Trudeau to meet labour leaders in Winnipeg

By Kelly Geraldine Malone   

Economy Industry Government Manufacturing budget labour manufacturing SNC-Lavalin Trudeau unions

In the shadow of SNC-Lavalin scandal as company walks back CEO's claim about lost jobs.

WINNIPEG — Justin Trudeau will be focusing on the training benefits in the recently released budget as he meets with labour leaders in Winnipeg today (March 26).

The prime minister arrived in the city March 25 and gave a speech at Liberal donor event about how this fall’s election is a choice about the kind of country Canadians want.

“We can look at the populism around the world, the politics of carefully chosen dog whistles – or in some cases megaphones, these days – the politics of divisions and attacks,” Trudeau said to the crowd of supporters. “Canadians might have a choice and pick that if they want to go with the Andrew Scheer and Stephen Harper approach to politics.”

Trudeau didn’t speak about the SNC-Lavalin controversy, but alluded to it by saying the Conservatives “have nothing to say about our budget.”


“They have nothing to say to propose as an economic plan to go up against ours, so they try to change the channel and play politics.”

Earlier in the day, SNC-Lavalin posted a statement on the company’s website 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 construction giant should be granted a remediation agreement.

The company now says an agreement to avoid criminal prosecution would be the best way to protect the jobs held by its employees in Canada.

Trudeau has repeatedly held up potential job losses as the main reason he and other top officials spoke with former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould. She resigned from cabinet last month and has suggested political considerations – not jobs – were behind the Prime Minister’s Office pressuring her to make an agreement.

Meanwhile, in Winnipeg this morning, Trudeau will get a tour of the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, along with Minister of International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr.

Then he will meet with the head of Richardson International Curt Vossen and CEO of Richardson’s parent company Hartley Richardson before visiting the Manitoba Federation of Labour in the afternoon.

China suspended canola imports from Richardson for what one Chinese official alleged was the detection of hazardous organisms in the company’s product, although there is wide speculation it’s retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei.


Stories continue below