CORRUPTION AT SNC / SNC/LAVALIN, IN QUEBEC S LEGAL SYSTEM AND QUEBEC POLITICS –
POINT-FORM SUMMARY (CLICK ON LINKS TO ACCESS DETAILED NARRATIVE AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS)
There are several main facets to what I have to say :-
PART 1. How I was recruited by SNC from the U.K., followed by wrongful dismissal after only 15 weeks, denial of Unemployment Insurance benefits, illegal dismissal lawsuit culminating with seizure of SNC s bank account for refusal to pay in accordance with the Court order, at the time they took over their main rival Lavalin Inc. in 1991
PART 2. The public image that SNC projected as good employers, concerned to – quote - …alleviate poverty…-unquote - through contributions to charities. SNC as one of - quote -The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Canada – unquote . And that was not all. Not only this but so far (May 2011) none of the M.P.’s whom I have approached have done anything about the corruption going on, nor did their efforts to help me get work lead to any result. There has also been little interest from the media in response to my efforts to date.
PART 3. The trouble with Quebec – pre-occupation with protecting the careers of dubious lawyers, corrupt politicians, pre-occupation with issues connected with language and separatism (all good stuff for lawyers and politicians to chew on). Dangerous Court judgements which in turn become dangerous precedents to be exploited by dubious lawyers at the expense of quote – working – unquote - immigrants. Insufficient attention to making the economy work properly. Corporate psychopaths and corruption in business.
What is a corporate psychopath?
How I was recruited by SNC from the U.K., followed by wrongful dismissal after only 15 weeks, denial of Unemployment Insurance benefits, illegal dismissal lawsuit culminating with seizure of SNC s bank account for refusal to pay in accordance with the Court order, at the time they were taking over their main rival Lavalin Inc.
■ Recruited by SNC from the U.K. in 1981, starting with a newspaper advertisement by them in U.K. newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.
■ Job offer appeared to promise employment for at least 2 years.
■ Dismissed (July 6th 1982) 15 weeks after commencing work for them in Montreal, Quebec (April 1, 1982; arrived from the U.K. the previous day)
■ 2 months later, informed I was not entitled to Unemployment Insurance benefits because as a - quote - new entrant – unquote - to the Canadian labour force I had to have a minimum of 20 weeks insurable employment to qualify.
■ Never told about this 20-week rule at any time beforehand, by anybody.
■ No alternative work available, applied to hundreds of companies. Considered returning to the U.K. right from the start but considered this an unattractive prospect on account of the prevailing general attitude there, at the time, towards professional engineers, low pay, poor social status and professional frustration previously encountered.
■ In late 1982 found out by chance that SNC had given some compensation to at least two people brought from the U.K., like myself, in addition to the four weeks initial compensation in lieu of notice. These people, as opposed to myself, had both worked long enough to get Unemployment Insurance benefits. I attempted, unsuccessfully, to negotiate satisfactory compensation from SNC without going to court.
■ For this and other reasons, initiated claim for compensation through Quebec Superior Court in early 1983.
■ In February 1987, Mr. A.J. Fisher – Service Officer of 306 Wing, Royal Canadian Air Force Association – wrote on my behalf to Jean Paul Gourdeau, then-President and C.E.O. of SNC, as the first step in an effort to negotiate a satisfactory out-of-court settlement. This resulted in SNC's lawyers agreeing to meet with my lawyer in April 1987 but I myself was not allowed to participate in the meeting. SNC’s lawyers exploited the situation to waste time and there was no settlement. This took place after SNC had itself written up in – quote - The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Canada – unquote - (published in March 1986), then exploiting this in a ploy to recruit employees, and after SNC and Jean-Paul Gourdeau had got themselves favourable publicity through their involvement with Centraide’s 1985 fund-raising campaign
(Centraide is the Quebec branch of The United Way, a charitable fund-raising organization known throughout North America)
■ Court case finished only in 1991, due to time wasting and delaying tactics by SNC's defence lawyers in Montreal, Quebec – Dunton, Rainville, Toupin and Perrault - involving possible criminal or quasi-criminal behaviour under Section 139 of the federal Criminal Code – wilful attempts to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice. This happened on at least 5 occasions - typically involving a last-minute request by them for an additional delay just before a scheduled court appearance, games of telephone tag to waste my lawyer s time, submission of irrelevant documents, a request to question me directly which they suddenly cancelled at the last minute, etc. Their plan was clearly to try to force up my own legal bills and add to my other problems, for the purpose of forcing me to drop the case and defeat the course of justice. In fact I complained to the Quebec Bar Association about the law firm’s conduct; initially they took it seriously and looked at the Court Record (Plumitif Civil) but then did nothing because the Court Record actually did not show the behaviours that were the causes of the events that the Court Record shows.
