SNC Lavalin Warns of Lower Profit

CBJ — SNC-Lavalin Group is warning that its profit will be even lower than originally thought due to problems with a mining project in Latin America.

The Montreal-based engineering giant has agreed to settle a dispute with its client for the mining project through an accelerated arbitration process.

However, the delay means the arbitration process won’t be completed in time to reflect the actual revenue in last year’s final figures.

SNC-Lavalin was in the news last week as well when the Globe and Mail reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office had pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution following alleged intense lobbying from the company.

Trudeau has denied that the minister “was ever directed by me or anyone in my office to take a decision in this matter.”

PC leader Andrew Scheer is demanding answers, saying there could be criminal wrongdoing. He has written directly to Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to waive solicitor-client privilege so former attorney general Wilson-Raybould can publicly talk about what happened with SNC-Lavalin.

“Solicitor-client privilege and the duty of confidentiality are important values in our legal system,” Scheer wrote. “But in the present situation, they must be subordinated to a higher value: the confidence of Canadians in the integrity, fairness and impartiality of our criminal justice system.”

Wilson-Raybould was demoted from her role as justice minister and attorney general last month. She has only stated that she is unable to comment because in her role as the government’s top lawyer, she was — and is — bound by solicitor-client privilege.