Breaking News: 8 Canadian Veterans Sue Government

“Mefloquine Cowboy” Shaun Arntsen among first plaintiffs.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/canadian-veterans-suing-government-over-anti-malarial-drug-s-adverse-effects-1.4402691

A group of 8 Canadian veteran’s is taking the federal government to court for damages that occurred as a result of their being ordered to take the toxic anti-malarial medication mefloquine, also know by the brand name Lariam.

The $10 million they are asking for their ruined lives is still less than the amount convicted terrorist Omar Khadr received from the government. The government is also going to be fighting the veteran’s in court much harder than they did Khadr, so I don’t expect a settlement anytime soon. (Opinion)

These first eight will open the door to what will likely be claims by thousands more who were left with damage to their brain-stems as a result of chronic quinoline encephalopathy, or quinism. The disease is often mistakenly diagnosed as PTSD due to the similarity of symptoms and the fact that it could be concomitant with it. Specialized screening and testing is necessary to diagnose it.

In a surprise video posted to his Facebook page tonight veteran and quinism advocate Shaun Arntsen announced that he is one of the first eight. For Arntsen and his fellow plaintiffs, this isn’t just about being compensated for their lifelong injuries, this is about holding the government to account. This is about the government doing the right thing.

More to follow…

Significant Polling Errors

Public opinion polls are a necessary part of a functioning democracy. Why have so many been wrong lately, and what effect can it have? Is there a workable solution?

On the night of November 9th, 2016, pollsters and pundits alike were in stunned silence as Donald Trump handily beat Hillary Clinton for the presidency. This wasn’t supposed to be happening, Newsweek had already printed 125,000 copies of its commemorative Madame President edition. Those fortunate enough to have laid their hands on a copy could fetch nearly $10,000 in an online market, while others would later only be able to attract bids of 99 cents.

It was like a clap of thunder, out of nowhere and a complete surprise. None of the polls were indicating that this was about to happen. Afterwards it was determined that many Trump voters either didn’t say who they voted for, or said they voted for Clinton just to avoid the hassle and get back home. It was something nobody had anticipated would happen.

Polls and the democratic process.

Opinion polling plays a very key role in the democratic process, and serves two important functions within it. First, polls give candidates and politicians an idea as to where the voting public stands on the issues. A swift public backlash on a policy can lead to a quick abandonment of said policy, or the need to develop a strategy to make it more palatable to voters.

Second, polling data can be used to influence voter behaviour. If, for example, a poll showed that Hillary Clinton held a substantial lead over Donald Trump (and many did btw) then this might cause some of her voters to stay home, thinking that everybody else has it covered, it’ll only be one less vote for Hillary. It could also incite more people to come out to vote for Donald Trump in an attempt to overcome the deficit and win.

Some serious polling errors.

“Barring some sort of miracle, he’ll be the mayor on Oct. 16.”

Quito Maggi, president and CEO of Mainstreet Research
Early on the morning of Friday, October 13th 2017

Three days before the 2017 Calgary municipal election, a poll was released that showed mayoral candidate Bill Smith had a 13 point lead over the incumbent Naheed Nenshi. Although Smith had appeared to be gaining ground, the result was a surprise, at least to me it was. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy with the result, but it just seemed off somehow.

Two other polls released at about the same time were split, with one favoring Nenshi and the other Smith. Both campaigns would kick into high gear over the final week-end. The candidate polling third, Councillor Andre Chabot, was all but eliminated from the race.

On election night, the incumbent, Nenshi would reclaim the mayor’s chair by seven points over Smith after getting 51% of the vote to Smith’s 44%. Almost immediately, the poll results from Mainstreet would come under scrutiny, and a review was launched by the Marketing Research Intelligence Association (MRIA), the industry’s governing body. A panel of three independent academics would issue a scathing 70 page report in August 2018. Among its findings:


the Mainstreet poll “received the greatest media attention during the campaign because of their number, their startling results and their association with the two Calgary dailies significantly affected the course of the campaign.

“They threw Nenshi’s campaign on the defensive, gave impetus to Smith’s campaign, and possibly doomed the prospects of another candidate, André Chabot, who Mainstreet’s poll suggested was not a close contender,” 

“Mainstreet executives responded with unshakeable confidence in their results and attacked their critics, often in personal terms, at one point suggesting there would be ‘payback’ after the election results were known,”

The report said that confidence contrasted with the firm’s internal concerns over the poll results eventually led it to change its methodology — another point of contention within the polling

Instead of using random-digit dialing, Mainstreet used phone numbers pulled from a “directory,” which pollster Janet Brown said meant the survey started out with a “flawed sample.”
The experts said the directory was under-representative of young voters who eventually made up a large portion of the unexpectedly high voter turnout. Mainstreet failed to provide more information on what that directory was or where it came from.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4375306/report-flawed-calgary-election-polling-mainstreet/

A change of methodology was also a contributing factor to the final outcome, and the media also received some of the blame as the review found “some of the blame for the media and public confusion on Postmedia, which the panel argued “was not critical enough in its reporting of polls for which it was partially responsible.” Postmedia did not participate in the review.

