A year almost to the day after being shown the door VIA Rail, the ex-big boss Yves Desjardins-Siciliano has just been hired by Siemens, which built at a cost of $ 1 billion, the new trains of the State-owned company.
Appointed Wednesday, the ex-CEO of VIA Rail became chief executive officer in Canada for Siemens Mobility, who has won it has the 18-month contract record of 989 million $ with VIA Rail.
The subsidiary of the German group is responsible for the construction of 32 new trains for the Quebec city-Windsor corridor, the busiest in the country. The amount could even rise to $ 1.5 billion, because the contract contains options for the purchase of 16 train sets over the next few years.
“Thanks to its in-depth industry knowledge, Yves is well positioned to grow Siemens Mobility in Canada “, argued the chief executive officer of Siemens Mobility in North America, Marc Buncher.
Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano ” will strengthen the presence of Siemens Mobility in Canada, leading the team dedicated to the provision of transport solutions to canadian service providers “, such as VIA Rail, says the company in a press release.
A mandate is not renewed
The experienced manager comes into position just a year after the decision of the Trudeau government not to renew his mandate at the head of the company, a gesture rather rare.
As a year has passed since his departure from the federal institution, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano is in compliance with the law on conflict of interests. It requires a period of “buffer” of twelve months during which it is forbidden to accept employment in a firm with which one has had ” major reports “.
The office of the federal minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, the spokesman Amy Butcher said that it was “assured” that “all appropriate measures have been put in place in regards to this issue” at VIA Rail.
Return elevator ?
Anyway, a twelve-month period is “clearly insufficient” in such cases, said the spokesman of the Bloc Québécois in the field of Transport, Xavier Barsalou-Duval.
“It has all the air of a back elevator,” said the mp, who asked the auditor general of Canada to investigate this appointment.
“How is it that we have someone who, just a year and a half after having given a contract to a foreign company, gets, it, in turn, an important job with the same company ? It makes me uncomfortable. ”
VIA Rail is rather argued that Siemens has been selected in December 2018 ” after a tender process that is fair, open, rigorous, and transparent under the supervision of a supervisor in terms of equity and independent of the board of directors of VIA Rail “.
Siemens contradicts VIA Rail
In its exchanges with The Journal, the rail carrier contends, first, that his ex-boss would work in another division of the multinational, ” that is not in connection with the one who works on the projects of VIA Rail “.
Information, however, contradicted by Siemens Mobility, which states that it ” provides solutions for the canadian transportation sector for more than 40 years, including the cars of the train, which will be delivered VIA Rail from 2021 “.
“Yes, we will provide VIA trains “, confirmed a spokesperson of Siemens Mobility Canada. The trains themselves are being assembled in Sacramento, California.
The contract in brief
- A contract of 989 million dollars at Siemens Canada
- Construction of the 32 trains that will replace the fleet operated in the Quebec-Windsor corridor
- Delivery of the first cars : 2022
- Bombardier was also in the running, but his candidacy was rejected