Simon Thibault was the main director for the financial arm of battery development and worked in the industry for 10 years.
GM is about to open a new battery facility in Bécancour, for which it hopes to receive public funding.
This brings up ethical questions.
The former director of battery development at Investissements Québec (IQ) will soon move to General Motors.
This announcement has not yet been confirmed, but Simon Thibault indicates on his LinkedIn account that he will have a “new role to play” and everything seems to indicate that this role will be at GM.
The automaker is preparing to make a comeback in Quebec after the closure of the Sainte-Thérèse plant in 2002 by establishing a new battery factory for EVs in Bécancour.
This project, conducted in conjunction with Posco, will require an investment of $500 million and the company expects to receive federal and provincial subsidies.
It is this element that raises ethical questions about Mr. Thibault’s move from the public to the private sector.
Indeed, many experts are wondering how the former director of the provincial program will be able to help GM while respecting the code of ethics.
According to the agreements signed with Investissements Québec, Mr. Thibault cannot divulge any strategic information he obtained during his time in the government sector, nor can he advise his new employer based on information that is not accessible to the public.
Some people think that GM hopes to have access to confidential information on its competitors in the battery sector in Quebec, but the former director says that he intends to respect the code of ethics, the rules of which he was reminded of when he left.
The public investments that General Motors could benefit from for its plant are part of a provincial program to diversify Quebec’s economy and make it a major player in the automotive industry thanks to its raw material resources.
More information on Mr. Thibault’s new role at GM and further details on the public financing of the new plant may be revealed soon.
Source : Radio-Canada