Sunday, June 30, 2013

Buxo had nothing to do with selection of SNC Lavalin for Penal hospital project

Trinidad and Tobago's High commissioner to Canada, Philip Buxo, said on Saturday he was not involved in discussions with respect to the selection of the Canadian company, SNC Lavalin, for the first phase of the Penal hospital project.

The diplomat was responding to allegations made in Parliament by the opposition suggesting that he lobbied for SNC to get the contract.
Buxo is a former director of SNC Lavalin but since taking up his diplomatic appointment he has had no dealings with the company.

JYOTI has published the High Commissioner's statement below:
There is a vast amount of misinformation circulating in the local media about the proposed hospital in Penal, which is to be built through a government-to-government arrangement with the Canadian government. 

The High commissioner wishes to make it absolutely clear that he has had no influence in discussions with respect to the matter of SNC Lavalin working in Trinidad and Tobago.

In a release to local media in Trinidad and Tobago on Friday June 28th 2013, the President of the CCC, Mr. Marc Whittington stated: “SNC Lavalin approached CCC with an interest in this project. CCC assembled a Canadian team, including SNC Lavalin and financial institutions, to develop a comprehensive solution for a new hospital….the contract for this second phase has not been awarded.”

Mr. Whittington stated further, “No final decision has been taken on a Canadian supplier and any final contract must be mutually acceptable to both CCC and UDeCOTT.”

The High Commissioner was advised that these discussions were initiated in 2011 through the Canadian authorities in Port of Spain and involved only two Canadian companies that had expressed an interest in working in Trinidad and Tobago in the delivery of health care facilities.

The companies were Dessau and SNC Lavalin. Dessau had an interest in refurbishing the POS General Hospital. This left SNC Lavalin as the ONLY Canadian company that expressed an interest in building a hospital in Trinidad and Tobago from the ground up.

It was against this background that CCC engaged in discussions with SNC Lavalin and recommended the company for the first phase of the Penal hospital.

The High Commissioner has stated previously and wishes to reiterate that it is not proper to support or disenfranchise any company. He has kept an arms length relationship with all companies wishing to do business in Trinidad and Tobago, and this is especially so with SNC Lavalin because of his prior relationship with the company as director of the it’s CARICOM Energy and Infrastructure division.

The High Commissioner wishes to also state that there is no contradiction between this position and what he stated in an interview in 2011 with a Canadian publication in which he said his interest is in going directly to Canadian blue-chip companies to highlight the potential of Trinidad and Tobago as an ideal place for Canadian investment. Part of the responsibility of a Trinidad and Tobago diplomat is to market Trinidad and Tobago while keeping a professional distance.

The Canadians are conducting the necessary due diligence for Phase Two of the Penal hospital project before making any recommendation the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the proper thing to do is to let the process determine the merit of any Canadian proposal.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai