Facts versus Perspectives or Opinions – SNC-Lavalin

The discussion of the SNC-Lavalin matter is becoming confused by the failure to understand the difference between facts and perspectives or opinions.

The facts relate to what occurred between September 4th, 2018 and today with respect to SNC-Lavalin and the effort to obtain a remediation agreement. What discussions occurred, who participated in those discussions, what was said in those discussions, what e-mails were sent, what decisions were made etc.

Whether Ms. Wilson-Raybould felt that she was the subject of inappropriate pressure is also a fact. There is obviously a dispute whether that feeling was justified but there is no doubt, based upon her testimony, that she both held and expressed that view.

Once the facts have been ascertained then it is possible to evaluate those facts against the law (first) and then against ethical standards to determine whether there has been a violation of some norm. In other words, once you know the facts then you can answer the question of whether the conduct was appropriate.

The most interesting part of this whole thing so far is that no one is disputing Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s recitation of the facts. It is also interesting that we remain in the dark with respect to the facts of what occurred between Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s removal as Attorney General and her resignation from Cabinet.

The government’s silence regarding Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s recitation of events, in addition to the fact that like most lawyers she is firmly committed to the memo to file, leads me to believe that these facts are largely accurate. Further it makes clear that Mr. Wernick’s testimony last week was an attempt to draw the sting from her evidence.

The transcript deserves a careful reading but it appears to me that there has been a concerted attempt to bring about a remediation agreement for SNC-Lavalin. The question is whether the evidence to date supports a reasonable belief that obstruction of justice (s. 139(s) of the Criminal Code – obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice) has occurred and who is implicated.

Author: Tom Jarmyn