9,000 SNC-Lavalin jobs at risk, give or take 9,000

If you missed Canada’s weekend politics shows, get caught up here in five quick snapshots

Didn’t catch Canada’s weekend politics shows? Here’s what you missed. This is an excerpt from today’s Politics Insider newsletter, which you can read here.

  • Given that all Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s attempts to put the SNC-Lavalin scandal behind him have all failed, it’s time for more drastic action, like turfing Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick: “I think he should let the clerk of the Privy Council go, whose performance has been panned by everyone who’s watched it,” Mike Van Soelen, a crisis communications expert at  Navigator, said on Global’s West Block. “[Trudeau] needs to be contrite because, clearly, the country has been thrown into a bit of chaos for the last four weeks.” (Global News)
  • The Conservative and NDP will push for Jody Wilson-Raybould to testify again before the justice committee because they want to know whether Trudeau tried to deceive her about potential job losses at SNC-Lavalin, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said on the West Block: Did the prime minister or anyone else lie to Jody Wilson-Raybould in an attempt to get her to sign a deferred prosecution agreement on the fly?” (Global News)
  • The mystery of the 9,000 at-risk SNC-Lavalin jobs has dogged the Liberals over the last week, ever since Green Party Leader Elizabeth May challenged former PMO staffer Gerald Butts to explain where the figure he kept citing came from. Appearing on CTV’s Question Period, Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Minister Carla Qualtrough steered clear of repeating the claim that 9,000 jobs would be lost if SNC-Lavalin weren’t offered a deferred prosecution agreement. “History would tell you that when corporations are convicted, jobs are lost, sometimes companies go bankrupt, sometimes their headquarters leave the country. So the potential of job loss is a significant factor. You know what, can we tell you exactly the precise number? No. But we can tell you that jobs are in jeopardy and that’s enough that it warrants consideration.” (CTV News)
  • Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould was out defending Wernick’s position on a panel of bureaucrats that will have the job of informing Canadians if there are foreign attempts to interfere in the next election. “Specifically, why we created a panel was so it wouldn’t be up to any one individual,” she said on the West Block. “I think it’s really important to remember these are some of Canada’s top civil servants who have served governments both Liberal and Conservative and have done so with incredible integrity, and that’s why we have five people on there so they can have those conversations.” (Global News)
  • With both Wilson-Raybould and former Liberal cabinet member Jane Philpott on the outs with Trudeau, it’s an open question if they will remain part of the Liberal caucus. As far as Liberal caucus chair Francis Scarpaleggia knows from conversations he’s had with other Liberals, the two are welcome to stay if they wish. “I think with time, any wounds will heal,” he said on CBC’s The House. “I don’t see that there’s a problem in terms of trust. Maybe some people feel that way. Of course, people were saddened and maybe a bit hurt at the beginning when two excellent ministers decided to leave cabinet, but life goes on.” (CBC News)

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