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SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. pleads guilty to single fraud charge

A subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. will pay $280 million in fines after pleading guilty to fraud.

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A subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. will pay $280 million in fines after pleading guilty to fraud.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc has settled charges of bribery in Libya between 2001 and 2011 in Montreal Wednesday morning.

“The Court of Quebec has accepted a plea of guilty from SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. (a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc) to a single charge of fraud. All charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and its international marketing arm, SNC-Lavalin International Inc., have been withdrawn,” the company said in a press release.

The case made headlines in February this year after former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould made claims of “inappropriate pressure” on her office to accept a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) against SNC by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his office.  

“I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as attorney general of Canada in an inappropriate effort,” Wilson-Raybould testified on February 27.

The issue resulted in an inquiry by the election commissioner’s office which found the prime minister had violated the Conflict of Interest Act. The commissioner’s findings were made public in August.

The company is also subject to a three-year probation order in which they will make publicly available annual reports and executive summaries.

“SNC-Lavalin group is already subject to monitoring by Public Services and Procurement Canada and the World Bank, and has put in place a robust ethics and compliance program that meets the highest international standards,” the company release said.

“The company does not anticipate that the guilty plea by a construction subsidiary (which has not bid on any new contracts since it was charged in 2015) will affect the eligibility of SNC-Lavalin Group companies to bid on future projects.”

“While it is possible that the guilty plea by the subsidiary may present risks in the near-term, the company believes the risks will be manageable and does not anticipate that the plea will have any long-term material adverse impact on the company’s overall business,” the release concluded.

SNC-Lavalin holds 100 per cent voting securities in 20 Canadian subsidiaries, 26 subsidiaries abroad, and five in the United States.

On Sunday, former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Badwahi, 73, was found guilty of five charges including laundering proceeds of crime, corruption of foreign officials, and fraud related to his employment on behalf of the company in Libya. He will be sentenced on Thursday.

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Justice Centre sues province of Alberta over COVID restrictions

The JCCF is suing on behalf of two Alberta churches and two individuals.

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The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) has filed a court challenge against the Alberta UCP government’s health regulations, saying they violate ACharter freedoms.

The JCCF is suing on behalf of two Alberta churches and two individuals.

The Alberta government first declared a state of public health emergency in Alberta on March 17.

“Under the guise of ‘two weeks to flatten the curve,’ the resulting lockdown devastated small businesses and has led to large-scale societal harm in the form of increased unemployment and poverty, deteriorating mental and physical health, drug overdoses, cancelled surgeries, the loss of personal liberty and even death,” said the JCFF in a Saturday release.

“On November 24, the Alberta government again declared a state of public health emergency, imposing a ‘second wave’ of lockdown harms and authoritarian restrictions on the ability of Albertans to travel, conduct business, visit family and friends, obtain necessities, peacefully assemble, manifest their religious beliefs, and breathe freely.”

Currently in Alberta, no gathering around allowed in houses, outdoor gatherings must have no more than 10 participants and only members of the same household are allowed to dine in restaurants together. Pubs must also stop booze service at 10 p.m. Weddings and funerals are limited to 10 people.

As part of the court challenge the Justice Centre will argue the orders violate multiple Charter-protected rights, such as the right to peacefully assemble, the right to visit friends and family, the right to freely practice religious beliefs, the right to travel and the right to conduct business and earn a living.

The JCCF will also argue that these constitutional rights violations are not justified because lockdowns cause far more harm than whatever harm from COVID-19 lockdown measures may prevent.  

“In a free society, the government respects citizens as they exercise their freedom and responsibility to respond to a perceived crisis as they deem best for themselves and their loved ones. Arbitrary and authoritarian control, based on fearmongering by the government, only ever exasperates the problems facing society, as we have seen for the last nine months,” said JCCF lawyer James Kitchen.

“Politicians have not put forward any persuasive evidence that lockdowns have saved lives, but there is no question that lockdowns have caused grave harm to millions of Canadians suffering unemployment, poverty, cancelled surgeries, suicides, isolation and the loss of their liberty.

“The people of Alberta have suffered under the oppression of a medical dictatorship for long enough. The soul-destroying lockdowns have wrought havoc. It’s time for Albertans to get their freedom back.”

At a Calgary freedom rally on Saturday, JCCF head John Carpay said the group is seeking an immediate injunction to stop the orders followed by a permanent one.

Carpay told the Western Standard in an interview similar lawsuits will be filed against the governments of BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario before Christmas.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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‘WOE CANADA’: Canucks fire anthem singer for anti-mask support

“I sing ‘O Canada’ as a sign of unity and strength for all Canadians. The true north strong and free,” Mark Donnelly said.

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The Vancouver Canucks have fired their famed anthem singer for being set to perform “O Canada” at an anti-mask rally Saturday.

Mark Donnelly said he will sing ‘O Canada’ at the B.C. Christmas Freedom Rally 2020 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, protesting COVID-19 restrictions. 

“I sing ‘O Canada’ as a sign of unity and strength for all Canadians. The true north strong and free,” he told Postmedia.

Shortly after the Vancouver Sun published its story, Vancouver Canucks owner Franceso Aquilini tweeted: “Hey @VancouverSun change the headline to ‘Former Canucks anthem singer.’ #wearamask.”

The team then issued a statement confirming the firing.

Tweet of Vancouver Canucks’ owner

“Mark Donnelly is acting independently and we hope the public understands he is not representing the Vancouver Canucks,” the statement said.

“We encourage everyone to wear a mask and to follow the provincial health orders.”

BC residents are stay-at-home orders and a mask mandate. People have been told to avoid social gatherings of all kinds.

The singer has achieved world-wide fame with his booming voice and getting the fans to sing along.

He drew attention of a different sort when he took a tumble over a red carpet on the ice in a 2014 junior game – he got up and continued to perform the anthem while skating.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Kenney hits out against anti-mask protesters

Kenney has been under fire for not condemning the 500 protesters who showed up in Calgary to protest mandatory mask regulations. Rallies were also held in Red Deer and Edmonton.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has lashed out at protesters who refuse to wear masks – telling them to visit his friend in ICU if they think COVID-19 is a hoax.

Kenney has been under fire for not condemning the 500 protesters who showed up in Calgary last weekend to protest mandatory mask regulations. Rallies were also held in Red Deer and Edmonton.

“If you think this is a hoax, talk to my friend in the ICU, fighting for his life,” said Kenney during a live Facebook stream Thursday night.

“If you’re thinking of going to an anti-mask rally this weekend, how about instead send me an email, call me all the names you want, send me a letter, organize an online rally.”

Another rally is planned for Saturday in Calgary. The province has currently outlawed public gatherings of more than 10 people.

If you refuse to wear a mask, Kenney said: “Don’t go where you have to wear a mask.”

On Thursday, Alberta announced a new record daily figure for new coronavirus cases at 1,854. There were also an additional 14 deaths reported.

Alberta has had 63,023 cases of COVID-19 resulting in 575 deaths.

The province currently has the most active cases and second highest hospitalization rate of any Canadian province.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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