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    MLA report March 14

    Hello Chestermere! It has been a great week of visiting constituents in the freezing cold.  Thank you for opening your doors to us, and coming out to our sleigh ride.  It was so cold, and yet so much fun.  Thank you to John and Helen, Marissa and Chase for the hospitality and the best hot chocolate (and fire!) ever, and to Verne, Connie, Todd and Mike for providing the beautiful sleighs and fluffy horses that look more like teddy bears right now.  The horses really enjoy getting out in the fresh air.

    So, in Federal news, I have a question.  Why does the Prime Minister care about 3400 jobs in Quebec (9,000 across Canada), but not the 50,000 or so lost in the last 2 months here in Alberta?  As Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe noted, he is Prime Minister of Canada, not just Quebec. I know that you know the answer to that, but the question still needs to be asked.  Furthermore, Mr. Trudeau swears up down and sideways that he is trying to save jobs.  Really? Let me understand this, if SNC Lavalin doesn’t get the job, none of the other incredible engineering companies, of which there are many, will hire these 9000 people to build the needed infrastructure? 

    This is if they are forced to stand trial for fraud and bribery–no biggie right?  If they are charged, the company would be banned from Federal contracts for up to 10 years.  The deferred prosecution agreement that we keep hearing about simply comes down to this:  In order for SNC Lavalin to protect its bottom line, and its future, it has asked and pressured the Feds to allow them deferred prosecution to keep them from being prosecuted for the crime of paying nearly 48 million in bribes to Libyan officials to win government contracts.  They would then enter into a guilty plea, pay a fine, a big one, and be able to say that they are sorry for their past crimes and that they plan on doing better. 

    This is the same company that expensed “sexual services” amounting to thousands of dollars for the Libyan dictator’s son right here in Canada. This is not a joke–this is the truth.  Thank goodness Jody Wilson-Raybould had the guts to stand up to this!  Keep in mind that our Prime Minister has promised close to 190 billion over the next 10-12 years of spending on infrastructure that SNC would have benefited from.  It is a critical mass on the voting side of things for the Prime Minister since many  of those 3400 jobs are in his riding! I think it is hilarious that he is using his own people to try and make a case for himself when those folks will be employed by whoever wins the tenders for those infrastructure projects. 

    Did you hear Trudeau express any concern for the companies that may have lost lucrative contracts because they behaved ethically and refused to pay bribes? Did you know that SNC met with Mr. Gerald Butts, Mr. Trudeau, and various other Ministers and staffers numerous times to discuss the deferred prosecution, or that is the word on the street. Various Government officials including the supposedly non-partisan Clerk of the Privy Council have stated that SNC-Lavalin may move their headquarters to England. What do you believe?  The Feds have listened to this company lobby fiercely about this since 2015, so many times the Finance Minister and the Economic Development Minister had to come up with the slogan that you can not put a company in jail, so therefore only the employees will be impacted by this.  What? See this article by Jessie Snyder of the National Post: https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/snc-failure-to-secure-deferred-prosecution-comes-after-years-of-legal-fights-lobbying-blitz

    Let me be perfectly clear.  SNC-Lavalin cannot move their headquarters as pointed out by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre as it holds loans with the Quebec Pension Fund and one of the conditions is their headquarters has to stay in Quebec at least until 2024. They hold a 20 year lease in Montreal, and the CEO Neil Bruce confirmed that in the media.  Premier Legault, (you the know, the one who said he didn’t want our dirty oil going through the Energy East pipeline in HIS province) is also on side with unconditional support of this company including backing new infrastructure projects with SNC Lavalin knowing that the company has been denied the deferred prosecution agreement.  So this is NOT about jobs, and it is NOT about caring about doing the right thing, and it is NOT about caring about this country, our well being, or making sure that companies are held accountable.  This is purely partisan self-interest, and purely directed at the Prime Minister’s political fortunes in his Quebec riding and in Quebec generally.  Forget about Alberta!  Oh never mind, he already forgot about Alberta on Canada’s 150th birthday!

    The Legislature resumes on March 18 and an election call could follow shortly after the Speech From The Throne. Look for me at your doors and check out www.VoteLeela.com for events, to volunteer, request a lawn sign, or donate.