Peter Kirby is a retired member of the district law association, and he says the SNC-Lavalin affair exposes a weakness in the Canadian system, which is to say the combination of the minister responsible for justice with the attorney general's office.

"Certainly, it's impossible, for any ordinary person to understand how you could keep those two hats separate, when you're in a hot, dynamic, politically-charged environment dealing with a very serious issue," said Kirby.

"Some commentators are saying when people went to speak to the former attorney general, they were talking to her as the justice minister. She seems to be saying they were talking to her, when she was wearing her attorney general hat. So, some people are saying there was just mass confusion," Kirby added.

Federal Justice Minister David Lametti is now talking about separating the role of minister from the attorney general's duties. Wilson-Raybould has also suggested studying the idea.

In recent weeks, the former attorney general -- Jody Wilson-Raybould -- has said she was the target of political interference, when making decisions about how to proceed with the prosecution of the engineering firm.

In her testimony last week, Wilson-Raybould went a step further.

"I will say that it is appropriate for cabinet or colleagues to draw to the attorney general’s attention what they see as important policy considerations that are relevant to decisions about how a prosecution will proceed," she said. "What is not appropriate is pressing the attorney general on matters that she or he cannot take into account, such as partisan political considerations, continuing to urge the attorney general to take her or his mind four months after the decision has been made or suggesting that a collision with the prime minister on these matters should be avoided."

An emergency debate was held last week by MPs on the issue.

For more information:

Wilson-Raybould hung out to dry, Rickford

More Local News

Lawyer fired after comments about 14-year-old

The services from a Toronto-based lawyer representing Kenora – Rainy River Districts Child & Family Services have been terminated, following claims that a 14 or 15-year-old girl is a “sexually mature…

Staff, students need to feel safe at DHS

The director of education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, Sean Monteith, says the situation at Dryden High School is improving, but he says more work remains. "Staff need to be able…

Council's mandate includes policing vote, mayor

Dryden Mayor Greg Wilson says council was given a mandate through last fall's election, in order to make a decision on the future of the city's police service, rather than put the issue to a…

'Constructive discussion' at justice meeting

The Grand Council Treaty 3 hosted a two-day workshop last week, with a focus on reducing the number of First Nations people in the criminal justice system. Grand chief Francis Kavanaugh says more…

UNDRIP bill passes second reading unanimously

Kiiwetinoong member Sol Mamakwa wants to see clean drinking water and better housing in First Nation communities. So, he is calling on Queen's Park to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of…

Keewatin-Patricia waits for details

Reforms to education may help some students in the northwest. Sean Monteith from the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board explains. "The banning of cell phone use by students in classrooms for…

Ottawa to help skills training

Ottawa is offering additional funds for skills training, through their spring budget. Kenora MP Bob Nault made the announcement, after visiting with the prime minister -- as well as the minister…

Rickford 'cleaning up the (hydro) mess'

The provincial government is promising to keep its promise by lowering hydro rates by 12 per cent, as well as limit future rate increases to the rate of inflation. Earlier this week, Energy Minister…

Safe needle disposal tips

Residents are reminded to take extra care, while discarding of used needles this spring. The health unit says you should use gloves or tongs when picking up used needles, and to put them in a hard…

Treasury Metals talks about Goliath Gold

The Goliath Gold project is working through the permitting process with the country's environmental assessment agency. After accepting the latest response for information, March 15 marked the first…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login