Shortly after the election of PM Justin Trudeau in 2015, Canada’s federal government wound down its gold reserves to next-to-nothing. During a seven year period that followed, Canadian media has never explained why it occurred.
According to the federal Department of Finance, official international reserves data, Canada’s gold reserves were down effectively to zero by the end of February, 2016. Justin Trudeau became prime minister in October 19th, 2015. Subsequent to the move, the price of gold prices surged to its highest level in more than a year.
The response from the Finance Department was vague:
“The government has a long-standing policy of diversifying its portfolio by selling physical commodities (such as gold) and instead investing in financial assets that are easily tradable and that have deep markets of buyers and sellers.”
At the same time, Russia, India and China had been bolstering their gold reserves. Central banks added 336 tonnes in the second half of 2016, a 25 per cent increase from the previous year, according to the World Gold Council.
Why did a freshly-minted prime minister do this– especially so early in his tenure? It’s not as though the decision was spontaneous. Long-term preparation must have been required. And yet, the gold was gone four months into Trudeau’s tenure.
It is possible that the approval was made as a favour to the Chinese government? Could Mr. Trudeau’s altruism be pay-back for China’s assistance in a successful run for prime minister?
Never exposed by legacy media is a tale of economic intrigue:
It was in 2016 that the Canada-Libya Chamber of Commerce was formed. Their president is Sara Bronfman, daughter of the man Canadian writer Mordechai Richler branded as “Canada’s Most Famous Bootlegger”— Edgar Bronfman, founder of Seagrams, Inc.
According to The Ecologist, “Qaddafi’s government held 143 tons of gold.The gold was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan Golden Dinar. The plan was designed to provide Francophone–African countries with an alternative to the French franc.
An African currency based on the currency of Libya. Enter Quebec-based SNC-Lavalin, known to hold major contracts with the Libyan government.According to the Financial Post, court documents allege SNC-Lavalin offered bribes worth $47.7 million to public officials of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
In February 2016– weeks before Trudeau dumped the gold– the United States held 8,133 tonnes of gold, comprising 72 per cent of its reserves. Germany had 3,381 tonnes, or 66 per cent of its reserves. Italy and France each held more than 2,400 tonnes— 60 per cent of their reserves.
In late 2019, “SNC-Lavalin Group pleaded guilty to fraud in relation to the company’s activities in Libya, ending the criminal case at the centre of one of the year’s biggest political controversies.”
“SNC-Lavalin Construction, the division in question, paid $127 million to two shell companies between 2001 and 2011, according to an agreed statement of facts presented in a Montreal courtroom.”
According to a CBC News article, an SNC Lavalin-related Libyan bribery and fraud scandal involving crimes that took place from 2001-2011 led to charges in “connection with payments of nearly $48 million” to Libyan public officials.
Pleasing, or paying back the corporation, is a natural fit for Canada’s current prime minister.
In 2016, commissioner of Canada elections was probing political party donations made by SNC-Lavalin employees. According to the source that provided information to CBC News, the investigation found that SNC-Lavalin reimbursed all of those individual donations—a practice forbidden under the Canada Elections Act—but Elections Canada reached an agreement with the company to avoid prosecution. The amounts paid included about CA$110,000 to the Liberal Party
According to CBC News a “Libyan bribery and fraud scandal involving crimes that took place from 2001-2011 led to charges in “connection with payments of nearly $48 million to Libyan public officials.”
By 2019, SNC-Lavalin, still facing criminal charges in regard to several contracts, began investigating the possibility of a DPA under the newly introduced Remediation Agreement Regime,
On February 8, 2019, The Globe and Mail reported that sources close to the government said that the PMO allegedly had “attempted to influence Jody Wilson-Raybould‘s decision concerning SNC-Lavalin’s request for a DPA” during the time she was Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
When asked about the allegations, Justin Trudeau claimed the story in the Globe was false.
On 14 August 2019, Mario Dion, conflict of interest and ethics commissioner, released a report that said Trudeau contravened section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring Wilson-Raybould. Wilson Raybould subsequently “resigned” from her role as Attorney General.
Trudeau and the Liberals got away with the entire affair. It is what can occur when you have world powers supporting your sycophantic political behaviour. How likely it is that rather than public support from Canadians, these dynamics are to keep Justin Trudeau in power for an entire decade–or possibly, for the rest of his life.