Can pretty-boy Justin Trudeau survive?

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is on the ropes. He has two thorns in his side that could either force his resignation or at least significantly dim his chances for reelection in October.  

The first problem is that Trudeau's former justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, testified under oath before a parliamentary committee that Trudeau and his top aides tried to pressure her to drop the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a large engineering company headquartered in Montreal. 

The company is accused of paying the late Libyan strongman Muammar Khadafy's family nearly $50 million in bribes between 2001 and 2011 to secure contracts. This is illegal according to Canadian law. SNC admitted to wrongdoing and was angling for an agreement to pay a fine rather than to be criminally prosecuted. But Wilson-Raybould and her office stood firm and said no. In doing so, she testified: "I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion"

If convicted, the company would face a ten-year ban on bidding on projects in Canada and elsewhere. The political motive to help SNC is that the company is centered in Quebec, a province critical for Trudeau and his liberal party. If SNC is hurt, so is Quebec and so then is Trudeau. SNC's Chief Executive Neil Bruce argued that "an out-of-court settlement would be in the public interest because it would ensure employees, pensioners and suppliers wouldn't be harmed."

Wilson-Raybould argues in return what is an abstract point to today's liberal politicians -- the rule of law. It is worth noting Wilson-Raybould, herself a liberal, is the former justice minister because Trudeau removed her from that high-profile office in January and sent her to the Veterans Ministry, a lesser posting. From there, Wilson-Raybould resigned in February, saying she had lost all confidence in the administration.

This episode is not only toxic to Justin Trudeau's image but could engulf him in a criminal matter. Canada's Criminal Code Section 139(2) makes it a crime to obstruct a criminal prosecution. The law carries up to a ten-year prison term if convicted. Nobody expects Trudeau to face criminal prosecution. The rule of law goes only so far when it comes to powerful liberal politicians -- just ask the Clintons. But this could force his resignation. 

This is an especially dicey time for the boy-wonder from the Great White North. Not only does he have the SNC scandal to answer for but now the economy is sagging. On Friday, the Financial Post reported that Canada's economy practically came to a halt in the final three months of 2018 in a much deeper-than-expected slowdown.  The country's economy grew by just 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, for an annualized pace of 0.4 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Here's what is interesting. It seems like just yesterday at a series of G8 meeting, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and Justin Trudeau were collectively treated by the press as the noble leaders of the Western world while President Trump was painted as a know-nothing boob. So where are these heroes of the smart set, the champions of globalism and liberalism, now? 

Merkel, the media-acclaimed leader of the West, is politically weakened to a point that she's on the way out, scheduled to be replaced by a nobody. She'll be remembered most for being the one who singlehandedly brought an immigration crisis not just to Germany but to all of Western Europe. As for the Frenchman, he has problems with his country's high unemployment numbers and poor economy. The yellow vest protestors are demanding his resignation while Marcon's approval ratings are stuck in the 20s. 

And now Trudeau is turning into another liberal icon that failed. As for the Donald, he's still standing tall with an approval rating all three of these liberal worthies would die for. The leader of the West is -- and always was -- President Trump. 

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