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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED: Lobbyists don’t care which party is in power. They will find operatives who can carry the case for their client to whoever is in power

‘Political grandmaster’ Frank Iacobucci is at the center of SNC Lavalin, Kinder Morgan scandals 
The Buffalo Chronicle ~~ March 11, 2019

Frank Iacobucci is one of the most influential lawyer-lobbyists in all of Canada.  He has been at the crux of the nation’s political, legal, and business communities well before he retired his post as a Supreme Court Justice in 2004. Today he is a partner at Torys, Bay Street’s whitest-shoe law firm, and is the most statured attorney in the firm’s indigenous law practice. Conservative, Liberal, NDP, PMO, Trans Mountain Pipeline,

Suddenly, this week, nearly everyone in Ottawa wants him to testify before the House of Commons’ justice committee regarding his involvement in the SNC Lavalin scandal, following widespread rumors that it was Iacobucci who first insisted that Jody Wilson Raybould be removed as Attorney General. 

Iacobucci led SNC-Lavalins efforts to secure a ‘Deferred Prosecution Agreement’ last summer and into the fall.  He was instrumental in persuading Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to insert the new legal provision as a policy rider into last year’s budget bill, acting as SNC Lavalin’s in-house attorney.

The real question is ... Why do we allow lobbyists access to government?

This problem is not confined to the current government. Lobbyists don’t care which party is in power. They will find operatives who can carry the case for their client to whoever is in power. Conservative, Liberal, NDP members, Ministers and PMO staffers are all carefully reviewed to find useful links that can be used to peddle influence.

Creating a registry of lobbyists and tracking their efforts gives an aura of legitimacy to sleazy, back door dealings between business interests and government that are not in the interests of Canadians.

It is not surprising that SNC-Lavalin is trying to secure the contract for completing the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion, and is willing to do whatever it takes. The millions it is spending on lobbying will be built into its Canadian contracts.

The Trans-Mountain expansion is estimated at several $ billions and it appears that the fix is in

While SNC-Lavalin is the current news-maker, dozens of other major business entities are also seeking preferential treatment from the government.

Why are we allowing this to occur?

While the temptation to engage in a quid pro quo (we’ll help you if you help us) arrangement is very high, the majority of residents and taxpayers are shut out of negotiations.

We must ask: “Who is our government serving”? 

No political party is stepping up offering to end the practice of lobbying. That is scary. We cannot afford ‘business as usual’ in Ottawa. The drain on public funds is too high to sustain.  

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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