Recently, the government of Justin Trudeau in Canada has faced a scandal concerning political interference in the corruption prosecution of the Quebec construction company SNC-Lavalin. Prosecutors faced a choice between
- pursuing the prosecution to a conviction, which would bar the company from Canadian government contracts for ten years
- pursuing a "remediation agreement" under which the company would pay a substantial fine.
Prosecutors decided to pursue the prosecution, despite concerns (not least from Trudeau) that this would substantially damage SNC-Lavalin and lead to job losses in Canada. In the past 7 years, SNC-Lavalin has had executive turnover and made a show of changing its corrupt culture.
In light of these facts, I am surprised that the prosecutors were unwilling to pursue a remediation agreement. What was the reasoning for pursuing the prosecution instead? Were the changes at SNC-Lavalin found to be less substantial than heralded?