I should note that it does appear as though Mainstreet has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that issues such as this doesn’t happen again. They were receptive to my inquiries and their polling data from the recent Alberta provincial election was in line with data collected by other firms.

Link to Alberta Provincial Election results report on Excel:

https://1drv.ms/x/s!AjGPeOn-BhVuhnRL-lyLITCHVET1

Academic Explanation

I contacted polling analyst Bryan Breguet to get his take on the recent Alberta provincial election. Polling data for this election is somewhat consistent when taking the margin of error into account and there appear to be no major irregularities as was seen in the Calgary municipal election.

For Bryan, perhaps the most important factor when it comes to polling accuracy is voter turnout. He explains that “..in elections where the turnout changed a lot tend to have more polling errors.” So any time you go from a high turnout election to a low turnout election or vice-versa, the less accurate the polling data will be.


In the 2015 election, turnout was a 22 year high of 58.25% In this election the turnout was just over 70%, much higher than four years ago. But, just as the last election was about the sweeping out of an old dynasty, this one was about a great desire in Alberta to right the wrong of four years ago. And so voters turned out in large numbers, setting a record for the number of votes cast in advance polls at nearly 700,000. There was little doubt who the winner would be.

Polling isn’t as simple as that however as there are a multitude of other factors that can have an effect on polling accuracy. The size of the sample of people polled, the mode of the survey, and perhaps most importantly, the volatility of the electorate, all play into the results of any poll. Human behaviour is something that can never be accurately predicted.

The Accuracy of Public Polls in Provincial Elections

David Coletto, Bryan Breguet

https://ojs.unbc.ca/index.php/cpsr/article/view/1198

Mandatory voting.

In Australia, voting has been compulsory since 1912. Elections are held on week-ends, and a festive atmosphere goes along with it.

Let me lead into this part by making my views clear. I am a proponent of mandatory voting, and not just because I’m a poll geek and I think it would make polling more accurate. I also know the subject came up as part of a Parliamentary committee on electoral reform in 2016.

Submission to the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform, July 18, 2016

https://www.ourcommons.ca/content/Committee/421/ERRE/Brief/BR8397891/br-external/ThomasPaulG-e.pdf

That being said I also recognize the fact that I am in the minority here. Even all of the pollsters I asked weren’t crazy about mandatory voting either. There are some definite arguments to be made against it, including the the dichotomy of forcing people to do something in a free society. I absolutely agree with that argument and can see the irony in arguing for such a thing.

My argument for mandatory voting is based purely on emotion along with a sense of civic duty and patriotism, though these are things that are not in fashion in society at the moment, much to its detriment.

Yes, we live in a free society where we are able to choose what we think and how we feel, or at least that’s what is supposed to be happening. There are of course limits to these freedoms, but by and large compared to some countries around the world we have a great deal of freedom. For now at least.

What people fail to understand or have just plain forgotten, is that freedom is not free. The freedoms that we enjoy came at a price and that price was paid by the over 66,000 Canadians who gave their lives overseas and the hundreds of thousands whose lives were forever changed fighting for those freedoms. I’m quite certain it wouldn’t kill the majority of people to take a few minutes of their time to cast a ballot.

If you don’t know who to vote for or don’t particularly care for any of the candidates, spoil your ballot by writing none of the above on it. Just get involved in the process. In Australia, where there is mandatory voting, a consistently large percentage of the population turns out to vote, with fines of $80 AUD being levied upon those who don’t show up on voting day.

A source of funding for veterans.

I’m not sure how it works in Australia, but I think a fine of $50 would suffice and could be handled through the income tax system with 100% of the proceeds going towards veterans, on top of budgeted government spending for veterans. Seems reasonable to me though many will disagree. Let them.

A big thanks.

To the research companies who were gracious enough to answer my questions in a timely and eloquent manner, thank you so very much. For as much as polls are generally maligned these days, they play an essential part in the democratic process. Arguments can and have been made that a number of these companies and their polling data is biased. These arguments come from all sides of the political spectrum and the bias of the media reporting the poll results must also be taken into account.

So, for their contributions I would like to personally thank:

  • Quito Maggi – President and CEO, Mainstreet Research
  • Kyle Braid – Sr. VP Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Dr. Lorne Bozinoff – President and CEO, Forum Research
  • Ian Large – VP and Partner, Leger 360
  • Bryan Breguet – Polling Analyst and guru, tooclosetocall.ca

A parting thought.

I know that what I’m about to say will prove controversial and piss plenty of people off (don’t care) but I’m of the firm belief that the voting age, rather than being lowered, should be raised to 24. I’ll be discussing this in a future post.

The Case for Mandatory Voting in Canada
Mac Harb

D.B.

The Final Word.

Having received some replies after I posted this, I am going to share with you the replies I got from the research companies in this story. I believe in allowing for replies or rebuttals and am not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. What’s important is that everyone has a chance to have their say.

One thing that I was reminded of took me back to my days in front line customer service, and that is the fact that nobody takes notice when you do things right. This is also true of pollsters. Remember that polling is part science and part art, and it’s not as simple as picking a number out of the phone book and calling someone.

As it also turns out I did find one person who agreed with me regarding compulsory voting, and that was Quito Maggi.



Quito Maggi
7:18 AM (10 hours ago)



to me






Hi Derek,


Thanks for taking the time to do this, overall I think it’s a good piece and making the case for mandatory voting in an effective way. I’m a fan of mandatory voting myself, where my family came from it has been the tradition for a long time (Argentina) despite having had challenges with democracy off and on over the 20th Century, it has been largely a stable democracy since the 1980s. They even have mandatory voting in their primary system.


A couple of small points here I would make.


1. Your piece references the unlikely Trump win as an example of significant polling error, but the National numbers were all within the margin of error for virtually all polls. The modellers and aggregators in the US in 2016 were the big failures in fact, they had between a 0 and 3% chance of Trump winning. They did not account for the large margins of victory in California and New York for Clinton being offset by smaller margins of victory in key swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and others for Trump. In the end, the polls were almost perfectly reflective of popular vote, but did not reflect the electoral college. I was one of only a few people to publicly say Donald Trump would win, based on lesser known state polls in those swing states.

2. It’s important to note as well since the MRIA panel report references this and so does your story, that both these polls had Chabot significantly lower than our poll. The suggestion made by observers, and by the panel, that somehow the polls (our polls specifically) were responsible for his poor performance is not supported by the facts. The CMES/Forum poll which was an academic study, showed Chabot in low single digits long before our first poll was published. There are instances where polling affects strategic voting, but there was no evidence to suggest this was the case in Calgary, nor is it possible for a polling firm to know what those effects might be. As you correctly point out, a poll showing a large lead for one candidate might cause complacency among the leading candidates supporters, it might also cause supporters for the other candidate to get motivated, or to some degree both. Part of the reason why we moved most of our polling to paywalled content is to avoid these accusations of “influence”.


3. This last point is more about tone, I think overall your post was fair but makes the same mistake that media has repeated in terms of polling accuracy. I made this point in my last response as well and I was hoping that you might mention it more specifically, polls are correct far more often than incorrect. The fact is, polling errors like Calgary are very rare, prior to 2017, you have to go back to BC 2013 or Alberta 2012 to see similar errors. There is a mathematical certainty that polls will have error from time to time (19 times out of 20). But if you add up the polls done by the firms who polled Alberta in 2019, we are talking about thousands of polls that were correct between 2014 and 2019, with a small number that were incorrect, it’s 99% of the polls that get it right, but only 1% that get the headlines.. All pollsters will tell you, the one headline you never see is “Polls get it right”, it’s only sexy when we get it wrong. Maybe a small reference in your story to that fact would be appropriate given the balance you’ve already shown.


Thanks again and look forward to seeing your work going forward. 



RE: [Contact] Media query


Inbox
x




Kyle Braid <Kyle.Braid@ipsos.com>
Wed, Apr 24, 1:28 PM (5 days ago)



to me






Hi Derek,

Happy to try to answer some questions. Obviously it was a miss for the entire industry, underestimating the strength of UCP vote and far overestimating NDP support. 

It, however, is going to take some time for us to do an internal analysis of both the phone and online portions of our samples. Not a lot to say yet, except that this does not look like a problem caused by turnout. And I do note that we have seen this before in Alberta in 2008, when many (not all) polls underestimated the strength of Ed Stelmach and the PCs. 

Kyle


Kyle Braid| SVP
Ipsos Public Affairs

1075 W Georgia St, 17th floor
Vancouver, BC V6E 3C9
Phone : 778.373.5130 | Mobile : 604.788.24



Results


Inbox
x




Derek Bodner

Bryan Breguet
Tue, Apr 23, 2:18 PM (6 days ago)



to me


Hi,


 
I’ve never been a fan of mandatory voting. I don’t see the point of forcing uninformed, uninterested people to vote. I have zero issue personally with a lot turnout as far as recognizing the results. I wish we had high turnout but, more importantly, I wish we had more people interested in politics.


