This Stock Scandal May Cost Trudeau the Election

How will Justin Trudeau perform in the next election after condoning the bribery of public officials in the SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (TSX:SNC) scandal?

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Bad apple with good apples

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Justin Trudeau has a long history of betraying Canadian values. If not for allegations of racism in light of the blackface scandal, Justin Trudeau will have a difficult time bouncing back from allegations of interference with former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould’s decision to hold accountable SNC-Lavalin Group (TSX:SNC) for decades of bribery, fraud, forgery, and embezzlement.

If Canadian voters look at the history of this perennial corporation, they will find that SNC-Lavalin’s murky history dates as far back as 1995. In the mid-1990s, SNC-Lavalin bribed Indian government officials to award a sizeable hydroelectric infrastructure contract.

Although SNC-Lavalin ultimately avoided prosecution, the Indian government discharged up to 11 public officials for receiving bribes in exchange for the SNC-Lavalin contract.

Is it naïve for Canadians to trust Justin Trudeau?

Justin Trudeau had initially run on a trustworthy platform, but then he turned his back on Canadian constituents when he flipped on his campaign promises.

To start, by not divulging his support for a government purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, he didn’t run for office transparently. Then, in an act which sparked outrage among once-loyal Liberal Canadians, Trudeau approved of the $4.5 billion acquisition of Kinder Morgan’s oil pipeline.

Worse, when asked to justify the position, Trudeau claimed that it was necessary to grow the Canadian economy through oil exports. Oil and natural gas are becoming obsolete energy sources in favour of wind power, solar energy, and hydroelectricity. Corporations like Tesla, Nio, and New Flyer are quickly reducing global reliance on oil, which also threatens the viability of natural gas processing.

The unprofitable $4.5 billion oil purchase is irresponsible

OPEC and Big North American oil companies are losing their control over not only consumers, but the political environment as well. Continuing to make substantial investments in oil like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline is not only inefficient; it is irresponsible.

Canada should be focusing on investing in high-growth sectors and innovative technologies — not outdated oil pipelines that will not have the demand to pay for themselves.

Trudeau, like many past North American politicians, is just one in a long line of political insiders catering to special interests and masking their immorality with fake affirmations of “looking out for the Canadian public.”

The Green Party may be Canada’s only way to redeem itself, but the party lacks the public confidence to swing strategic voters and win more seats.

Foolish takeaway

SNC-Lavalin’s ability to escape accountability and remain a permanent establishment is proof of big oil’s historic control over North American governments.

In July, SNC-Lavalin announced a new contract with the U.S. oil titan, ExxonMobil and Saudi Arabia’s SABIC to build a petrochemical facility in Texas. Alongside the Saudi Arabian regime-sponsored chemical manufacturing company, SABIC, SNC-Lavalin will provide engineering support for the new oil facility in San Patricio, Texas.

SNC-Lavalin and ExxonMobil have had over a 30-year relationship with Saudi Arabia. Justin Trudeau is not the first public official to find himself in the pocket of ethically dubious corporate interests like SNC-Lavalin, and he won’t be the last.

The question is this: Should politicians support outdated technology and corrupt regimes over more profitable industries, which require fewer diversions from commonly accepted ethical behaviour?

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Debra Ray has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Kinder Morgan. New Flyer and Tesla are recommendations of Stock Advisor Canada.

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