Kenora MP Bob Nault says there is a key conversation missing from the SNC-Lavalin scandal. That would be the what a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) is and why it would be an option instead of traditional prosecution.
"This is a little more complex of a story then it is being portrayed by everyone, so far. The whole issue of a DPA, is a method of making sure big corporations have to pay the price for criminal activity. It’s a method used all around the world,” he said.
A DPA allows a company to enter an agreement with prosecutors where in the company may avoid potential criminal charges if it establishes and completes specific undertakings. These undertakings often include fines, remediation measures, enhanced reporting requirements or allowing for independent third-party oversight of corporations compliance techniques. Once the accused company has fulfilled the terms of the DPA the charges will be dropped.
A DPA is a tool often used to protect corporations from bankruptcy, or foreign take over.
Nault said the situation with SNC-Lavalin is still unfolding.
"This is one of those situations where the argument goes, how far can cabinet and/or others go in talking to the attorney general about issues that are important to Canadians, like jobs and the economy, and what effects prosecution of a major corporation will have," he said.
SNC-Lavalin, an engineering and construction firm based in Montreal, employs 9,000 Canadians, including 3,400 in Quebec. The company, along with its international division, was charged in 2015 by the RCMP with corruption and fraud in relation to their dealings in Lybia.
If convicted the company would be barred from bidding on federal projects for 10 years, and current federal contracts would be in jeopardy.
Former attorney general, Jody-Wilson Raybould claims she was improperly pressured to prevent prosecution of the company, in favour of a DPA.
The Prime Minister claims all communications were respectful and within the bounds of the rules.
Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of her position as justice minister and attorney general and made Minister of Veterans Affairs in January; she later resigned from cabinet but remains as the MP of for Vancouver Granville.