 
As for the polls, I still believe this is an issue of selective turnout. UCP voters were more motivated. I guess many really, really didn’t like that their conservative province had a NDP government for 4 years lol


 
I wish Election Alberta would release a turnout by age like Election BC does.



Lorne Bozinoff
Tue, Apr 23, 9:27 AM (6 days ago)



to me




It’s true predicting who will vote when turnout is low can be problematic for polling.  However I think there needs to be a better justification for mandatory voting.  

I think though the turnout was pretty high.  


The underestimation of the UCP may have been due to a last minute surge towards them.  

Regards,

Lorne Bozinoff





























































































Ignored By The Government, Canadian Veterans Need Our Help

Why Canadians need to hear about mefloquine and the damage it has done to our troops.

I think it would be fair to say that the news cycle in Canada will be fixed for about the next 9 or 10 months on the story of Justin Trudeau’s spectacular political implosion. It is almost guaranteed to dominate the headlines in one form or another every day between now and the election, and this means that a lot of things won’t be getting covered, like mefloquine.

What is mefloquine?

Also known by the brand name Lariam, mefloquine is a drug used for the prevention and/or treatment of malaria, in particular a type of malaria that is resistant to a drug called chloroquine. It was developed by the United States military in the 1960’s and testing began in the 1970’s. It was ultimately brought to market in France in 1985 by pharmaceutical giant Hoffmann la Roche, before being approved for use in the united States by the FDA in 1989.

When and how did Canadian troops start taking mefloquine?

Canadian Forces Surgeon General (2015-2017) BGen Colin McKay

According to the Surgeon General’s Task Force on mefloquine, Canadian officials were first given mefloquine in 1991 and 1992 in Cambodia and Africa under the provisions of a drug study by the manufacturer, Roche.

Troops bound for Somalia in December 1992 were also given the drug, however they would not be a part of the study, since the guidelines of the study were not compatible with the operational requirement to deploy to Somalia. Prior to being given the medication, Canadian troops were advised of the possible negative reactions of the drug, including the possibility of psychiatric side effects such as hallucinations. They were not told however that they were being given a drug that had yet to be approved in Canada, and were not given the appropriate form to sign that would have given their informed consent.

https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/dnd-mdn/migration/assets/FORCES_Internet/docs/en/about-reports-pubs-health/surgeon-general-report-mefloquine.pdf

What happened after they started taking it?

Soon after it was approved in 1985, adverse reaction reports were starting to come in, documenting some disturbing psychological reactions to the drug. These included such things as nightmares, hallucinations, severe depression, and episodes of psychosis.

Almost immediately after they arrived in theatre, the men of 2 CDO began experiencing similar side effects. At the time, this was not reported, and it is only in the years since then that many former soldiers have come forward with details of their experience in Somalia. Many have said that they began suffering the terrifying effects of the drug shortly after they arrived, and for some, their ordeal would begin after taking the first dose of mefloquine.

Clayton Matchee

Vivid nightmares would often haunt them, and many were affected by the rapid onset of severe anxiety or depression. Men were suffering from visual and auditory hallucinations, psychosis, and delusions, often violent in nature. Sleep disturbances would often occur, such as insomnia or sleepwalking. The commanding officer of the mission, Lt.Col. Carol Mathieu, was on one occasion reported to be outside the wire in the middle of the night, naked, and waving his pistol in the air while rambling incoherently. Something many don’t stop to consider is the fact that officers could be affected too. They also had to take the drug, and apart from military rank, were no different than the men they were in charge of. Having a commission doesn’t give one blanket immunity from any and all diseases or syndromes, though some officers might tell you otherwise.

There is little doubt in my mind that the tragedy in Somalia would not have happened were it not for mefloquine. The Somalia Commission focused on the culture and discipline withing the Canadian Armed Forces, in particular the Canadian Airborne Regiment. It is true that there were unsavory elements within 2 CDO, elements that by all accounts held racist views. Let me be clear that I do not think that every member of the CAR or 2 CDO was a racist, and that these views were only held by certain individuals.

But even if we were to assume that every one of those men held racist beliefs, they were first and foremost professionals. Those men were too well trained, and their commitment to duty would have meant that this would never have happened under normal circumstances.

Many of the men on that mission continue to suffer to this day, and in the years since then, thousands of Canadian soldiers have been given mefloquine prior to their deployments. Canadian Forces were ordered to take mefloquine during the course of 14 different operations, starting in Somalia with Operation Deliverance, and most recently in Afghanistan (Operation Apollo). Years after their last dose of mefloquine, many of these veterans continue to suffer from the nightmarish side effects of this drug.

