When it comes down to the SNC-Lavalin affair, Canada’s Trudeau government did the right thing to do and favorized his people over idealism. He also did the right thing when he was asked to apologize and refuse for the very good reason that he wouldn’t excuse for standing up for Canadians.
The opposition’s hypocrisy
The opposition was, during the whole term of the current government, complaining about how Justin Trudeau didn’t stand up enough for Canadians while apologizing too often. So when, during this whole scandal, we learned that he actually stood up for Canadian jobs against an attorney general that would prefer to blindly abide by the law over saving thousands of jobs and defending Canadians interest, he took the right decision.
Let’s be clear, SNC-Lavalin was definitely not the cleanest business, but time changed since the Libya scandal and the company was definitely able to sit down at the table and discuss a reparation deal. That is how even the less corrupt countries work because, because in a normal country, nobody goes for a witch hunt against such business just to say that “We destroyed jobs and hurt our own interests, but hey justice was served”. Let’s be clear here: you can judge a corrupt boss or anybody who did something wrong, he is a citizen who has to abide by the law. What isn’t something you can do is doing a criminal trial against a business who will just fall.
But the opposition wasn’t there to talk about justice, about jobs or about anything else, there were there to make the government look bad in order to look like the good guys, even if they would do exactly the same while in charge. That is what causes defiance towards the political classes: they promise things that are impossible or dangerous and when they are elected, they say that they can’t do what they say they would and change their program.
To be honest, this may be the only case where I defend the Trudeau government. I have to say I disagree with many that were done during his term. But I think what I tried to underline was important to be said. Political pragmatism is a great value. The fact that Trudeau stood for it for once is a great thing.