National Post March 8, 2019
Justin Trudeau can still clean it up, by addressing the real issues: whatever is the right thing for prosecutors to do can still be done, but the government has foolishly straddled a serrated political knife-edge
As the SNC-Lavalin controversy is inexplicably fumbled, a few facts should be revisited. The apparently unanimous mindset in this country, that enabling an alleged corporate offender to pay a fine rather than have its officers charged criminally is in itself sleazy and a failure of judicial administration, is mistaken. Criminal trials are expensive to the country and prosecutors frequently overestimate the probative value of their evidence. If prosecutors always won, as they effectively do in the United States, where they possess an unlimited ability to extort false inculpatory evidence and give immunity from perjury charges to co-operating witnesses, then the presence of the judge and the processes of a trial would be essentially superfluous. This is the case in the U.S, where about 98 per cent of trials produce convictions, 97 per cent of those without a trial, and most judges are ex-prosecutors. Fortunately, this is not how the Canadian system works.