The long road to justice

https://onecalgaryvoter.com/2019/03/13/an-open-letter-to-the-people-and-government-of-canada/

It is only in the last decade that information about mefloquine has really started to come to light, and getting it into the public has been an uphill battle for those trying to raise awareness of this issue. As so often happens in the media, many stories that need to be told are left to languish on the back burner, while the scandal of the day eats up the column space.

Across Canada and the United States, groups advocating for those affected by “quinism” have started to form, and a number of class-action lawsuits are pending against governments and the manufacturer of mefloquine, Roche. A call has also gone out to reconvene the Somalia Commission of Inquiry, so that the truth can come out, and the men involved can have their reputations restored. Every soldier harmed by mefloquine as well as their families, deserves to be compensated for their ordeal, and deserves to know why their government would do this to them in the first place.

In the weeks and months to come, I will be continuing my investigation into mefloquine, and publishing what I have found, or in some cases haven’t found. I will be interviewing experts in the field, as well as those affected by the drug, both the victims and their families, and you will follow along with me as I try to contact the FDA medical officer who recommended mefloquine’s approval in 1987.

In the meantime, I’m asking you to help out. Contact the Government of Canada and ask that the Somalia Commission be re-opened, find out whatever you can online, spread the word far and wide. Above all, remember that these people put on the uniform of their country, were badly injured during the course of the employment, and were subsequently tossed aside and forgotten by their government. Help me let then know that they aren’t forgotten, and that Canadians won’t let them down in their time of need.

D.B.

https://www.hshlawyers.com/expertise/mass-tort-litigation/mefloquine/

https://www.facebook.com/MefloquineTrooper/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

https://www.facebook.com/christian.j.mceachern?epa=SEARCH_BOX

http://www.remingtonnevin.com/home/home.html

Coming Soon….

Two investigations lead me to places that I would have preferred not go, but what’s at stake is worth it.

(L-R) Veterans Todd Gilman, Dana Johnson, Dave Bona and Christian McEachern protest in front of the Canadian Forces Recruiting office in downtown Calgary on Thursday July 13, 2017. The group were voicing their opinion on the military’s use of a malaria drug. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Among the benefits of having a blog is that there are really no set rules as to what you have to put in it. The legal concept is known as situs mea et praecepta mea, or my site my rules. Okay, maybe not, but the principle, legal or not, applies. I’m going to put what I like on my site, and what I will be posting next will fall into the category of investigative journalism.

I am by no means a journalist either by training or by trade, nor do I claim to be one. What I am doing, is performing research, conducting interviews, tracking down leads, and then memorializing my findings in a way that people will find compelling. Sounds like investigative journalism to me, but I don’t aspire to be the next Linden MacIntyre (wait that rhymes doesn’t it haha). That being said, I hope he would approve of the effort.

mefloquine: Making a Monster

I’m working on a comprehensive look at mefloquine, from its development by the United States military in the 1960’s, it’s use in a top secret US government project, and it’s subsequent approval for use in Europe and North America in the 80’s and 90’s. Today, thousands of veterans across the globe suffering the lasting effects of mefloquine toxicity, and are looking for justice through litigation, but simply covering the financial costs won’t make up for the horror these people live each and every day, from the the time they first took the drug, and likely until the day they die.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and the Global Compact on Migration

It’s a part of the Global Compact on migration that you seldom if ever hear about, yet remittances play a major role in it. Remittances from Canada account for 1% of the GDP of the Philippines, while rules put in place to protect jobs in Canada are ignored, while thousands in Alberta have languished in unemployment for two years or more. For those who ever thought it wouldn’t do damage to the economy had better think again, and have a read at my report on this when it comes out.

Stay tuned, and please donate.

It takes a bit of work to put stuff like this together, so please be patient, and above all, please support me so that I can continue performing the research that will allow me to bring you the truth. Groceries and coffee are always a good thing to have in this line of work, so I’d like to secure a steady supply of both if I could. It would be greatly appreciated.

In addition, I’m going to find out if there are any fundraising efforts to help support the litigation efforts here in Canada. If and when I get this information, I’d also ask you to contribute to that as well.

D.B.C

Quebec’s Culture of Corruption

Corruption is just a part of life in Quebec, and Alberta tax dollars are helping to fund it.

Quebec: The most corrupt province


As the SNC Lavalin scandal gains momentum and threatens to bring down Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government, word emerges of another potential scandal brewing in Quebec, this time involving Bombardier, another darling of la belle province. Bombardier and the Liberal’s have had ties for years, and they have been the beneficiary of many a government hand-out, so this really comes as no surprise.

