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Amid SNC-Lavalin lobbying, legalizing deferred prosecution agreements in budget bill raises questions about ‘timing’ and ‘undue influence,’ says ethics lawyer

By Peter Mazereeuw      

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s explanation for the move—helping the economy—puts him in a direct contradiction with his own law, says ex-Conservative finance minister Joe Oliver.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced changes to make deferred prosecution agreements an option for prosecutors in his first 2018 budget bill, after more than a year of lobbying by SNC-Lavalin for him to do so. Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his top staffers inappropriately pressured her to direct prosecutors to offer a deferred prosecution agreement to SNC-Lavalin in the months that followed. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The Liberal government’s decision to use a budget bill to legalize deferred prosecution agreements raises questions about whether lobbyists had “undue influence” on the government as it made the business-friendly legal change, says an expert in ethics law.

Peter Mazereeuw

Peter Mazereeuw is a deputy editor for The Hill Times covering politics, legislation, and the Senate.
- peter@hilltimes.com


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