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Results: 1 - 14 of 14
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-08-21 15:12
Thanks very much.
Since we seem to have entered a bit of a broader discussion of the SNC-Lavalin case, I just want to make the point that I think it would have been far preferable had there been a more robust investigation and prosecution of the specific executives involved in alleged wrongdoing, rather than being left in this scenario of prosecuting the company as a whole, which inevitably will have negative consequences for people who had no involvement at all in the wrongdoing.
Whether or not members of the committee believe the figure of 9,000 jobs, I don't think anyone would dispute that going after the company as a whole is going to have negative consequences for a lot of people who are totally blameless in this thing. I do think one of the key take-aways from the SNC-Lavalin controversy is that we should have much more effective prosecution of the individual corporate executives who are involved in wrongdoing, rather than relying on the legal fiction of corporate personhood to prosecute whole enterprises.
Thank you.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-26 14:01
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I would just like to add a couple of points that I think would be very worthwhile for this committee to consider.
First, in cases of wrongdoing abroad, such as what SNC-Lavalin has been accused of, I think our objective should be to hold accountable the people guilty of the wrongdoing and at the same time not unduly damage Canada's economic resources. There's been a lot of debate about this figure of 9,000 jobs. I and others have been skeptical about that number, but at the end of the day, I think there's no doubt that charges and convictions and a ban from federal contracts against SNC-Lavalin would do some pretty serious damage to a very important Canadian enterprise—the largest construction company in Canada.
It strikes me that there's a bit of a dilemma here about how to go after wrongdoing without having these negative side effects on our economy. There was a disagreement within the government about whether a deferred prosecution agreement would be an appropriate tool to achieve that goal of going after the wrongdoing without damaging the economic assets. It strikes me that something the committee should consider is whether we should entirely focus on penalizing the company, through either a prosecution or a deferred prosecution agreement, or whether that goal might be better achieved through a renewed focus on prosecuting the individuals who actually committed the wrongdoing. It seems to me that there is a place sometimes for prosecuting companies, and there may be a place for deferred prosecution agreements, but one of the best ways to achieve the goal that I think we all want to achieve is to put a renewed emphasis on prosecution of the actual individuals within that enterprise who are accused of paying bribes and corruption abroad.
Mr. Chair, the second point that I would encourage this committee to consider is that in this new area for Canada of deferred prosecution agreements, there clearly needs to be some sort of oversight or some sort of possibility of appeal beyond just one individual, the director of public prosecutions. That oversight or appeal needs to be from someone who is independent, someone who isn't political. A big part of the problem in the SNC-Lavalin case was that the only way to appeal a decision of the director of public prosecutions was to go to an attorney general who was not just a member of Parliament but also a member of cabinet and also the justice minister.
One way that's been suggested to achieve some sort of independent oversight or review in these very complex and difficult decisions is to reinforce the independence of the Attorney General by splitting that portfolio from the justice portfolio. I think that's a possibility that this committee should consider. There might be other ways of coming up with some sort of mechanism for review or oversight of decisions of the director of public prosecutions in an independent, non-partisan way. That's one idea that's been floated. I would encourage the committee to consider it and others.
Thanks very much for this opportunity, Mr. Chair.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-26 14:24
Thanks very much, Mr. Chair.
I think that Mr. Erskine-Smith raises a valid point that Ms. Wilson-Raybould is in the process of making a written submission to the justice committee and that the written submission would probably be of interest to members of this committee before undertaking a study of some of the same issues.
In the spirit of trying to find a reasonable compromise, I wonder if Liberal members of this committee would be amenable to tabling the motion before us after we have had a chance to see Ms. Wilson-Raybould's written submission, rather than voting it down altogether.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-26 14:25
I'm just suggesting that. I recognize that someone else would actually have to make the motion to table it.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-06 16:08
Thanks very much.
Mr. Wernick, in your opening statement you indicated that the former minister agreed that entering into a deferred prosecution agreement would have been entirely lawful. My understanding of Ms. Wilson-Raybould's testimony is that she did not believe that SNC-Lavalin was eligible for a deferred prosecution agreement under Canadian law. I wonder if either or both of you could shed any further light on whether SNC-Lavalin would have been eligible for that provision.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-06 16:09
Fair enough.
Do either you or Ms. Drouin have any view on whether SNC-Lavalin would have qualified for the provision that is in the legislation?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-06 16:10
On the possibility of separating the Minister of Justice portfolio from the Attorney General portfolio, Mr. Wernick, you said that it's not a decision to be taken lightly, that there should be more study, and that you might have views to present as part of such a study. Given that you're in charge of the machinery of government in this country, I'm wondering if you have any views that you could present today.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-06 16:11
It must happen on a fairly regular basis that companies come to the government seeking certain concessions and saying that there will be dire economic consequences and job losses if they don't get what they want. I'm wondering if you can speak any more to how the government assesses those kinds of claims or threats from companies.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-06 12:24
Well, thank you for the opportunity, once again.
Thank you, Mr. Butts, for your articulate and informative testimony.
To pick up on what you were just saying about deferred prosecution agreements, we heard last week from Ms. Wilson-Raybould that it was clear under the law that SNC-Lavalin was not eligible for a deferred prosecution agreement, and that therefore efforts to push that option were inappropriate.
I think it's clear that you and many other people believed that SNC-Lavalin potentially was eligible for a deferred prosecution agreement. I appreciate that you're not a lawyer, and I am not either, but I wonder if you can shed any further light on the company's eligibility for that type of remedy.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-06 12:25
Okay.
It seems quite central to whatever misunderstanding or disagreement—
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-06 12:26
Thanks for all the light you've shed on the cabinet shuffle in January.
With the benefit of hindsight, do you think that it was a mistake to move Ms. Wilson-Raybould?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-27 19:20
Thanks very much for this opportunity. Ms. Wilson-Raybould, thanks very much for your extensive and informative testimony.
I'd like to ask you to expand a bit on the idea of separating the role of Attorney General from that of the Minister of Justice. It seems that under our current system, the Prime Minister could choose to appoint two different people to those posts. Is that what you would recommend, or do you envision making the Attorney General an officer of Parliament or somehow officially separating it from the government?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-27 19:21
Is that an idea you ever floated to the Prime Minister or to the Clerk of the Privy Council Office?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-27 19:22
You were asked about whether you supported deferred prosecution agreements. I don't want to push that question again. I do want to ask, though, if you could describe what the ideal candidate for a deferred prosecution might be.
Results: 1 - 14 of 14

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