Jeff Richert: Justin Trudeau lays a foundation for voter apathy


As the mainstream media news cycle moves from one clickbait story to the next, I'm not satisfied with Justin Trudeau and the SNC-Lavalin scandal, not even close. I wonder how many other people who follow politics sit back and shake their heads when they think of the gong show that unfolded before our eyes.

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What's bothered me the most about this mess is not only how fast it disappears from the media, something that big, but it serves as a reminder to the electorate that access to government and the ability to influence policy comes at a price that the average Canadian cannot afford.

Call me a dreamer or an idealist, call me what you like, but I always wanted to feel like our political system allows the average Canadian the ability to influence change. You see, my view is the solutions to the problems we face as a society today are already out there, they are in people's minds based on their work and life experience. With the appropriate political conduit, change for the greater good should be attainable.

The problem with the federal Liberals is they have made it loud and clear lobbyists come first and, even worse, a corrupt corporation made it to the top of priority list.

I've always been concerned with lobbying and this issue once again reminded me of how powerful lobbying and special interest can be. I know I'm not the only person who supports a ban on lobbying politicians across the country because when policy is influenced by a select few, the majority pay the price.

What infuriates me most about the SNC-Lavalin scandal and Justin Trudeau's handling of it was how a corporation had the ability to jump the line, gain significant face time with high level politicians, and lobby for a change in the Criminal Code. A corporation does not have the moral or ethical right to lobby as such, in my mind: the Criminal Code is the law of the land and the property of the people, not something for corporate manipulation.

And remember, SNC-Lavalin isn't just any company. In 2015, it was charged with bribing Libyan government officials to the tune of $48 million and defrauding other Libyan organizations of $148 million.

This company was given preferential treatment by our prime minister. No wonder we have apathetic voters in Canada.

Jeff Richert lives in Taylor.

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