The Ethics Commissioner's report is out. And, Tom Walkom writes, in the end, it won't make much difference:
On the one hand are those who agree with Wilson-Raybould that the prime minister had no business questioning how she chose to prosecute SNC, which faces charges of bribery and fraud related to its dealings in Libya almost 20 years ago.
On the other are those who agree with Trudeau that, since jobs were potentially at stake, he had every right to make his views known.
Certainly, things are playing differently in Quebec than they are in English Canada. Moreover, there is some precedent for Trudeau's claim that he was protecting Canadian jobs:
Ottawa’s massive bailout of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009 benefitted the two privately owned companies. But it also benefitted — briefly at least — the workers and communities that depended on them.
Essentially, this was the argument that SNC made: If the company were convicted at trial and thus barred from seeking federal contracts for 10 years, some fat cats would be hurt. But so would many ordinary workers.
And remediation agreements exist in other jurisdictions:
Remediation agreements are allowed in Britain, France and Australia. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government hadn’t been keen on the idea, the ethics commissioner’s report says. But the new Trudeau regime thought it swell.
Over Wilson-Raybould’s objections (she argued that the government was moving too quickly), a new measure allowing remediation agreements was passed into law in the summer of 2018.
The final verdict will be rendered -- as it should be -- in a little over two months.