CBC News reports that a publicly-funded agency provided loans to engineering firm SNC-Lavalin that may have used by the firm to pay bribes. Export Development Canada (EDC) is a government agency that provides financing and insurance to Canadian companies that operate in foreign countries.
SNC-Lavalin has benefited from millions of dollars of help from EDC for large engineering projects around the world.
EDC denies it had any knowledge that its loans may have been used improperly but it has hired legal counsel to review the issue, reports CBC.
Political drama does not abate
The issue of SNC-Lavalin and whether it should be prosecuted for alleged fraud and bribery in Libya has rocked Canadian politics in recent months. In early February 2019, a newspaper revealed that Canada’s attorney-general felt she was improperly pressured to drop the charges in favour of negotiating a remediation agreement with the firm. The case has led to the resignation of two cabinet ministers and the prime minister’s principal secretary and the retirement of the head of Canada’s civil service.
EDC news likely to add fuel to the fire
High political drama has made news headlines daily. If some Canadians did not closely follow the original issue of alleged political interference with the judiciary, they may pay more attention to allegations their tax dollars may have been spent by a huge company to pay bribes. This may feed the fury against the rich which is rampaging through the western world.
Canada’s prime minister and his aides have not had much luck putting the SNC-Lavalin issue to bed. With an election coming in October 2019 the opposition parties have worked hard to keep it alive and to do as much political damage as possible. They will no doubt continue to do so.
The prime minister and his Liberal Party had already suffered a decline in popularity before this latest news about the EDC financing.