It is not just the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa who are embroiled in controversy over SNC-Lavalin.
Provincial New Democrats are now taking aim at the provincial government over SNC-Lavalin’s latest contract: running Saskatchewan Hospital.
SNC-Lavalin was selected as facility manager for the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford public-private partnership in January by Graham Capital Partners. The company was selected after the previous P3 partner Carillion went bankrupt.
On Monday morning, the NDP caucus issued a statement “calling into question the long-standing relationship that the Saskatchewan Party has had with the troubled company and renewing its call for campaign finance reform in the province.”
“We are calling for a moratorium on any further deals with SNC-Lavalin until a full review has taken place,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili in the news release.
Meili particularly took aim at SNC-Lavalin for political donations to the Sask. Party.
“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 Meili.
Meili added SNC-Lavalin made political donations for 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,” he said.
“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?”
The NDP also stated the province had been “burnt previously” in a multimillion-dollar dispute with SNC-Lavalin over the BD3 Carbon Capture project in which SaskPower had contracted with the company.
“The Sask. Party like to pretend they’re players, but they keep getting played,” Meili said.