SNC enjoys profitable no-bid contracts at Site C. Oil and gas executive Gwyn Morgan was SNC-Lavalin’s Chair when Site C was first being planned, and was very close to both BC Liberal premiers Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark, becoming the latter’s senior advisor. SNC-Lavalin was a major donor to the BC Liberal party at the time. Please read The secretive role of SNC-Lavalin in the Site C dam by Sarah Cox, author of Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand against Big Hydro (UBC Press).

The Long Answer

While SNC-Lavalin is not the main Site C contractor, it was one of the first two at Site C, providing early engineering design services. When Premier Gordon Campbell first began to talk about Site C, SNC was a major donor to the BC Liberal party and its Chair was Gwyn Morgan, a close friend and advisor to the premier. Did Morgan convince Campbell to resuscitate the oft-rejected, long-shelved dam project? 2008-2009 was also the height of SNC-Lavalin’s international bribery activities, for which it was finally banned by the World Bank in 2013 thereby losing significant global contracts. Whether the company saw this ban coming when the idea to resuscitate Site C was hatched or not, SNC wanted lucrative public projects at home in Canada. When Gordon Campbell stepped down in 2011, Morgan became senior advisor to new premier Christy Clark. To this day, SNC enjoys profitable no-bid contracts at Site C.

Note that other engineering and construction corporations working at Site C have also been charged with corruption. Both Acciona and Samsung, who together form Peace River Hydro Partners, have a history of corruption. Like SNC-Lavalin, Acciona was banned from projects by the World Bank.