Many of you have probably noticed the recent spate of “AltaLink is awesome” ads. But the Globe and Mail just released a startling story which reveals deep links between AltaLink’s parent company SNC-Lavalin and the repressive and violent Gadhafi regime in Libya. Canadian soldiers fought and risked their lives to bring down this monstrous government, while SNC-Lavalin got rich by deepening their cooperation with Libya’s government and military.
You can read the full story here (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/snc-lavalin-developed-close-relationship-with-gadhafi-son-documents/article2302566/page1/). It appears that SNC-Lavalin worked with the Libyan government to develop a joint civilian-military engineering unit and to build a massive prison to house those Libyans who were unwilling to submit to the repeated denial of their basic freedoms. Here are a few highlights (or rather, low-lights) from the story:
-“Documents obtained by The Globe and Mail in Libya reveal that SNC met repeatedly with the North African leader’s notorious third son, Saadi Gadhafi, the two sides discussing a venture that would create a new board and also a logo that would fuse the green of the Libyan flag with the blue of SNC.”
-“For almost three years, from 2008 to 2010, Canada’s leading engineering company played a role developing the Libyan Corps of Engineers, a military and civilian unit that fell under Mr. Gadhafi’s personal supervision. In their discussions with Mr. Gadhafi, the Canadian firm described its services as a defence contractor, documents show, touting the experience of former military officers such as Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, former head of Canada’s navy.”
-“ “The Corps of Engineers must enter all scientific fields, because it’s an important weapon, and such units are considered in other countries of the world as an advanced weapon,” he (Gadhafi’s son Saadi) said, according to a four-page summary of the meeting. Building such an asset would require “the help of the Lavalin company,” he added.”
-“In a Nov. 4, 2008, proposal, Riadh Ben Aissa, an executive vice-president for SNC-Lavalin Group who has been responsible for ventures in countries such as Algeria, Tunisia and Venezuela, wrote a cover letter addressed to Saadi. The first sentence promises “state-of-the-art realization of major projects both of a military and civilian nature in Libya,” and the rest of the document continually emphasizes SNC’s role as a defence contractor: 37 of the 41 pages in the proposal contain the word “military,” as SNC touted its work on a long list of sensitive projects.”
For a company that has supported the military efforts of one of the most murderous governments ever (and one that recently fought a war with Canada), compromising the health of a few Albertans and forcing a school to close probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. Model citizen indeed!
For more on SNC-Lavalin, AltaLink and their questionable ties, see this link.