Since it was exposed by a report in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this month, the scandal that’s become known as the SNC-Lavalin affair has already led to the firing of one of Trudeau’s closest advisors and raised serious questions about whether the prime minister was complicit in pressuring the attorney general to offer a deferred prosecution agreement with a large, Quebec-based engineering firm.
And according to the first round of polls released since the affair exploded into public view…
…it could cost Trudeau his position as prime minister and return control to the conservatives, according to the CBC.
Campaign Research showed the Conservatives ahead with 37% to 32% for the Liberals, while both Ipsos and Léger put the margin at 36% to 34% in the Conservatives’ favour. Since December, when both polling firms were last in the field, the Liberals have lost one point in Campaign Research’s polling and four percentage points in the Ipsos poll, while the party is down five points since November in the Léger poll.
The polls also showed that a large proportion of the public believes the prime minister for abruptly firing former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould over what many suspect was her decision not to bend to his will. Some 67% of Canadians are paying attention to the story, the polls show. But not everybody has made up their minds about Trudeau’s involvement.
Of those with some knowledge of the controversy, 41% agreed with this statement: “Yes, the prime minister did something wrong.” “Only 12% said that the prime minister “did not do anything wrong.”
Another 41 per cent said that they were “not sure either way,” suggesting that many Canadians are still waiting to learn more before coming down on one side or the other.
Trudeau claims that when he discussed the case with Wilson-Raybould, he told her to handle it as she saw fit. Shortly after, she was ousted in an abrupt cabinet reshuffle, and soon resigned. She has reportedly hired an attorney to advise her on what she can and cannot say about the scandal.
And while the October general election is still a long way off, there’s plenty of time between now and then for the other shoe to drop.