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The women who held Trudeau to account

18 28 364

Like most epicentres of power, prestige and position, Ottawa is a haven of hypocrisy.

This truism has been on blatant, near nauseating display over the past several weeks, as a still brewing scandal has engulfed Canadian politics like a hard-to-extinguish bush fire.

At issue: whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his senior staff, and other prominent officials in the Liberal government, "pressured" then justice minister and attorney general, Judy Wilson-Raybould, to abide by their not-so-vague wishes and forgo a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a major Quebec-based engineering firm facing bribery and corruption charges, and strike a plea deal on the eve of a federal election.

Of course, Trudeau and his crew recoil at the word "pressure", preferring instead to describe their repeated overtures to Wilson-Raybould as the "routine business" of government when, regrettably, the politics of saving jobs sometimes collides with malleable concepts like the rule of law.

So, any suggestion that Trudeau or anyone in his inner orbit would, heaven forbid, "pressure" Wilson-Raybould to pollute a legal process with parochial political considerations is inconceivable given the integrity of Trudeau and company - powerful men and women who just happened to keep urging Wilson-Raybould again and again and again to think hard about the implications of her impending decision on the SNC-Lavalin "file".

Nope. That doesn't constitute "pressure", Trudeau and his crew insist; that's a vigorous "debate", where, alas, at some ill-defined point, there was an "erosion of trust" between the former justice minister and all those political apparatchiks who were frequently trying - ever so benignly, apparently - to get her to make up her mind since she, alone, was the "decider".

Anyway, Trudeau and his crew say that if Wilson-Raybould felt that she was being "pressured" by Trudeau and his crew to abdicate her independence and do their........

© Al Jazeera