Monday, April 30, 2012


There is an old political axiom, keep throwing crap, something is bound to stick.

Far be it from to defend the reputation of Premier Dunderdale, Nalcor, Jerome Kennedy or SNC Lavalin, but today's questions in the House of Assembly regarding the company chosen to oversee the engineering and construction of the first phase of the Lower Churchill hydro project were a pathetic partisan attempt to connect Nalcor/Premier with corruption corruption investigations in North Africa.

SNC Lavalin has done some great work in this province. The Montreal company has employed hundreds of people in this province. High paying, specialized employment.  Newfoundland and Labrador is not some third world dictatorship like Libya. We have our challenges with democracy, but the level of official corruption that certain officials at SNC have been caught up in could never occur here.

Nalcor engaged in a competitive Expression of Interest and Request for Proposal process before selecting SNC-Lavalin. It is not as the conspiracy theorists would suggest.

Only a few companies in the Canada, let a lone the world, have the world-class engineering, procurement and construction management experience required for a project of this magnitude. SNC-Lavalin is one of them.

SNC-Lavalin is certainly enduring a very difficult time with allegations of bribery, money laundering, fraud, and conspiring to smuggle  Col Muammar Gaddafi's son out of Libya. The companies reputation has been sullied devaluing it's stock and making it a takeover target. Even if the company were to be taken over, the people overseeing the Lower Churchill would remain the same.

Those problems have nothing to do with the Lower Churchill project. To suggest otherwise is an insult to the reputation of the highly qualified and skilled Newfoundlanders and Labradorian's who work for the company.

It remains a strong, profitable company that is entrusted around the world because of its ability to complete large projects.

The connect the dots exercise is all for sport in the hope that at some point something will stick. One should be careful when throwing stones and living in a glass house.


Anonymous said...

May the heavens protect us from professional reputations or work history of businesses which may be considered too large to question their business operations.

I am at a loss to know why you are so upset with this

I applaud the Opposition's questioning of any possible connections between SNC Lavelin officials tied up in this mess and the Province and or Nalcor.

There is no reason for concern from those with nothing to hide. I would be more upset if the questions were not asked.

The opposition is doing its job. Asking questions! Even uncomfortable lines of questions.

Keep it up.

Peter L. Whittle said...

I just think it is attempt to try and find something that sticks. great politics if you like that sort of thing.

I gather the minister felt that way at some point and asked similar questions to Nalcor.

These people working on this project are mostly local people that worked for local firms that SNC bought-up over the past decade.

NL is not North Africa. We do not do business like that. In some parts of the work, bribing officials is how things get done. It does not make it right, but we are long past those days in this province, I hope.

Anonymous said...

The questions the Opposition Leader is asking is proof not only in this instance but in others he does not have a clue about the subject he is questioning. Noticed on several occasions it is frustrating for the person to answer. Looks like he is reading questions written for him. Needless to say he is not cutting the mustard.

Peter L. Whittle said...

The pertinent question that I think needs to be asked to the Minister is if the scandal that has helped chop 27 percent of SNC-Lavalin’s market value this year, to C$5.61 billion ($5.68 billion) today, will have an impact on the company's ability to deliver on the Lower Churchill project, and if so, what is the government's back-up plan?

Anonymous said...

The questions the Opposition Leader are asking are not in the least related to local employees who worked for local companies.

Where did you get that information...they are mostly local from local firms SNC bought up over up over the years?

I have met many of these employees of the local SNC operations and believe me they are not local.

SNC is receiving tens of millions of my dollars. An assurance all is above board from a company official is not worth the air it is breathed on. These assurances have been made repeatedly by SNC over the duration of the matter which has been ongoing for months now. The denials started when the arrest warrants were issue.

I want to know that all is above Board in this contract and that no tax payers money has found it to a Swiss or other bank illegally. If it takes uncomfortable questions then so be it. Let it happen. This is too important to be ignored because some feelings may be hurt.

The Leader of the Oppostion is definitely cutting the mustard on it. If not cutting it then definitely spreading.

This may not go anywhere. I hope it does not and I hope SNC is completely above board in its dealings with Nalcor and the Province. However, it is too important to ignore. The questions are legitimate and desireable. Keep them coming.

Peter L. Whittle said...

SNC purchased a number of local engineering and consulting companies in this province, folding them into their operations as subsidiaries, maintaining local expertise and staff. A couple that come to mind are BAE Newplan Group Ltd & Spectrol Energy Services Inc, but do not let the facts get in the way.

The issue to me is can the company continue to perform as per it's contracted obligations while it continues to battle a significant devaluation. That line of question makes a lot more sense to me and aims to protect our investment and ensure value for it.

You have met with many of the officials, sounds like you have an axe to grind, perhaps you declare your identity instead of hiding behind anonymity.

All I am saying is the opposition took the throw some shit approach as opposed to asking substantial questions about the companies ability to live up to it's commitments.

Anonymous said...

Spectrol Energy Services Inc, was that not one of Danny Billions companies? The plot thickens!