Burnaby mayor concerned about possible SNC-Lavalin involvement in new Pattullo Bridge project

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley says he will be keeping an eye on former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testimony on Wednesday because he’s worried about SNC-Lavalin being shortlisted to build the new Pattullo Bridge.

“I will be watching closely because I’m sure that will come up again in our discussions with the mayors,” he said.

An order-in-council was recently published lifting restrictions on the former minister and anyone she talked to about negotiating a remediation agreement with the Quebec engineering giant rather than pursuing criminal prosecution for bribery and fraud.

This means Wilson-Raybould will be able to speak relatively freely in her testimony on Wednesday. She has yet to confirm or deny allegations the prime minister pressured her to cut a deal with SNC-Lavalin.

“If the allegations are anywhere close to being true, then I would have grave concerns about this company being involved in such mega-projects,” he says. “The Pattullo Bridge is one, but I’m sure any new SkyTrain line, I’m sure their name would be in for that, as well. They’re usually one of the primary bidders.”

SNC-Lavalin is part of one of the three consortiums the provincial government has short-listed to build the replacement for the Pattullo Bridge.

He says other Metro Vancouver mayors are also worried about the Quebec-based company possibly facing criminal prosecution for corruption and bribery.

If SNC-Lavalin is convicted of those charges, it may not be able to bid on government contracts.

Hurley adds it could be a while before a final decision is made on the winning bid to build the new bridge linking New Westminster with Surrey, but he’s expecting these concerns to be raised again at an upcoming mayors’ council meeting.

With files from Cormac MacSweeney and the Canadian Press.

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