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Beverley McLachlin, who served as Canada's 17th Chief Justice before getting wrapped up in the SNC-Lavalin scandal, has been appointed as a mentor in the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation—highlighting a troubling case of potential patron-clientelism in the Trudeau government.
After retiring as a supreme court judge in 2017, McLachlin was asked by Justin Trudeau's PMO to advise the then Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould on the SNC-Lavalin case.
Trudeau was hoping that by doing this Wilson-Raybould would accept a settlement from the Quebec-based manufacturing giant, instead of proceeding with a criminal trial.
McLachlin asserts that she declined the offer from the PMO to advise Wilson-Raybould on the SNC-Lavalin case, saying that she "had no desire to be involved in this."
Despite this, an explosive recording was secretly captured by the Attorney General that reveals the disgraced civil servant Michael Wernick offering Wilson-Raybould McLachlin's legal advice: "she could give you advice on this if you want to feel more comfortable that you're not doing anything inappropriate."
Wilson-Raybould would later say that the pressure that Trudeau's PMO had put on her was "inappropriate" and constituted an attempt of illegal political interference.
It is unclear how much money McLachlin will receive in her role as a mentor for the Trudeau Foundation. Having said this, Chantal Hebert (who was appointed as a mentor in 2011) received a $20,000 honorarium and a $15,000 travel allowance for her work in the same position.
McLachlin already receives a $270,266 taxpayer-funded, annual pension after retiring from the Supreme Court.
The Trudeau Foundation has also promoted the Ontario Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers to it's mentor position.
In 2016, Conservative MP Rona Ambrose asked the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner to examine whether people were donating to the Trudeau Foundation as a means of gaining influence inside Trudeau's government.
“Given that Prime Minister Trudeau is a former member of the Trudeau Foundation, that his brother Alexandre Trudeau is a current member of the board of directors of the foundation, that the Minister of Industry appoints two directors of the Trudeau Foundation, and that the Foundation has two representatives of the Trudeau family, any efforts by Mr. Trudeau to use his position as Prime Minister to encourage donations may be a violation of the definition of a conflict of interest," wrote Ambrose.
As well as this, analysis from the National Post showed that donations to the Trudeau Foundation had increased exponentially after Justin Trudeau's election as Liberal leader.
The Trudeau Foundation did not respond to The Post Millennial's request for a comment.