Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government. On October 17 and November 7, 2018, Mr. Neil Bruce, CEO of SNC-Lavalin, met with Mr. David MacNaughton, Ambassador of Canada in Washington to discuss law enforcement and enforcement of justice issues. That was after the Director of Public Prosecutions refused SNC-Lavalin’s request for a deferred prosecution agreement.
Senator Harder, why would a Canadian ambassador be involved in decisions regarding law and enforcement of justice? Did Mr. Bruce meet with Ambassador MacNaughton as ambassador to Washington or as a well-connected Liberal with a long-standing friendship with Gerald Butts?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Again, I thank the honourable senator for the question. Let me say that Ambassador MacNaughton can speak for himself, but, of course, he is, as Ambassador of Canada to the United States, deeply interested in the well-being and interests of Canadian enterprise and workers who depend on the success of Canadian enterprise. It would not be inappropriate for him, given the nature and the spread of SNC-Lavalin’s global reach, for ambassadors in Washington or other jurisdictions to take, as they wish, appropriate meetings with the leadership of that company.
Senator Frum: Senator Harder, since we don’t know what was discussed at that meeting, do you think it would be reasonable that we should invite representatives of SNC-Lavalin to testify at the Senate Legal Committee as per the motion put forward by Senator Smith so that we can find out why they spoke to Ambassador MacNaughton about law enforcement issues?
Senator Harder: Again, I thank the honourable senator for the question. I will be happy to express in a broader intervention my views at the time that motion is debated.