13 March 2019

There is a huge outcry on the media over deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) being applied to SNC-Lavalin. This was made worse when two ministers resigned because of Justin Trudeau’s intervention in applying DPA to SNC. DPA is a political issue and not a judicial one. So, it is well within Trudeau’s authority to pass DPA legislation. Judiciary will follow the law. It is not appropriate for the government to apply DPA on a case by case basis. This is not important.

The public anger was boosted when 2 ministers resigned because Trudeau’s office exerted pressure on the Canadian Public prosecutor to drop criminal proceedings against SNC in favour of a DPA. This is also not so important.

World Bank from time to time bans corrupt contractors from bidding for its projects. So far World Bank has black listed more than 250 companies. Out of this 117 are from Canada. SNC-Lavalin and its affiliates account for 115 of those in the black list.  This is disgrace. Financial Post reported.

United States comes second after Canada, with the greatest number of black listed companies. Canada has more than double the number of black listed companies than United States. More than 320 additional Canadian companies have partial World Bank sanctions. The largest chunk of those, too, are SNC-Lavalin. Other countries in the partial list are U.K., New Zealand, Poland, the U.S., Australia, Qatar, Denmark, Norway, Spain, India, France, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Romania, Turkey etc. Toronto Sun reported.

It is just this one company that makes Canada look like a corrupt country. This is why it should be banned. SNC concentrated mainly on World Bank and Canadian aid projects to poor countries. It inflated contract prices unconscionably. It was able to do so because it lined the pockets of those in power in the recipient countries. Because of the bribes, the beneficiary countries signed on the dotted lines without asking any questions. Besides because of the long-term nature of the loans they would leave it to their future generations to repay the loans while they enjoyed the benefits today. Thus, SNC was synonymous with corruption from the inception.

 If Canada wants to clean up its image, it would be good thing for it to let SNC sink. After all, how important is 9,000 job for the economy of Canada?