■ SNC and their lawyers exploited a dangerous Quebec Court of Appeal judgement against SNC, concerning Dr. Michael Stanley Short, to try to prevent my case being heard and for the purpose of seeing that I was awarded minimal compensation ($10,000 - as compared with the $98,500 plus interest and costs claimed). This Quebec Court of Appeal judgement was dangerous and inappropriate on the grounds that it implied that Short, and hence myself, should have assumed responsibility for the risks and hazards of changing employment and immigrating to Canada – when SNC were publicly portraying themselves as one of - quote - The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Canada – unquote - and portraying themselves as concerned to alleviate poverty through helping charities and having two of their Presidents / C.E.O. s – Jean-Paul Gourdeau and Guy Saint-Pierre – co-chair Centraide s fund-raising campaigns in 1985 and 1991 respectively.
■ SNC failed to pay the $10,000 I was awarded in Quebec Superior Court ( in May 1991), within the 30 days allowed. Therefore, my lawyers seized an entire floor of office furniture at SNC s downtown Montreal H.Q. This furniture was then sold. SNC still refused to pay, so then their Royal Bank account was seized. At the time, SNC President and C.E.O. Guy Saint-Pierre was also a Director of the Royal Bank and was still kept on by Royal Bank President and C.E.O. Allan R. Taylor , in spite of being told by me what was going on. Taylor s successor at the Royal Bank, John E. Cleghorn , was also told by me what was going on but responded by referring my complaint to the bank s lawyers, doing nothing and then telling me to stop corresponding with him. Guy Saint-Pierre since left SNC to spend some time as Chairman of the Board of the Royal Bank, whilst John Cleghorn appeared to do a swap with Guy Saint-Pierre after a period as a Director of SNC (which became SNC-Lavalin Inc.). and became Chairman of the Board of SNC-Lavalin Inc..
■ In addition to this, SNC s defence lawyers said at my court hearing that they worked exclusively for SNC. After the Royal Bank account seizure referred to above, I issued a demand to Guy Saint-Pierre directly for additional compensation, OUT OF COURT, on account of the questionable behaviour already described. He then fired the law firm – Dunton, Rainville, Toupin and Perrault – which thus suddenly found itself with no income, yet in the winter 1991 edition of the periodical Le Monde Juridique they were said to employ 30 lawyers. One really must ask (a) why this law firm was allowed to remain in business, and (b) why certain of its members were allowed to continue practising law. Unfortunately, Quebec seems to me to believe in protecting its lawyers, judiciary corrupt business leaders and corrupt politicians at everybody else s expense.
■ In this position just referred to, John
Cleghorn, by virtue of his inaction concerning questionable behaviour by Guy Saint-Pierre at my expense, is
currently in a position to impart questionable management practices to SNC-Lavalin Inc concerning employees and may
have already done so. In any case, it would appear – from my experience of
dealing with him and Guy Saint-Pierre – that both of them make certain
■ Whilst the office furniture seizure, bank account seizure etc. was all going on in 1991 (described above), their main rival – Lavalin Inc. – had got into trouble. SNC were in the process of taking over Lavalin Inc. , which partly involved SNC paying a reported $90 million for Lavalin Inc s assets which had been seized by a consortium of 9 banks. The office of then-Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa was also involved; I lodged a written complaint to his office about SNC but they would not do anything based on the pretence that it was all a legal matter - so therefore, only the courts could do anything, when from my perspective it was already obvious that this was an inadequate approach with respect to the questionable behaviours being discussed here.
■ I also contacted a reputable – so I was told – Montreal Gazette investigative reporter, at the time (August 1991).His name was Bill Marsden. But in response to my initial contact with him, all he would say was – quote - ….oh, we are doing something else with SNC…- unquote. In other words, no interest whatsoever. At the time, this newspaper was continually reporting – every few days – on the progress of Lavalin Inc.s so-called rescue and take-over by SNC.
The public image that SNC projected as good employers, concerned to - quote - …alleviate poverty…- unquote - through contributions to charities. SNC as one of - quote - ’The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Canada - unquote. And that was not all.
■ In 1985, SNC s then-President and C.E.O. Jean-Paul Gourdeau co-chaired the 1985 Centraide fund-raising campaign and got his picture in the Montreal Gazette when his co-chairmanship was announced, along with the 1985 fund raising target of $17 million. He got more publicity later, when the campaign concluded with the target of $17 million being exceeded.
