SNC-Lavalin case brings public scrutiny to hundreds of millions in EDC loans

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 22 February 2019) Following reports that engineering giant SNC-Lavalin lobbied federal officials intensively in the lead-up to its criminal prosecution on corruption charges, public attention has been brought to the hundreds of millions in government loans the company has received in recent years. The Globe and Mail reported last week that Export Development Canada (EDC) has provided at least $800-million and as much as $1.7-billion in loans to SNC-Lavalin since 2011, when news broke that the firm was under investigation by the RCMP. Some of those loans were approved after the World Bank announced in 2013 that SNC-Lavalin was barred from bidding on its projects until 2023 due to corruption, and after criminal charges were laid in Canada. As we noted in our recent submission to the government urging stricter oversight of Export Development Canada, SNC-Lavalin is just one of several EDC clients to face corruption investigations, charges or sanctions in recent years. (Others include Bombardier, Kinross Gold and Brookfield.)