In fact, that Quebec is rife with corruption comes as a surprise to nobody. It seems to be ingrained into the culture, at least politically, and it has been in the news in Canada for decades, with the ’76 Olympics in Montreal being perhaps the ultimate testament to corruption, with Olympic Stadium being the billion dollar center piece.

I’ve pored over the vast repository of information that is available to me, and have put together this brief look at politics and corruption in the province of Quebec.

First, the SNC Lavalin story.

The company at the center of the current political firestorm in Ottawa traces it’s roots back to 1911, when the appropriately named Arthur Surveyer founded the engineering firm Surveyer, Nenniger & Chenevert in Montreal (SNC). 25 years later engineers Jean-Paul Lalonde and Romeo Valois form the firm Lavalin, merging in 1991 to become SNC Lavalin.

SNC’s international experience dates back to 1963, while Lavalin began the massive James Bay hydroelectric dam project in 1974. The combined company would go on to acquire contracts for major projects around the globe in the 1990’s and by 2018, had claimed it’s place as the largest construction company in Canada. It had 50,000 employees worldwide, offices in 50 countries, and operations in more than 160.

Saadi Gadaffi, progeny of a despot, failed soccer player, and known reprobate.

Libya

By the year 2000, SNC Lavalin had been doing business in Libya for a number of years. One of their most important partners in Libya was Saadi Gadaffi. son of strongman Muammar Gadaffi, and the head of his father’s special forces. Saadi was typical of the sons of other despots in the region, more playboy than aspiring leader of a nation. Rather than focusing on much needed development projects for his country, he envisioned creating a “new Hong Kong” in Libya, and it became well known that when going to a meeting with Saadi, you brought cash.

In 2008, SNC Lavalin invited Saadi to move to Canada, who would go on to live in Montreal and Toronto. For Saadi, it was an opportunity to improve his english, as well as to network with political and business leaders, while learning the intricacies of doing business in North America.

SNCL would hire private security firm Garda to provide protection for their guest, and four contractors were hired for the job. It would be up to the security detail to pay for all of Saadi’s expenses, illicit and otherwise. These would in turn be invoiced back to SNCL, who would report the expenses as being related to business in Libya. Nearly $2 million in such expenses were reported, as has been revealed in the past week.

Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel informs parliament of her discovery that SNC Lavalin procured prostitutes for Saadi Gadaffi.

In early 2011, the Arab Spring had made its way to Libya, and SNCL projects across the country would come to a sudden halt amid the violence and political uncertainty. Saadi had managed to flee the country and in November of that year, Mexican authorities broke up a bid to smuggle him into the country. A consultant hired by SNCL and the VP/Controller were arrested and charged in Mexico. Saadi would make his way to Niger, where he received asylum, but was eventually extradited back to Libya to face murder charges, though a court acquitted him of the charges in 2018.

2012 would bring more bad news when, in February, two former SNCL executives were arrested in Canada in relation to alleged corruption at a project in Bangladesh that the World Bank was underwriting. The following month, CEO Pierre Duhaime resigned in disgrace after an internal audit revealed that $56 million in payments had been made to agents in contravention of the company’s policies.

In April, another former executive was arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges relating to a projects in North Africa, and in Canada, SNCL headquarters was the subject of an RCMP search relating to corruption involving high-ranking Tunisian officials between 2001 and 2010.

In November, Duhaime was arrested, when charges of fraud, conspiracy, and using forged documents, in relation to SNCL’s contract to build Montreal’s super-hospital, which it had won in 2010. SNCL’s bad year would end with December seeing accusations against another former executive, relating to the Bangladesh project.

Less than a week ago, on February 1st, Duhaime plead guilty to a single charge of breach of trust, avoiding jail time for what some have said is the biggest fraud in Canadian history.


Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime leaves a Montreal courtroom on Friday, after pleaded guilty to a charge of helping a public servant commit breach of trust for his role in the MUHC superhospital bribe scandal. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

In March of 2013, the Charbonneau Commission, tasked with examining corruption in Quebec’s construction industry, had been sitting for nearly two years. Yves Cadotte, VP of SNCL, would testify before the commission telling of collusion with other firms in order to secure contracts in Montreal, as well as details of illegal payments to political parties. In April, the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) barred SNCL from bidding on contracts for 10 years.

Organized Crime in Quebec

Justice France Charbonneau’s report was issued in November of 2015. After four years and at a cost of $40 million, the nearly 1,800 page report contains 60 recommendations. The commission would find that the prevalence of organized crime in Quebec, primarily in the form of the Italian mafia and the Hell’s Angels, played a major role in the corruption that was running rampant and unchecked in the construction industry.

Nicolo Rizzuto, the former boss of the Rizzuto Crime Family in Montreal, was shot dead in his Toronto home in November 2010.

Since forming in the early 1970’s under Nicolo Rizzuto, the crime family that bears his name has been operating out of Montreal. Prior to the 1970’s, corruption in Quebec doesn’t appear to have been more of a problem than it was anywhere else. But after the arrival and rise of the Rizzuto family in Quebec, things began to change drastically, as the mafia and the Hell’s Angels begin to exert their influence over Quebec’s labour unions.

Soon, they would control nearly every aspect of the industry, having influence over the awarding of lucrative contracts, and collecting concessions from unions, contractors, and suppliers. Stacks of cash were used to buy political influence, and violence and intimidation were used to keep everyone in line. Eventually, this would become the norm, and Quebec’s culture of corruption would become entrenched in society.

It seems particularly entrenched in Quebec politics, as politicians of all stripes and at all levels of government seem to behave as though that’s just the way things run. For the Liberal Party in Quebec, it is almost standard practice to engage in illegal shenanigans for political gains, to the point where they see themselves as entitled and above the law.

Alberta Tax Dollars in the Pockets of Mobsters

If this were strictly a Quebec or a Montreal problem, it wouldn’t even appear on the radar, but it isn’t. Over the years billions of dollars in tax revenue has left Alberta in the form of transfer payments, the majority going to Quebec. The likelihood that at least some of that money made its way into the hands of organized crime is great. The amount of Alberta money illegally circulated in Quebec over the years has to be in the billions of dollars.

It’s bad enough that we have to give it up in the first place, but to know that it is being used to improve the lot of criminals makes it even more infuriating. Thousands of Alberta families are suffering, with many on the brink of disaster. Countless lives have been forever turned upside down, and some have even been lost as a result of the economic crisis in Alberta.

The result of all of this is evident in the news stories and polls coming out of Alberta. More and more of us see separation as the only solution to a situation that has become untenable to the point that, eventually, people will begin to rise up and willingly break the law. In Quebec, it would seem as though crime actually does pay. Maybe we need to start thinking that way in Alberta as well, because if things keep going the way they are, it might the only choice we have left if we want to survive.

DBC

A HISTORY OF SNC-LAVALIN Woods, Allan . Toronto Star ; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]25 May 2013: IN.3.

Perversion of Justice

Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman leaves court with his lawyer Marie Henein following a hearing in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As the SNC Lavalin affair dominated the news in Canada, another scandal has been brewing for month’s in the form of the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Second to the Chief of Defense Staff, Norman was charged with breach of trust, the allegation being he leaked cabinet information.

At issue was the Trudeau government’s decision to cancel the procurement of a supply vessel for the navy, Norman’s alleges leaking of document’s to the media pertaining to a November 2015 meeting where it was decided that the project would be put on hold. The leak would anger the cabinet, prompting them to call for an RCMP investigation.

I won’t go further into the details of the matter, since it isn’t the details I am concerned about, so much as the actions of the PMO. Admiral Norman’s defense attorney is filing an abuse of power motion, and key to this are the records of the troika who run the government, Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff.

As the details of these scandals begin to see the light of day, something becomes clear. The Justin Trudeau Liberal’s will be remembered for their attempts to obstruct or otherwise pervert justice. Unlike the scandals of Liberal government’s in the past, the ramifications of this one affect every Canadian, and it this needs to be pointed out.

LavScam a Different Kind of Scandal Than AdScam


The Gomery report detailed the existence of an ‘elaborate kickback scheme’ to funnel money to the Liberal Party’s Montreal headquarters. Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, has been charged with fraud in connection with the case. (Canadian Press/CBC)

The Sponsorship Scandal was typical of those we tend to see in politics, involving money, graft, kickbacks, the type of things that tend to come to mind when the words “political scandal” are said. Influence peddling and other similar types of corruption usually involve a small number of people, and typically, financial transactions have taken place.

As a rule, these types of crimes don’t have a direct effect on the rights of the average Canadian. It’s possible that some constituents in some areas may be affected on an economic level, but by and large, their rights under the law are not affected.

By showing that they are willing to obstruct and pervert justice. the Trudeau Gang have shown that they are willing to deprive anyone of their legal rights, while breaking the law as they see fit. This isn’t a financial scandal, this one’s ideological, and it shows just how far Justin Trudeau is willing to go to get what he wants.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts. The brains of the outfit.
The dim-witted boob they foolishly chose to execute their plan.

