Canadian Manufacturing

SNC-Lavalin implicated in alleged kickback scheme with Federal Bridge Corp.

An investigative report alleges the infrastructure services company deposited the money in accounts belonging to the former Federal Bridge Corp. head between 2002 and 2004

MONTREAL—A Radio-Canada report says $1.5 million ended up in Swiss bank accounts of a former head of the Federal Bridge Corp. shortly after SNC-Lavalin was awarded a $127-million contract to refurbish a Montreal bridge.

But the report says Michel Fournier, the former FBC head, has denied involvment in any kickback scheme.

CBC’s French-language investigative program Enquete, says a commercial agency called Promotag deposited the money in accounts belonging to Fournier between 2002 and 2004.

Radio-Canada says Promotag is used regularly by SNC-Lavalin.

Radio-Canada says Fournier told the program he never had the accounts and that he never received a penny from SNC-Lavalin.

Fournier, who is in his early 60s, also denied getting any money from Promotag, saying he never took any kickbacks.

Radio-Canada said Fournier called them at a later date to say he did open a bank account by the name of Zorro. He said he opened it for his sister-in-law because she wanted to hide money from her new partner.

Radio-Canada said Fournier told them he didn’t know where the deposits in the account came from.

Radio-Canada said SNC-Lavalin did not offer any comment.

Fournier was appointed head of the Federal Bridge Corp. in 1998 by then-prime minister Jean Chretien.

He also served as Chretien’s chief of staff in 1990-91 when the future prime minister was Liberal Party leader.

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