In a report that seems like it was timed to coincide with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to launch the federal election campaign on Wednesday, the Globe and Mail, the Canadian newspaper that initially blew the lid off what would become the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal, has published its latest bombshell on that topic.
According to the paper, Trudeau's liberal government has blocked attempts by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to look into potential obstruction of justice in the SNC-Lavalin affair. Trudeau refused to lift cabinet confidentiality for all witnesses, seriously limiting the ability of the RCMP to investigate.
Some of the G&M's sources said they were instructed not to discuss issues related to the scandal with police officials.
Earlier in the year, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion reportedly faced similar stonewalling during his own independent inquiry into the affair - wherein Trudeau allegedly pushed out his Justice Minister and Attorney General after she refused to offer a non prosecution agreement to an engineering firm based in Trudeau's home province. Trudeau worried that if the prosecution continued, and the firm was forced to close, he might lose critical support in his home district.
The RCMP were reportedly investigating serious claims that Trudeau obstructed justice.
One former RCMP commissioner said the investigation was stuck in a difficult position since the privilege at the cabinet level is "pretty strong."
"If [the RCMP] were serious enough, they would probably get a search warrant, but that would probably be shot down by the courts. The privilege is pretty strong at the cabinet level," said former commissioner of the RCMP, Bob Paulson.
Trudeau and his party are hoping that most Canadian voters simply forget about the SNC-Lavalin scandal as election day - set for mid-October - draws near. But as polls show, the Liberals and their archrivals, the conservatives, are polling neck and neck.