely the international reckoning of Canada in the area of judicial independence and the ability of politicians to stay within their spheres of power.

Last week, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign minister, Lu Kang, poked fun at the Canadian judicial independence.  He suggested that the prime minister who at the onset of the of the diplomatic war with China over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, lectured China on the importance of judicial independence, is now the principal actor in the allegations of political interference.

He said when asked by a reporter about the SNC-Lavalin scandal, “Of course, I think that this is a question that should be asked of the Canadian government.” The official continued, “In fact on this case you have mentioned, people in Canada are paying it a great deal of attention. In fact, not only Chinese and Canadian citizens, but the whole world are extremely interested to hear how the Canadian government answers this question.”

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