(Reminder - Centraide is the Montreal, Quebec branch of The United Way, a charitable fund-raising organization known throughout North America)
■ SNC had themselves written up in the first edition of - quote - The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Canada – unquote, a book published in 1986. Soon after that, they exploited this on at least two occasions in recruiting advertisements in the Montreal Gazette newspaper. At the same time, SNC themselves chose the people who were to be interviewed by the authors of the book, a sampling method which SNC could have exploited to select people who could be persuaded to generate impressions favourable to SNC. At the time, SNC s President and C.E.O. was Jean Paul Gourdeau
■ In 1991, Guy Saint-Pierre co-chaired Centraide s 1991 fund-raising campaign, and then exploited this and the results of the campaign to boost his own image and that of SNC in SNC’s 1991 Annual Report, specifically in the ‘’Report to Shareholders’’ section. This took place after he allowed SNC’s Royal Bank account to be seized for non-payment of my Court judgement.
■ In 1991, at the time my lawyers seized SNC’s office furniture and Royal Bank account, SNC took over rival Lavalin Inc. and paid a reported $90 million to purchase Lavalin Inc s assets which had been seized by a consortium of 9 banks.
■ Between 1993 and 1994 they were involved, along with the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, in researching and producing a report - From Potential to Propsperity… - aimed at solving unemployment and human resources-related problems in the industry, whilst totally ignoring a similar proposal from me which was part of a formula for an out-of court settlement between me and SNC on account of the questionable behaviours exposed on this site. The questionable behaviours exposed on this site could not be included in my wrongful dismissal suit, which was a civil suit; if the said questionable behaviours were to be brought before a court of law, there would have had to be a criminal case for which I had no funding to pursue.
■ Guy Saint-Pierre was then elected to the Order of Canada in 1992 even after I complained about the questionable behaviours reported and documented on this site.
■ Both Jean-Paul Gourdeau and Guy Saint-Pierre managed SNC in a questionable manner with respect to shareholders, specifically by using the internal management system in SNC to select employee shareholders, allocating employee shareholders 15 votes each compared to only 1 for non-employee shareholders. This led to complaints when dismissed employees found their influence at shareholder meetings suddenly reduced by a factor of 15.
■ Guy Saint-Pierre, an engineer from SNC, seemingly gave a job to John E. Cleghorn – a banker from the Royal Bank – whilst John E. Cleghorn, the banker, seemingly gave a job to Guy Saint-Pierre, the engineer. It seems that in Canada, contacts and political influence are everything, whilst Canadian employers of engineers routinely refuse to employ foreign-trained engineers including some from the U.K.
■ AND AS INDICATED ABOVE, THAT WAS BY NO MEANS ALL. CAN’T ANYBODY DO ANYTHING TO EXPOSE THIS AND STOP THE CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE GOING ON BEHNID THE SCENES? TRY TELLING PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER THAT NOTHING CAN BE DONE - WHEN HE OBJECTS TO THE DEFEATISTS AND DEFEATISM IN CANADA.
The trouble with Quebec – pre-occupation with protecting the careers of dubious lawyers, corrupt politicians, pre-occupation with issues connected with language and separatism (all good stuff for lawyers and politicians to chew on). Dangerous Court judgements which in turn become dangerous precedents to be exploited by dubious lawyers at the expense of working immigrants. Insufficient attention to making the economy work properly. Corporate psychopaths and corruption in business. What is a corporate psychopath?
■ After what I have said above, all of which is amply supported by the documentation on this site, I should not have to repeat any details of how these factors were present in the context of my personal dealings with the people involved, and how they manifested themselves in other ways. For instance, how Guy Saint-Pierre was awarded the Order of Canada and posed in public as someone concerned that SNC should – quote - ….do its bit to alleviate poverty….- unquote - through his involvement with the Centraide charitable fund-raising organization – whilst, at the same time, he employs dubious lawyers who were so stupid as to allow SNC s Royal Bank account to be seized for refusal to pay the Court judgement in my wrongful dismissal suit, at the time in 1991 when SNC were in the middle of taking over Lavalin Inc. and buying their assets.
■ Any notion that this type of behaviour should be considered acceptable must be rejected out of hand. This newspaper article is quite clear as to why. Readers should now see, beyond doubt, the need for action to expunge the corruption at SNC, SNC-Lavalin and their associates, which is detailed and documented on this site.