Corporate profile highlights controversial record of multinational P3 giant

With allegations of fraud, money-laundering, and bribery in Canada and around the world, the scandals plaguing SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. have been well publicized. Yet municipal governments across Canada are still considering entering into public-private partnerships (P3s) with the controversial multinational corporation.

To help municipal councils and officials evaluate SNC-Lavalin as a potential partner, and to ensure concerned community members are fully aware of the company’s track record, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Polaris Institute are releasing a comprehensive profile of the company’s storied-history and performance record on P3 projects.

“SNC-Lavalin has a long history of troubling controversies, but is still courting public money with risky P3s across the country,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “It’s important that communities considering turning over valued public services know the track records of companies like SNC-Lavalin before entering into a P3.”

The profile of SNC-Lavalin is the first in a series, Public risks, private profits, developed jointly by CUPE and the Polaris Institute.

The series profiles key private water and wastewater services corporations in Canada’s P3 market. The profiles provide overviews of corporate structures and governance, lobby activity, past and present P3 contracts, and background on legal troubles or controversies.

The companies being profiled are diverse, ranging from international corporations to smaller Canadian based financers and contractors. The common thread is their desire to profit from public water and wastewater systems through P3s.

“One way of protecting publicly owned and operated water and wastewater services is to educate the public about the track records of the companies vying for P3 contracts,” says Richard Girard, executive director of the Polaris Institute. “This series will be an important tool for communities to challenge P3s.”

Given the success of recent efforts to oppose water and wastewater P3s in places like Abbotsford, Whistler, and Metro Vancouver B.C., and most recently Regina, public opposition is a key concern for the P3 industry. The Public risks, private profits series will give community members invaluable information to counter the well-funded marketing and promotion campaigns of companies looking to profit from P3s.

The next company to be profiled is international water corporation Veolia, with others such as Bilfinger Berger, Black and Veatch, and CH2M Hill to follow.

Profiles will be available at and