Cabinet minister's riding may have received $25K from SNC-Lavalin execs
SNC-Lavalin executives involved in an illegal political slush fund for Quebec provincial parties may have conducted the same practice at the federal level, CTV News has learned.
Elections Canada records reveal that 10 top SNC-Lavalin managers and their wives wrote personal cheques in 2009 to two federal Conservative riding associations that showed little chance of winning.
A total of $25,000 was funnelled to the ridings of Laurier-Sainte-Marie and Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier.
Approximately $30,000 was then transferred out to Megantic-L’Erable, the riding of then-public works minister Christian Paradis, CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported Friday night.
Paradis, now minister of international development, was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Quebec lieutenant in charge of political patronage at the time.
Under the Canada Elections Act, corporations are prohibited from making political donations.
NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice suggested the records reveal a “scheme.”
“I think it’s a clear-cut case of breaking the rules,” Boulerice said.
In a statement on Friday, the Conservative Party said: “Neither Minister Paradis nor his riding association had any reason to believe these donations were anything other than the lawful, individual donations they were. It appears SNC deliberately concealed the alleged wrongdoing from the targets of their actions, including from Minister Paradis.”
Elections Canada records also show SNC-Lavalin managers also made donations worth $14,000 to the federal Liberal riding of Chambly Broduas.
CTV News asked SNC-Lavalin if the company had reimbursed the executives for their federal donations. SNC did not respond by deadline.
A top SNC-Lavalin executive has previously admitted to Quebec’s corruption inquiry, the Charbonneau Commission, that the company illegally donated more than $1 million to Quebec provincial parties.
Managers made personal donations and were reimbursed with salary bonuses.
The NDP told CTV News it will ask the Elections Canada commissioner to investigate whether federal election laws were broken.
With a report by CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife