Canada-Libya Chamber of Commerce formed, SNC-Lavalin not invited
As revelations continue about SNC-Lavalin’s dealings around the world, a new group that is trying to encourage trade between Canada and Libya has singled out SNC-Lavalin as not welcome to be involved in their activities.
Sara Bronfman, the daughter of billionaire Edgar Bronfman Sr., is working with her Libyan fiancé to start a joint Canada-Libya Chamber of Commerce to help the country attract trade and develop its economy. Libya had been ruled by the oppressive Colonel Gadhafi for 40 years, but the people of Libya recently threw off the shackles of this autocratic government in a violent revolution.
Companies like SNC-Lavalin (the parent company of AltaLink) who profited significantly from their relationship with the Gadhafi family are finding it difficult to exist in the new Libya.
“Those companies that worked with Gadhafi and helped his cohort to get wealthy did so at the expense of the Libyan people, and I think they have a huge debt to pay to the Libyan people,” Ms. Bronfman said recently. “They won’t be invited. We’re very firm on that.”
The situation in Libya is very different from the situation in Alberta, but in both cases it appears that SNC-Lavalin used relationships with governing elites as a way of positioning themselves to receive big contracts. This happened even in cases where the things being built did not benefit people.
As SNC-Lavalin is learning in Libya, the down side of doing business by building relationships with governing elites is that sometimes those elites change, and people are naturally resentful of a company that profited significantly through close relationships with the ‘old regime’. With an election here in Alberta expected within the next week, change may be afoot here as well.
For the complete story about the new Canada-Libya Chamber of Commerce, click here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/bronfman-heir-launches-canada-libya-trade-initiative/article2372277/
For more on SNC-Lavalin, AltaLink and questionable ties, see this link.