Documents reveal that the Minister of Public Safety asked the RCMP to provide a list of journalists and outlets that inquired with them about the infamous SNC-Lavalin scandal.
On June 19, 2023, non-profit organization Democracy Watch reported that the RCMP was actively investigating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for obstruction of justice over his SNC-Lavalin ethics breach, sending multiple media outlets into a frenzy.
Later that day, the RCMP stated that the Democracy Watch report was false — and that the investigation into Trudeau was already complete.
Documents obtained through a recent Order Paper Request indicate that the Public Safety office contacted the RCMP on that very day to inquire about the report from Democracy Watch.
At 4:45pm, the Minister’s office requested the RCMP provide the government with a list of all reporters and outlets that asked the RCMP about the alleged investigation into Trudeau.
Within the hour, the RCMP’s Corporate Communications division complied with the government’s request, and provided Public Safety with a list.
The Counter Signal inquired with the RCMP if it is a common practice for the government to ask for a list of reporters covering specific topics, but did not hear back before publication.
The SNC-Lavalin affair was a political scandal that emerged in early 2019 after it was revealed that Trudeau put pressure on then-Attorney General Wilson-Raybould to stop prosecuting SNC-Lavalin, an engineering company found to have bribed both Canadian and Libyan officials.
Trudeau ultimately fired Wilson-Raybould from her position as Attorney General after she refused to succumb to the pressure.
Trudeau denied these allegations, but then-ethics commissioner Mario Dion disagreed with the PM.
Dion said that Trudeau engaged in a “flagrant attempt to influence” Wilson-Raybould to further “SNC-Lavalin’s private interests” and that Trudeau and his office abused their position to “circumvent, undermine, and ultimately attempt to discredit” her claims.