August 14th, 2019

Reality Check: Conservatives Open to Bending the Rules for Corporate Friends

Scheer too cozy with big corporation to speak out

OTTAWA – When it comes to standing up for Canadians and the rule of law against powerful corporate interests, it’s clear that Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives would have chosen their insider friends from SNC-Lavalin too.

  • Andrew Scheer met with SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce to discuss deferred prosecution agreements as recently as May 2018. (Toronto Star, Feb. 10 2019)
  • Following that meeting, Scheer would not speak out against a secret deal for SNC-Lavalin: “when asked if Scheer had a position on whether SNC-Lavalin should get such a deal, Harrison would only say that Scheer ‘is opposed to politicians interfering to get charges dropped for accused corporate criminals.’” (Toronto Star, Feb. 10 2019).
  • In March 2019, Scheer continued to sidestep the question of what he would do when companies break the law, saying that deferred prosecution agreements are “not the issue” he’s concerned with in regard to the SNC-Lavalin controversy. (Global News, March 23 2019)
  • Scheer’s reluctance to take on corporations that break the law isn’t surprising when you consider the Conservative record: in 2013 it was revealed that at least three companies had been given federal contracts despite violating government integrity policies (iPolitics, June 4 2013) – and in May 2015, the CEO of SNC-Lavalin stated that he had made efforts to seek a settlement with the previous government in order to avoid a lengthy criminal trial. (Trudeau II Report, p. 11)

But the coziness between big corporations and Scheer’s Conservatives does not stop there:

  • In April 2019, the Conservatives opposed an NDP motion opposing corporate influence over the Government of Canada (Vote No. 1299)
  • In April 2019, Andrew Scheer attended a day-long election strategy session with wealthy oil executives at a luxury resort in Alberta earlier this month (National Observer, April 26 2019)
  • Just like the Liberals, the Conservatives received max donations from at least 20 chairs and executives of rich companies last year. (CTV News, July 29 2019)
“We cannot trust either Justin Trudeau or Andrew Scheer to stand up to big corporations; both of them move mountains to help the richest corporations instead of helping everyday Canadians. On October 21, together we have a chance to clean up Ottawa and elect an NDP government that will work for people instead of the wealthiest.”

New Democrats have committed to formally prohibiting corporations facing criminal charges from lobbying elected officials. Can Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives say the same?