Our View: Corruption all too common in Canada

SNC-Lavalin’s woes are far from the only example of alleged corruption and bribery

The SNC-Lavalin scandal has so far mostly played out in the contest of our national politics. Did Justin Trudeau and the rest of the PMO pressure then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould? Should there be an investigation, should the PM resign, what does this mean for the October election?

SNC-Lavalin has been embroiled in multiple scandals over the past few years. Allegations of bribery during a Bangladesh bridge project were eventually thrown out by a Canadian court, but resulted in the company being blacklisted from bidding on World Bank projects.

That’s in addition to charges laid in relation to construction projects in Libya, and for a major kickback and bribery scandal for hospital construction right here in Canada.

If it was just SNC-Lavalin that had an unsavoury reputation, that would be one thing. But the Charbonneau Commission uncovered a system of bid-rigging for major construction projects that netted the resignations of two mayors, and criminal convictions against another former elected official.

We could be smug in B.C., if it weren’t for the fact that we’re still digging out the truth about how much money was laundered through our casinos.

Security and safeguards were so lax that “gamblers” simply turned up with plastic shopping bags full of tens of thousands of dollars in cash. And for years, those responsible for preventing money laundering were either incompetent, underfunded, or looking the other way.

The truth is, if you really want to get away with a crime in Canada, you’re better off stealing $1 million than $100. If you rob a corner store or steal a TV, you might actually go to jail.

If you rip off the government or the public for five or six figures, while wearing a suit and tie, you’ll be fine.

– M.C.

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