The CEO of Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin says that the company did not talk about potential job losses when asking for an agreement for criminal prosecutions.
“There would be a reduction with us but these are talented folks. They’ll get a job,” CEO Neil Bruce said in a recent interview.
“This thing that somehow they’re going to be unemployed is not true because they are highly qualified, highly experienced people.”
SNC-Lavalin is facing criminal prosecutions for alleged use of bribery to gain government contracts in Libya.
Former Attorney-General Jody Wilson-Raybould claims that senior Liberal officials hounded and threatened her for months to see SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution, with protecting the 9000 jobs in the Montreal area as the stated rationale.
Since coming to light the government has seen the resignation of Wilson-Raybould, Principal Secretary to the PMO Gerald Butts, Treasury Board President Jane Philpott, and Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick.
Most recently Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes quit the Liberal caucus over the scandal to sit as an independent.
Bruce added in the same interview that the company has no intention of moving its headquarters from Montreal, regardless of the court and government decisions, while adding that the company`s 82% Canadian ownership is a considerable asset.
In the latest development of the SNC-Lavalin scandal Wilson-Raybould has said that she is submitting additional evidence, including emails and text messages she received from senior officials.
“In the course of my testimony, there was a request for me to provide further information… Having taken that request under advisement, I will provide copies of messages that I referred to in my testimony,” Wilson-Raybould said on Thursday.
While the entire defence for the Prime Minister and other senior government officials was to keep SNC-Lavalin headquartered in Canada and protect Canadian jobs, Bruce has effectively negated that defence by reaffirming that SNC-Lavalin will never leave Canada.
“We see ourselves as Team Canada. We are a global champion, one of the few. There’s not many and we’re proud to be Canadian,” he said.