Emma Griffin and Neil Bruce, the CEO of SNC Lavalin, sold their Montreal home on March 14th for more than $3.3 million. They have not purchased a new home, and Journal de Quebec is reporting that the deed of sale for their Westmount home states that “she will soon become a non-resident of Canada”.
It’s unclear if her move abroad is motivated by fear of criminal charges. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has had an open investigation into the firm since it was indicted by Swiss prosecutors in 2012.
Bruce, as far as we know, does not intend to leave the country. He has said publicly that he plans to remain in Montreal but is in no rush to purchase another home.
It was reported by TVA Nouvelles last month that Griffin was working as a non-executive director of Claridge Inc., the investment arm of Stephen Bronfman, the son of billionaire Charles Bronfman, an heir of the Seagrams liquor fortune. Bronfman is a Liberal treasurer and has been described as a close friend to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In response to that report, Trudeau publicly denied that his office ever discussed the SNC Lavalin case with Bronfman.
“Yes, she is on my advice,” Bronfman confirmed to Le Journal. “She is a very good businesswoman who provides considerable expertise.”
Though she has no presence on the investment firm’s website, her move abroad is not expected to affect her employment position with Bronfman.
Bronfman’s cousin, Sara Bronfman, is married to Basit Igtet.
In 2010 Igtet founded the Independent Libya Foundation (ILF), an organization focused on supporting the fledgling rebel movement, and upon its founding, the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC).
Spearheading the Bronfman financed campaign, Igtet lobbied for support from the international community to augment the process of recognition of the NTC as the sole legitimate governing body of Libya, following the assassination of Momahr Gaddafi in October of 2011.
Earlier that year, in March 2011, Igtet hosted General Abdul Fatah Younis, the former Interior Minister of Libya under the Gaddafi government. Younis would become the leader of the rebel armed forces shortly thereafter. Igtet facilitated dialogue between Younis and NATO during a critical time for the rebel movement — which ultimately benefited from a NATO-led military intervention in 2011 to “defend the Libyan people from Gaddafi forces”.
On November 19, 2011, Igtet organized an ILF delegation in Benghazi, Libya to present strategies for rebel re-integration. He aspired to become the leader of Libya.
SNC Lavalin was indicted by Swiss prosecutors related to their dealings with the Libyan government and now faces trial in Canada in the coming months. The firm is alleged to have spent more than $48 million on the widespread bribery of officials in the government of Gaddafi from 2001 to 2011.
That bribery included boats, cash payments, and prostitutes procured for his son, Saadi Gaddafi, while he visited the firm’s Montreal headquarters. In exchange, the firm secured billions of dollars in construction contracts from that government — including for oil and gas pipelines that the firm was to construct and operate.