Editorial – Quelle surprise

Jeff Burgar

Two weeks ago, few people knew the name Jody Wilson-Raybould.

If you yourself still don’t know who she is, not only should your right to vote be taken away, but probably your driver’s license, credit cards and definitely, your social media accounts.

Raybould used to be our federal government Veteran Affairs minister. Before that, she was Federal Justice minister and Attorney General.

She is the elected Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville in B.C. and is a lawyer. It should make no difference if one is green, black, white, Asian, Sikh, a member of the LGB group, or a card carrying member of the National Rifle Association, or even all of that at the same time.

Yet, it is said over and over in our national media, Raybould is Indigenous. Less mentioned is Raybould spearheaded the new laws on marijuana and assisted dying legislation. She was formerly a provincial Crown prosecutor, and a Treaty Commissioner and Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. She has a Caucasian mother.

Last week, Raybould quit her Veterans Affairs posting. She will stay on as MP. The resignation means she gives up an $86,000 per year salary bump, plus assorted expense allowances. The big question is, why quit?

Speculation is rampant. Mostly to do with a company called SNC-Lavalin and 10,000 Canadian jobs at the company. Almost another 50,000 internationally. Plus multiple international and domestic contracts, including a new hospital in Calgary.

SNC is facing federal charges of bribery and corruption. Speculation is, Raybould was asked, or told, to “go easy” on SNC. You know, it being a big Quebec company and all.

We can lose more than 100,000 direct jobs in Alberta’s oilpatch. But 10,000 in a province twice the size? Oh dear! Must not happen! Must not happen!

Maybe it has something to do with Quebec being one of those Liberal strongholds. Not to mention Quebec always seems to get the lion’s share of grants, loans and contracts of government work. Bombardier anybody? So much, much more!

In this news event, less mentioned is a new law passed last year in Canada. It’s sort of a duplication of an American law that seems tailor made for big companies like SNC-Lavalin. The idea being, if the government allows, a company or person can pay a fine, but at the same time, say they had nothing to do with the crime in the first place.

And for icing, promise not to ever do whatever was bad in the first place!

The whole idea is to save cost and expense of courts, even when everybody knows guilt is rampant. Nobody goes to jail but a few might get fired. But hey, it was just an accident laws were broken.

That new, Canadian version law, was passed last fall. It seems tailor made for SNC. And probably was. Sadly for SNC, the company has a track record of breaking laws.

Raybould, to her extreme credit, seems to have decided to have nothing to do with letting them off.

So here we are today. Sort of, one rule for the West, another rule for Quebec. Canadian unity? Rule of Law? What a joke all this is!

Good for Raybould!

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