Confidential documents sent to the Liberal Party of Canada in 2016, and the resulting CBC / Radio-Canada, shows how the higher officials of the embattled SNC-Lavalin engineering firm have been named in the scheme illegally influence the Canadian election.
A list of names drawn up by the 2016 federal investigators probing political party donations and leaked to the CBC-x The fifth Estate and Radio Canada Enquête, Raises new questions about the agreement of the Commissioner of Canada Election not to prosecute the company.
The federal Liberals were sent a list in a letter marked "confidential" with the Commissioner of Canada Election – The Investigation Division of Elections Canada – August 5, 2016, however, for almost three years, no elections, no Liberal Party of Canada split that information publicly.
Research shows that for more than five years, in the period between 2004 and 2009, 18 former employees of SNC-Lavalin, the director and some of his wife contributed nearly $ 110,000 to the federal Liberal, including four party leadership companies and four associations riding in Quebec.
According to the letter, the investigation established that SNC-Lavalin covered all of these individual donations – of the prohibition, in accordance with the Law on Elections Canada.
SNC and indirect contributions of the Conservative Party just over $ 8,000, according to the investigation.
Since 2004, the corporation was not allowed to make donations to federal political parties in order to prevent corporate influence on election campaigns.
"Money is a huge advantage in the election campaign," said Jeff Ayotte, a lawyer with experience in the Canadian electoral law.
"I do not know the intention of SNC-Lavalin, but it certainly is huge benefit for the candidates."
Illegal operation SNC-Lavalin has gone unnoticed for nearly a decade. Despite the evidence gathered by investigators, the election commissioner of Canada decided not to press charges against the company, which is a & # 39 is headquartered in Montreal, but operates worldwide.
"We know that the decision to take part in this scheme have been at the highest level of SNC-Lavalin,» said Ayotte. ' "[It] apparently, all this tells me that there had to be prosecuted. "
Only charged 1 SNC executive
SNC-Lavalin to avoid prosecution by signing what is known as a "compliance agreement" in 2016 with the Canadian Commissioner of elections, promising not to break the law in the future.
This was not the case for conservative Peterborough MP Dean DelMastroWho was charged with the commission of more than $ 21,000 in violation of the costs in 2008 federal election and was granted Ayotte in his 2014 trial.
"One would think that the more serious & # 39; ozna, more informed, more long-term, more complex schemes involving more money and more and more candidates for the elections will be prosecuted," said Ayotte.
"But just the opposite has happened."
Ayotte said the agreement pursuant actually reduced to SNC-Lavalin resolve the hook. Only one official SNC-Lavalin was commissioned in the circuit.
Election Commissioner of Canada sent a letter to the Liberal Party in 2016 in order to have $ 110,000 in improper donations returned to the federal treasury.
The Liberal Party has repeatedly refused to give the names of those involved, answering journalists' questions on the CBC / Radio-Canada. The Conservative Party, which has received $ 8,187.73 in the same pattern, once presented his list of SNC-Lavalin names in CBC / Radio-Canada, when asked.
Both sides are covered with money overall receiver in August 2016.
Some of those whose names appeared on the list told The fifth Estate/Enquête that they were not involved in any illegal compensation scheme.
However, in his letter to the Liberal Party of Canada Election Commissioner said that all these donations listed were made indirectly, itself SNC-Lavalin. The Commissioner noted that the contribution of SNC-Lavalin has been "inappropriate" – this means that they have broken the law – and had to be returned.
SNC-Lavalin does not respond to calls from CBC / Radio-Canada. The current president of the company, Neil Bruce, who signed the agreement on compliance in 2016, stated in the contract that all the senior people involved in the scheme left the engineering firm in 2016.
"I have never acted as a straw donor"
Leaked documents show that in the group that pays the Liberals Kathleen Weil, the wife of a former senior executive SNC-Lavalin Michael Novak. Weil, former Quebec Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec and sits a member of the National Assembly.
