NDP calls for scrutiny of Sask. Party’s relationship with SNC-Lavalin

With SNC-Lavalin embroiled in numerous scandals, the NDP is calling into question the long-standing relationship that the Sask. Party has had with the troubled company and renewing its call for campaign finance reform in the province.

“When we look at the history between the Sask. Party and SNC-Lavalin over the past decade, with nearly $10,000 in publicly disclosed donations going one way and three quarters of a billion dollars ($765,846,640) in contracts going the other, it’s enough to give the people of the province pause, especially when our political donations and conflict of interest rules are so lax,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We are calling for a moratorium on any further deals with SNC-Lavalin until a full review has taken place.”

“SNC-Lavalin gave money to the Sask. Party several years in a row, but we don’t know what lobbying went on during this period because the registry doesn’t go back beyond 2016, and because the government has shown no interest in fixing a loophole that allows some businesses to lobby politicians without leaving a record,” said Meili. “Has there been any influence beyond the donations that were publicly disclosed? And will the Sask. Party finally commit to bringing the province’s conflict of interest laws into the twenty-first century?”

On January 16 of this year, SNC-Lavalin announced they had been selected by the hospital’s contracted property developer, Graham Capital Partners, to be the facility manager for the publicly funded North Battleford P3 Hospital. The contract was awarded to the Montreal-based company despite the province being burnt previously in a multimillion-dollar dispute with the company over the BD3 Carbon Capture project that is currently in arbitration. Under then-Minister Bill Boyd, SaskPower had contracted SNC Lavalin to engineer, procure, and build the carbon capture facility, which was plagued with serious design issues.

Meili said it’s curious that SNC Lavalin has continued to receive Saskatchewan contracts after all the issues with their management of the CCS contract.

“The Sask. Party like to pretend they’re players, but they keep getting played,” Meili said. “Meanwhile, Saskatchewan people are the ones losing in these shady deals. We need to see the full picture, and that work needs to start now.”