Three years after the events of the SNC-Lavalin affair, the Trudeau government is once again facing down accusations that they actively meddled in the Canadian justice system to achieve a political end.
With SNC-Lavalin, the charge was that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office pressured his justice minister to unilaterally drop bribery charges against a Liberal-allied engineering firm. This time around, it’s that Trudeau’s public safety minister pressed RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to “jeopardize” a mass-shooting investigation so that they could push a gun control package.
And in both cases, the allegations have come from some very reputable sources. The most inculpating details of the SNC-Lavalin affair came directly from Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould herself. With the RCMP scandal, the government’s alleged actions were outed by its own federal inquiry.
The Mass Casualty Commission – the federal inquiry into Canada’s worst-ever mass shooting – last week released a detailed report into how the RCMP managed its public communications in the wake of the April 2020 massacre that killed 22 Nova Scotians.
On page 103, the report outlines how Lucki allegedly dressed-down Nova Scotia investigators for their initial refusal to release details about the firearms used by the shooter.“She had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister’s Office that the RCMP, (we) would release this information,” read handwritten notes by Nova Scotia RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell after an April 28 meeting with the Commissioner.
The news also earned condemnation from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party is the junior partner in a de facto coalition keeping the Trudeau government in power. “The idea that this government — that any government — would use this horrific act of mass murder to gain support for their gun policy is completely unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
The political intent was, it is alleged, to paint the weapons used in the incident as assault-style rifles available to Canadians, while the guns were actually illegally imported. The immediacy of the assault style firearm ban, therefore, was predicated upon on a mass shooting using weapons not available in Canada, making the ban a largely superfluous pursuit based on aesthetics and not the capability of the weapons, although it was sold as the opposite.