Justin Trudeau has not had a good year. The beleagured Canadian prime minister has had to contend with questions about his office's handling of a criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin, a Montreal-based engineering company.
The company was under investigation for allegedly paying bribes to officials in Libya to secure contracts. But, according to an explosive report by The Globe and Mail, the prime minister hoped to avoid trial in order to preserve jobs at the company, which had threatened to move out of Canada.
Pressure from the prime minister's office on the Justice ministry to alter prosecutorial practice to avoid trial led cabinet members Jody-Wilson Raybould and Jane Philpott to resign in protest.
Trudeau aid Gerald Butts also resigned after deeming that his involvement in the "SNC-Lavalin Scandal" had taken attention away from the prime minister's agenda.
Today it's clear that the effort and sacrifice from the prime minister's office was in vain. According to the CBC, a judge in Quebec has ruled that SNC-Lavalin must go to trial after all. Enough evidence of corruption exists, the judge decided, for the case to proceed in court.
The development is embarrassing but likely not catastrophic for Trudeau. The trial will not concern action pursued by his office. But Andrew Scheer, leader of the federal conservative party, is sure to lambast the prime minister for his decisions, nonetheless.
Neither the prime minister nor Scheer have responded to the latest court ruling.
Whether SNC-Lavalin will move out of Quebec has a result of the upcoming trial remains to be seen. Though, according to CTV, the company still has time to appeal the judge's decision.