The Slippery Slope

If the PMO is willing to interfere in the administration of justice in these matters, what would stop them from doing the very same thing in other matters of their interest? And what would be stopping them from putting the screws to any average Canadian whose views were opposed to theirs. Although people cannot be arrested and prosecuted for their beliefs, how much of a stretch would it be for the PMO to go so far as to manufacture criminal charges? They’ve already proven they are willing to break the law so it’s not unreasonable to believe that this scenario could play out.

That you, or any of your family or friends could end up in prison for opposing an ideology is something that could only have happened in Cuba, or China, or any of the other regimes that Justin Trudeau admires. Gerry Butts may not be an employee any more, but he still writes the play-book, and it reads like a Kafka novel.

One and Done

Justin Trudeau can no longer be oblivious to the fact that he has a major problem, and his performance in Toronto is proof. Whether he was high or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, he was obviously different to many observers and pundits. Whether removed from within, or at the polls, he will not see another Christmas in the Prime Minister’s office.

The scandal has made news around the globe, getting coverage from the BBC, The New York Times, and even Russia Today. Those who once thought that Justin Trudeau was the model of a modern and enlightened leader, will now have to find another vacuous shill to take his place.

What’s important is that Canadian’s do the right thing in October, and unseat the Liberal’s. There’s now a lot more at stake than we first realized.

DBC

Perversion of Justice

Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman leaves court with his lawyer Marie Henein following a hearing in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As the SNC Lavalin affair dominated the news in Canada, another scandal has been brewing for month’s in the form of the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Second to the Chief of Defense Staff, Norman was charged with breach of trust, the allegation being he leaked cabinet information.

At issue was the Trudeau government’s decision to cancel the procurement of a supply vessel for the navy, Norman’s alleges leaking of document’s to the media pertaining to a November 2015 meeting where it was decided that the project would be put on hold. The leak would anger the cabinet, prompting them to call for an RCMP investigation.

I won’t go further into the details of the matter, since it isn’t the details I am concerned about, so much as the actions of the PMO. Admiral Norman’s defense attorney is filing an abuse of power motion, and key to this are the records of the troika who run the government, Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff.

As the details of these scandals begin to see the light of day, something becomes clear. The Justin Trudeau Liberal’s will be remembered for their attempts to obstruct or otherwise pervert justice. Unlike the scandals of Liberal government’s in the past, the ramifications of this one affect every Canadian, and it this needs to be pointed out.

LavScam a Different Kind of Scandal Than AdScam


The Gomery report detailed the existence of an ‘elaborate kickback scheme’ to funnel money to the Liberal Party’s Montreal headquarters. Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, has been charged with fraud in connection with the case. (Canadian Press/CBC)

The Sponsorship Scandal was typical of those we tend to see in politics, involving money, graft, kickbacks, the type of things that tend to come to mind when the words “political scandal” are said. Influence peddling and other similar types of corruption usually involve a small number of people, and typically, financial transactions have taken place.

As a rule, these types of crimes don’t have a direct effect on the rights of the average Canadian. It’s possible that some constituents in some areas may be affected on an economic level, but by and large, their rights under the law are not affected.

By showing that they are willing to obstruct and pervert justice. the Trudeau Gang have shown that they are willing to deprive anyone of their legal rights, while breaking the law as they see fit. This isn’t a financial scandal, this one’s ideological, and it shows just how far Justin Trudeau is willing to go to get what he wants.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts. The brains of the outfit.
The dim-witted boob they foolishly chose to execute their plan.

The Slippery Slope

If the PMO is willing to interfere in the administration of justice in these matters, what would stop them from doing the very same thing in other matters of their interest? And what would be stopping them from putting the screws to any average Canadian whose views were opposed to theirs. Although people cannot be arrested and prosecuted for their beliefs, how much of a stretch would it be for the PMO to go so far as to manufacture criminal charges? They’ve already proven they are willing to break the law so it’s not unreasonable to believe that this scenario could play out.

That you, or any of your family or friends could end up in prison for opposing an ideology is something that could only have happened in Cuba, or China, or any of the other regimes that Justin Trudeau admires. Gerry Butts may not be an employee any more, but he still writes the play-book, and it reads like a Kafka novel.

One and Done

Justin Trudeau can no longer be oblivious to the fact that he has a major problem, and his performance in Toronto is proof. Whether he was high or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, he was obviously different to many observers and pundits. Whether removed from within, or at the polls, he will not see another Christmas in the Prime Minister’s office.

The scandal has made news around the globe, getting coverage from the BBC, The New York Times, and even Russia Today. Those who once thought that Justin Trudeau was the model of a modern and enlightened leader, will now have to find another vacuous shill to take his place.

What’s important is that Canadian’s do the right thing in October, and unseat the Liberal’s. There’s now a lot more at stake than we first realized.

DBC