A publicly traded construction and engineering company with deep roots in B.C. has declared that fraud and corruption charges are "without merit".
SNC-Lavalin declared in a statement released today that it "will vigorously defend itself and plead not guilty".
This came after the Public Prosecution Service of Canada laid charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., SNC-Lavalin International Inc., and SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. in connection with alleged bribery of a Libyan official or officials.
"These charges do not affect the company’s right and ability to bid or work on any public or private projects," SNC-Lavalin stated. "The charges stem from the same alleged activities of former employees in Libya from over three years ago and that are publicly known."
In 2013, the Word Bank issued a statement saying it had "debarred" SNC-Lavalin Inc. and 100 affiliated companies for 10 years following "misconduct in relation to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project in Bangladesh, as well as misconduct under another Bank-financed project".
It came after a World Bank probe into "allegations of bribery schemes involving SNC-Lavalin Inc. and officials in Bangladesh".
According to the World Bank notification, SNC Lavalin Inc. is a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group and represents more than 60 percent of its business.
Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin is a major force in the B.C. economy.
Late last year, journalist Bob Mackin wrote a feature article in the Straight describing the extent of its activities over the years, including:
• Buying Kilborn Engineering in 1996 and B.C. Hydro's interest in a diesel power plant in Pakistan.
• Working on design refinement of Great Northern Way Station.
• Preparing a study that influenced the B.C. government to choose SkyTrain technology over light rail for the Millennium Line.
• Serving as a key partner with InTransitBC, which developed and operates the Canada Line.
• Leading the consortium developing the Evergreen Line.
• Being chosen by TransLink on contracts in connection with the Compass card and fare-gate program.
• Working on major B.C. Hydro and Columbia Power projects, including the Waneta Expansion Project and the John Hart Generating Station replacement.
• Doing engineering, design, and construction work on Metro Vancouver's Seymour-Capilano Filtration Project.
• Doing engineering services and property management in the development of cultural space in the CBC building on behalf of the City of Vancouver.