News

Risk of job losses was never used in push for remediation agreement: SNC-Lavalin CEO

Risk of job losses was never used in push for remediation agreement: SNC-Lavalin CEO
Top Stories
TORONTO — The chief executive of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. says he never cited the protection of 9,000 Canadian jobs as a reason it should be granted a remediation agreement to avoid a criminal trial on allegations the company paid millions of dollars in bribes to obtain government business in Libya.

“There would be a reduction with us but these are talented folks. They’ll get a job,” Bruce said.

“This thing that somehow they’re going to be unemployed is not true because they are highly qualified, highly experienced people.”

Bruce’s comments come as a political storm in Ottawa continues over allegations that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his senior staff and others improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to end a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

There would be a reduction with us but these are talented folks. They ll get a job

Trudeau and his staff have said their only concern was for SNC-Lavalin’s 9,000 jobs, which might be at risk if the company were convicted and then barred from bidding on federal contracts for up to 10 years.

The affair has so far cost Trudeau two cabinet ministers, his principal secretary and the country’s top public servant, although he continues to insist no one did anything wrong.

Bruce said about 75 per cent of the company’s rivals have concluded deferred prosecution agreements in their host countries and are free to work in Canada.

Meanwhile, Bruce said he still doesn’t know why the director of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould were not open to granting a remediation agreement.

He said SNC-Lavalin employees feel bruised and battered by the last six weeks since a report surfaced that government officials pressured the former attorney general to grant the company a deferred prosecution agreement.

“And I think fundamentally that’s unfair on our employees who had nothing to do with what went on seven to 20 years ago.”

While he’s not surprised that politicians would make hay out of this issue during an election year, Bruce said he’s concerned that policy-makers haven’t been as willing as other countries to defend home-grown companies and their workers.

He said there’s no plans to move the company’s headquarters from Montreal, adding competitors are envious of its shareholder base that is 82 per cent Canadian and led by the Caisse de depot which has helped fund its acquisition of British engineering firm Atkins.

“We see ourselves as Team Canada. We are a global champion, one of few. There’s not many and we’re proud to be Canadian.”

In the rush to get all that spending out the door, little thought appears to have been given to whether the money is being spent in the best way

Opinion: This government’s record clearly shows its interest in spending as much as possible

Did you vote Liberal in 2015? Less excited to do so this time around? Well Justin Trudeau is here to buy your vote
Read more on National Post
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Business
TORONTO The chief executive of SNC Lavalin Group Inc. says he never cited the protection of 9, 000 Canadian jobs as a reason the company should be granted a remediation agreement...
Top Stories
MONTREAL SNC Lavalin Group Inc. is walking back a statement by its CEO, who said last week he never cited the protection of 9, 000 Canadian jobs as a reason the...
Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to affirm that he was trying to protect Canadian jobs when he and his staff spoke with former attorney general Jody Wilson Raybould about a Deferred...
Canada
TORONTO —  SNC Lavalin ‘s local employees will be forced to work for foreign competitors if the embattled engineering firm is barred from bidding on federal contracts, diminishing its role as...
Top Stories
OTTAWA — The Federal Court has decided not to overturn the director of public prosecution’s refusal to offer SNC Lavalin a remediation agreement that would have allowed the Quebec engineering firm...