Senator Carignan will leave his functions at Selection
Claude Carignan is considered by executives who worked with him within the giant of private residences for seniors as the real right arm of its president Réal Bouclin.
Conservative Senator Claude Carignan during an interview in Ottawa.
While the management of Groupe Sélection is playing its last cards in the Quebec Court of Appeal to retain control, Conservative Senator Claude Carignan, number two of the company, under pressure in the file, will leave its functions in a few weeks, learned Radio-Canada.
According to our information, Mr. Carignan made the announcement on Thursday morning. But he would like to continue working on current issues and would therefore not leave before the holidays.
Interpelled by Radio-Canada, before the publication of the article, the main interested party did not wish to say the precise moment of his departure. I am not leaving now and I will not comment, he stressed.
Since 2016, Mr. Carignan has been Senior Executive Vice-President, Strategies and Corporate Affairs of Groupe Sélection. On the website of the giant of private residences for seniors (RPA), he is designated as a key player in mobilizing, protecting and promoting the organization.
According to four former executives of the company consulted by Radio-Canada, Mr. Carignan is central within the Groupe Sélection, he signs important documents and is consulted for the orientations of the company.
He is the real right arm of Réal Bouclin [CEO of the company]. All the decisions, everything that is done in the company, Bouclin asks Claude Carignan to ratify it. Everything that happened took place with the endorsement and his signature, underlined one of them who requested anonymity during an interview with Radio-Canada.
In reaction to the article, Mr. Carignan said he completely disagreed with this last mention. This statement is completely false, inaccurate. Obviously, the person who said that has no idea of my exact role at Selection, he said in a telephone conversation.
He was an influencer who changed the company, another source pointed out.
He was there often, sometimes in the Senate. He was signing documents. But his expertise was not in real estate. It was not too clear, its added value, said a former leader.
“Many people never understood how Claude managed to become the validator. He had become in a way the Rasputin to Réal Bouclin [mystical character, adviser to Tsar Nicolas II].
—a former leader
Mr. Carignan was appointed to the Senate by former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2009 and served as Leader of the Government of the Senate. He is also a member of the Privy Council of Canada and was once mayor of Saint-Eustache.
It's a job two to three days a week on average, like the Senate, explained Mr. Carignan to the Journal de Montréal, a few days ago, underlining the flexibility of the schedules of the two positions. It was impossible to know his salary at Sélection, but as a senator, his remuneration is more than $164,000 annually.
This change in the management of Sélection comes at a time when several testimonials from former internal employees report major difficulties within the company, and have been for a long time.
The second I got there, I knew there were problems. I left because I was extremely uncomfortable, underlined an ex-executive, well aware of the files.
I was convinced that we were going to save the ship, I did everything I could. But as we say in English: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink,” he continued. /p>
Another leader also left the ship because of his disagreement with the decisions taken and evokes an unhealthy climate. I made the same assessment as the other seniors who left before and after me. There were management issues at the top. The fish always smells of the head.
Another source says that the company was already short of cash to start its projects and that the financial problems had existed for at least five years. We made purchases without having the money. I couldn't put myself in a position to sell something that didn't exist.
We took one credit card to pay the other credit card. The situation was not very solid at the start, the cash flow was tight, told us this former executive.
For several months, several subcontractors and suppliers have not been paid, a situation that has worsened in recent months. There were 118 million payable and he was acquiring land. It funded its growth on the backs of contractors and suppliers, a source points out.
However, Groupe Sélection management has a completely different version of the facts. In an open letter, the group's founder Réal Bouclin pointed out that it is macroeconomic factors related to inflation and the rise in interest rates in recent months, in addition to the impacts of the pandemic that would have pushed the company towards insolvency.
Asked to comment, Selection Group said it is focusing its efforts on the legal process of arrangements with creditors. Out of respect for the process, we will not be commenting on these topics at this time, said company spokesperson Claude-André Mayrand.
Selection Group, RPA giant in Quebec, filed for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) on November 14.
The case ended up in court last week, and the Superior Court of Quebec ruled in favor of the company's lenders who want to control the restructuring and who are claiming an amount of $272 million.
Selection Group is now applying to the Court of Appeal to overturn the decision and wants the process to be led by its controller, TFI, and Yannick Blanchard as head of restructuring.
La Presse reported that the Quebec Court of Appeal has reserved the request for leave to appeal from Sélection, which loses approximately 7 million per month.