The list shows that 30 June 2004, four years before she was first elected to the Quebec National Assembly, Weil made a $ 5,000 donation to the federal Liberals, who have found the elections Commissioner of Canada was "compensated" for SNC-Lavalin.
The letter says, Weil made a contribution on the same day that nine other leaders of SNC-Lavalin or their spouses have made similar donations.
In a telephone conversation with the CBC / Radio Canada, Weil denies knowledge of the circuit.
"I would never, I never acted as a straw donor."
In an emailed statement, Weil said, "My contributions to political parties have always been made in good faith and on an individual basis without compensation or proceedings and without compensation or promise of compensation from anyone."
Weil's husband, Michael Novak, also strongly denied that he received bonuses to compensate him or his wife for their political donations.
The commissioner of Canada elections, said in a letter that Novak made three donations adding up to $ 5,672.91, for which he was compensated by SNC-Lavalin in 2004 and 2008.
In a telephone interview with & # 39; S, Nowak said he met with the investigators of the Commissioner in 2014, and that he told them that they were wrong.
"We have never been covered," said Nowak, CBC / Radio-Canada.
Nowak said he received numerous bonuses from SNC-Lavalin for many years, but as far as he knew, no one had been linked with his political donations. When the researchers found evidence of repayment of SNC-Lavalin in the form of bonuses, "it would have done without my knowledge," he said.
Novak noted that SNC-Lavalin companies actively encourage the official to make a donation, and even picking checks to deliver to the Liberal Party.
Novak insisted that there was "nothing vicious …" that the donation like this and that he did not know that there is illegal compensation circuit occurs.
Most managers in the list contacted by CBC / Radio-Canada has refused to be interviewed & # 39; S.
"We have received the award"
But two non-executive employees of SNC-Lavalin, who agreed to speak with The fifth Estate/Enquête about the scheme said that they would definitely say, their political contributions will be reimbursed in the form of bonuses by SNC-Lavalin.
One of them was Jean Lefebvre, who worked at the company as an engineer. Contacted at his home in Saint-Bruno, Que., Lefebvre said he specifically asked to donate to the Liberal Party.
"We have received the bonus, which was twice as much sacrifice," he said.
He explained that the size of the bonus was intended to compensate for taxes, it would have to pay for the bonus.
Lefebvre said he understood that the company's president at the time, Jacques Lamarre, the initiator of the scheme and the legal department at SNC-Lavalin has been signed.
"As a rule, our legal advisers will be informed about the practice that the President would like to put forward, which was supposed to help political parties to receive donations, despite the restrictions imposed on the company in relation to political donations," said Lefebvre.
Despite Canada's Commissioner of elections findings, only one person has been charged. Normand Morin, former Vice President SNC, was charged in May 2018. In November last year, he pleaded guilty to violating two points of the electoral law in Canada "acting in collusion with SNC-Lavalin some high-ranking officials' contributions and extortion" by the name of the federal political entities ".
He was fined $ 2,000 .. Three other charges were dropped.
This guilty plea to avoid a trial, which may be subject to more detailed information on the scheme, SNC-Lavalin.
In a telephone interview with & # 39; w, Morin said he did not know why he was the only one who is responsible. "It's a mystery to me," he said.
Moraine refused to name their contacts at the federal Liberal Party.
"It was a lot of people," he said. "You must seek your investigation to the parties."
Titles including "mistakenly"
According to investigators with the Canadian Commissioner of elections, Pir Anktil former SNC-Lavalin vice-president, paid $ 4,462.88 to SNC-Lavalin as compensation for his donations to the Liberal Party of Canada June 30, 2004.
Reached at his home in Westmount, on the island of Montreal, Anctil denied that he was compensated by SNC-Lavalin for this donation.
When shown a copy of the letter from the Commissioner of Canada Elections to the Liberal Party of 18 names, Anctil said that his name was included a "mistake," and that it was never returned.
In the affidavit, in 2015, filed with the Charbonneau Commission, which had probed corruption in the construction industry in Quebec, Anctil said that he knew that the firm is working on a similar pattern of political donations to provincial level. He said he was initially reluctant to get involved, but went ahead after his boss, President of SNC-Lavalin, Jacques Lamarre, insisted.
Anctil said he was asked to ask the staff to make donations. Anctil said, while he was not yet received any of the awards in person, he said, other staff members, they will receive compensation from the SNC-Lavalin, as they have requested.
Lamarre said CBC / Radio-Canada has never been any illegal financing scheme occurs at SNC-Lavalin and Anctil and others are wrong.
- Send tips for this story to Harvey.Cashore@cbc.ca or call 416-526-4704
Marylynne Campbell, a former senior vice-president of SNC-Lavalin, which is a & # 39 is on the leaked list of names, also denied knowing about this scheme.
According to the Election Commissioner, Campbell made the wrong donation of $ 5,000 to the federal Liberal Party in 2005, and $ 5,000 in 2006 to the liberal leadership of Bob Rae. Campbell also donated $ 3,137.73 to the federal Conservative Party.
Reached by phone, Campbell said Morin had the "pressure" of her and others to make a donation to the Quebec and federal political parties. However, Campbell said she told investigators when they interviewed her & # 39; nd she had not received any compensation from the SNC-Lavalin.
All former employees of SNC-Lavalin and the couple mentioned in the list, who spoke The fifth Estate/Enquête They said that they had not contacted the Commissioner of Election Canada to inform them of their names on the document.
compliance with the agreement for "minor" violations
Ayotte said Canadians need to know more about why SNC-Lavalin won agreement under that avoided any criminal charges.
According to him, the decision to lay charges against Del Mastro – and his cousin David Del MASTRO, who was also charged in 2014 for the use of corporate money to compensate private election donations, but later was acquitted – but does not SNC-Lavalin may be double standards,
"Given the facts [the SNC-Lavalin] case, it seems, does not correspond to … the way in which elections are Canada have treated other people in similar situations, "said Ayotte.
According to a scientific paper written in 2005 year, David Brock, who would go on to become the chief electoral officer of the Northwest Territories, compliance agreement has not been approved for use in the suras & # 39; serious breaches of the electoral law in Canada.
"The main reason for the adoption of this new enforcement method was to provide an alternative to prosecution, and thus more effectively deal with the so-called" minor "violations of the electoral law of Canada," he wrote.
However, the law allows the Commissioner broad discretion as to when to offer an agreement on conformity or if the prosecution.
own recommendations to the Human Rights Commissioner on whether the prosecution of violations stated that investigators should consider how serious the & # 39; ozna crime was, whether it was part of a deliberate "circuit" or an isolated event, and will be prosecuted using the "maintenance of public confidence in the electoral system. "
Election Commissioner of Canada, Yves Côté, rejected the request for an interview with & # 39; S. His spokeswoman Michele Laliberte said Commissioner "conducted a thorough investigation, using all the tools that were available to him," It is said that the evidence supported before the & # 39;. Occurrence Morin charges and the reasons for such a decision to offer an agreement pursuant for SNC-Lavalin presented publicly on the website of the Ombudsman.
armchair income of the Liberal Party, Stephen Bronfman, did not return voice messages left by CBC / Radio-Canada. Party spokesman Braeden Caley wrote in a letter that "the Liberal Party of Canada fully complies with the Law on Elections Canada and all the rules of Elections Canada for fundraising and donations, and expects that all the people of our party donors do it legally and follow the same rules. "
Conservative party spokesman Cory Hann said that his party would "wait[s] people, the donors to the Conservative Party do so truthfully and in the Law on Elections to the letter of the law, in accordance with the norms and rules of elections in Canada, and ".
Donations to the Liberal Party of SNC employees, managers, spouses
Donations to the Conservative Party of Canada, SNC employees, managers