SNC-Lavalin built Gaddafi’s son $25M yacht from scratch according to court testimony
After inking a multimillion-dollar contract with Libya in 2007, then-SNC-Lavalin executive Riadh Ben Aissa toured a luxury boat show in Cannes, France with North African dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi, a Quebec Superior Court jury heard on Monday.
Ben Aissa is the Crown’s star witness in the bribery and corruption trial of former SNC-Lavalin executive vice-president Sami Bebawi.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s answers, when asked about what he was doing to deal with anti-pipeline protestors, has barely updated—despite Monday being the 12th day of the #ShutDownCanada protests.
Across the country, “Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests” have halted Canadian cargo and passenger trains, and have frequently blocked streets and highways, throwing a major wrench into Canada’s economy.
On Feb. 13, Trudeau told media in Munich that the protests would be dealt with promptly.
“We’re following very closely, I had a long and constructive conversation with Premier Horgan… Obviously, we’re a country of the rule of law, and we need to make sure those laws are followed.”
Now, after arriving from his week-long tour of several African nations, Trudeau re-appeared with a new, familiar message—one that gives no insight as to when or how these problems will be taken care of.
“We had a good meeting with morning with the incident response group, discussions with ministers, I made some phone calls to Indigenous leadership as well as a number of premiers. I understand how worrisome this is for so many Canadians and difficult for many families across the country. We’re going to continue to focus on resolving the situation quickly and peacefully, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Since Trudeau’s first response, CN Rail has been put in a situation where they have to temporarily lay off employees after ceasing operations of its whole network east of Toronto due to protests. VIA Rail has since cancelled over 400 trains nationwide, and these protests, in a country where ‘we need to make sure [the] laws are followed,” has affected over 83,000 passengers.
A number of demonstrations continue to take place important bridges as well, including the International Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.
Videos have also emerged of street blockades becoming potentially dangerous, as frustrated commuters have been seen keeping their foot on the gas pedal amidst a crowd.
Blockades have continued to cut off trains to the Maritimes, who are now feeling the serious effects.
On Sunday, Nathalie St-Pierre, the Canadian Propane Association president and CEO, told CBC that propane shortages will start to be seen in days, if things do not return to normal promptly.
“This is an emergency. People have to understand that, and those that are protesting have to understand that there needs to be a resumption of the services,” She said.
“We haven’t seen any progress in terms of finding solutions now for the issues of getting the transportation to be back to normal. So it’s very troublesome.”
“Some industries can switch back to oil or other sources, but that’s also going to run out eventually.”
The Trudeau government spent nearly $120,000 on tickets to events, concerts and galas in only six months time during 2019.
Nearly $10,000 (roughly $247 each) was spent on bringing 35 foreign investors to see the world-famous Cirque du Soleil, as well as tickets for Bryan Adams concert tickets for the Canadian ambassador to Serbia.
The Liberals tallied up a total of $118,700 on tickets for fundraisers, film festivals, and Roughriders games, according to a new breakdown released following a Conservative Party order paper submitted.
Global Affairs Canada calls the bills spending put towards “cultural diplomacy.”
“It is a means to advancing our foreign policy objectives through increased access to decision-makers and influencers,” the response reads.
“Where relations are strong, cultural diplomacy has the capacity to reaffirm common values. It also has the potential to build trust, convey content in an alternative way, engage different segments of society, create safe spaces, address sensitive issues and even prepare the ground for difficult discussions.”
That guest list included corporate CEOs, presidents, managing partners, and government relations workers.
The federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Aaron Wudrick, believes the money spent isn’t as much a red flag as is the difficulty of obtaining the documents, which he chalks up to a lack of transparency.
“Canadians shouldn’t have to rely on order paper questions to get this information. It should be posted proactively, as a rule, so that everything is transparent,” Wudrick said to Global.
“If taxpayers have to spend a few thousand dollars to wine and dine some CEOs in the hopes it leads to business contracts, the government should say so, and it also needs to track whether it actually works,” he continued.
“It doesn’t mean every single expenditure has to yield a concrete result, but if, say, there are 20 cases of buying tickets to sports games that yield zero tangible results, maybe it’s time to rethink the value of doing it.”
Spending totals for the past year and a half total roughly $269,110, amounting to roughly double the amount spent from May to December 2019.
Not all off the responses necessarily include funds provided by taxpayers.
The attempted assassin who was invited to a state dinner at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s infamous India trip was arrested in British Columbia on Monday.
According to True North, Atwal allegedly threatened a former colleague of his from Media Waves Radio, Ashiana Khan, while having dinner with a small group at the Civic Hotel in Surrey, BC.
According to a source, Atwal threatened the group by telling them that he would “finish them all off.” He then threatened to take photos. Atwal then took photos of Khan’s vehicle in the building’s parking facility. Atwal was then arrested and taken into custody by Surrey RCMP.
This isn’t the first arrest for Atwal since Trudeau’s disastrous India trip—a trip in which Atwal was an invited guest to dinners, and was even photographed with Sophie Trudeau.
“His Excellency Nadir Patel, High Commissioner for Canada to India, is pleased to invite Jaspal Atwal to a dinner reception celebrating Canada-India ties on the occasion of the visit of The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada,” read an invitation to the dinner reception.
According to a report by the Toronto Sun, Atwal was arrested in April of 2018, again for allegedly uttering threats. Atwal appeared in Surrey Provincial Court in July, 2019.
Atwal was formerly a member of a Khalistani separatist group, the International Sikh Youth Federation. That group was designated a terrorist entity by the Canadian government.
Atwal’s invitation to the dinner prompted backlash from both Indian media and government, as party officials expressed anger that a convicted terrorist was invited to a state dinner. Backbencher Randeep Sarai eventually claimed responsibility for the invitation, eventually stepping down from his position as Pacific caucus chair.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has missed the deadline for filing financial disclosure statement with the ethics commissioner “due to an oversight”. It was confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Disclosure statements are to be filed within 60 days of any MPs election and is to be published in the Canada Gazette. Though Trudeau’s deadline was January 13, no report has been submitted.
Trudeau is one of only 13 MPs to not submit his report. Of those 13, nine are Liberal Party members, including Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. Three are Conservative Party Members, and one one is Bloc Quebecois.
There is no penalty for missing the deadline for filing the statement. The purpose of the statement is to outline which MPs’ families have private interests that could, later on, be seen as conflicts of interests.
Trudeau has previously been found to be in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act—once by accepting a family vacation to the billionaire religious leader Aga Khan’s island, whom Trudeau described as a family friend; and by inappropriately pressuring former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould during the SNC-Lavalin affair.
The full report of who did and did not submit their report can be read here.