Most of the world pays no attention to Canadian politics, probably rightly so as most Canadians ignore it as well. But there is SCANDAL of truly Canuck proportions brewing in the great white north.
SNC Lavalin is arguably Canada's largest engineering firm. Having earned its spurs as the largest fish in that small pond it ventured out onto the world stage decades ago to spread Canadian Engineering to those willing to pay. Just like every other global enterprise they ran into foreign officials who operated in very different ways than is expected in Canada. It is difficult to describe a practice as corrupt when everyone is doing it and everyone expects that everyone is doing it but asking for "considerations" when deciding which company wins a contract is against Canadian Law. Canadian Companies who pay such considerations, even while operating outside of Canada and paying foreign personnel are also breaking Canadian law. Why Canada hamstrung its own companies this way is a puzzle but Canada takes pride in doing things the right way. Bless them, I wish we all did. Well some time ago SNC Lavalin was charged for paying "considerations" to foreigners and the trial was crawling its way through the courts when The Canadian Federal government realized that convicting SNC Lavalin would prevent them from doing future business with the Canadian Federal Government. Did I mention that SNC Lavalin is the largest Canadian Engineering firm? I have not yet mentioned that being the largest engineering firm they have a long history of contracting with the Canadian Government, the very one they could no longer do business with if convicted of corrupt practices with foreign governments.
To add to the murk, SNC Lavalin also has a history of donating funds to political parties within Canada. I don't know which party gets more but the donations have been substantial over the years and if the absence of criminal charges means anything they have been within the law.
Back to the court case. Faced with the prospect of being unable to hire the largest engineering firm in the nation, the current Prime Minister may have pressured the Attorney General to find a way to punish the company without a criminal conviction. Whether or not he did apply pressure is now the subject of an ongoing tempest of allegations of improper political interference in a court case. "Holy Caesar's Wife" the opposition says. We can't have that! I agree. But here is the problem. The law prohibiting Canadian companies from playing on the international stage by the same rules as everyone else is like playing hockey with a skate on one foot and an anchor chained to the other. I am not in favor of corruption, even if it is so wide spread that it is called "just the way we do things". Corruption distorts the progress of efficiency and stunts innovation. Corruption reinforces the privileged at the expense of the underprivileged. Corruption is bad. Canada, taking the stance that we won't play that game does little to force change upon the globe. Taking their hockey stick and going home simply removes Canada from the game is it continues without any flicker of an idea that it needs to clean up its act. The law is rarely enforced, cases are difficult to prove. But here it is, Canada tying itself into knots trying to be the honorable good guy, and the Prime Minister possibly breaking the law to avoid the inevitable consequences of a law Canadians should have considered further before passing. Those Canadians, what a show.