AltaLink’s Parent Company in More Hot Water
SNC-Lavalin, the Montreal-based construction giant that owns AltaLink and builds most of AltaLink’s electricity transmission infrastructure in Alberta, is facing strike action on July 9 by its nuclear engineers, scientists and technologists who have been without a contract since January 1, 2011 (Reuters). There has been a serious impasse between Candu Energy Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin, and its workers ever since the federal government sold off the commercial business of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to SNC-Lavalin in a deal that closed October 2011.
The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) says the Canadian nuclear industry’s future is threatened. Peter White, SPEA President, says, “Our senior engineers, who have years of experience and expertise are choosing to leave Candu Energy. This will have dire consequences for Canada’s nuclear industry” (StreetInsider.com). The company and its workers can apparently not agree on seniority rights, compensation and pensions. This could have significant impacts on those utilities like Ontario Power Generation, Bruce Power and Point Lepreau which continue to rely on CANDUs to supply electricity.
At the same time, the SPEA has asked the Canada Revenue Agency and the Ontario Ministry of Finance to investigate alleged inappropriate use of contractors at SNC’s Candu Energy to avoid paying taxes and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums (Marketwire).
Regarding the SNC-Lavalin scandal in Bangladesh, 3 officials of the Bangladesh Bridges Division have been interrogated by the Bangladesh Anti-Corruption Commission in connection with alleged irregularities in appointing SNC-Lavalin as the consultant for the Padma Bridge project (The Daily Star). The officials were asked about frequent secret meetings at the Bridges Division office regarding the appointment of SNC-Lavalin. The interrogation of 3 other officials will apparently take place soon. These most recent actions are in addition to a World Bank and Canadian RCMP investigation into alleged corruption in the bridge project.
See this link for more information on SNC-Lavalin and AltaLink.