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Despite abuses, SNC-Lavalin continues to get Liberal contracts

But it appears no matter what it has done in the past, Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin is not exempt from still getting contracts from the Liberal government Ottawa.

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It has admitted buying prostitutes for Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s son, along with bribing him with close to a $50-million yacht.

It has admitted nine years of bid-rigging for contracts in Quebec and was fined $1.9 million.

Last December, SNC-Lavalin was also fined $280 million after it pleaded guilty to fraud in Quebec Provincial Court.

But it appears no matter what it has done in the past, Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin is not exempt from still getting contracts from the Liberal government Ottawa.

SNC-Lavalin has won more than $6.8 million in federal contracts, including a $12,986 one from Fisheries on the same day it acknowledged it committed fraud, according to Blacklock’s Reporter, an Ottawa-based political website.

And, SNC-Lavalin has been exempted from a list that stops government contracts going to companies implicated in controversy—the first company in the history of Canada to receive this distinction since the blacklist’s conception.

“Is it that if a company gets to be a certain size, the rules don’t apply to them anymore?” New Democrat MP Charlie Angus asked reporters in Ottawa.

“I put it to the government: Are they going to send a message to corporations that corruption will not be tolerated, or is it dismissed with a wink? They are guilty of staggering abuses. There is a policy in place. They should be banned. Is it only small businesses that get banned for 10 years?”

The SNC-Lavalin scandal came about becaused the prime minister pressured the attorney general so that the construction firm could have an easier ride.

Two cabinet ministers resigned and then were subsequently kicked out of caucus by Trudeau.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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CORY MORGAN WEBCAST: Wild goose hunt, Alberta style

An interview with Jason Siliker of Canadian Premier Hunts on the multiple times that the RCMP interrupted his goose hunt.

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B.C. Liberals vow to cancel PST for one year; return at 3 per cent

“Everybody pays the PST, so everybody saves under the B.C. Liberal plan,” said Andrew Wilkinson

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B.C. Liberals say, if elected, they will help the economy recover by removing the 7 per cent provincial sales tax for one year.

After a year, a Liberal government would set the PST at 3 per cent until the economy recovers.

The federal GST is currently 5 per cent.

“British Columbians have lost confidence in the direction of the province and the weak economic record of the NDP. B.C. families and small businesses need help now, which is why a B.C. Liberal government will immediately eliminate the PST for one year — saving you money right away, getting more people working, and bringing investment back to B.C.,” said B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson.

“Countless people are still out of work, small businesses are facing bankruptcy, and the public health threat from COVID-19 is still very real.

“Eliminating PST puts more money in people’s pockets, stimulates growth for struggling small business, and helps British Columbians who are struggling to get by. This is a vital step to rebuild our economy.”

The Liberals say a family of four earning $60,000 per parent will save $1,714 in the first year, followed by an additional $979 in the second year. 

“Everybody pays the PST, so everybody saves under the B.C. Liberal plan,” said Wilkinson.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the pledge.

“We pay the PST on everything from used cars to toilet paper so this would save everyone a lot of money,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the CTF.

“The best way to save people money is for governments to stop taking so much of it in the first place.

“We hope all of the parties can match or beat this promise so we can get serious about tax cuts during this election.”

In the 2019-20 budget year, British Columbians paid more than $7.5 billion in the PST.

“We need to do all we can to jolt our economy back to life and eliminating the PST would clear a lot of hurdles for working people and struggling businesses to get things rolling again,” said Sims.

“People know how to spend their money much better than the government does.”

B.C. residents go to the polls Oct. 24.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta on board with rail line from Alaska green-lit by Trump

“The Government of Alberta is glad to see to see the approval of the A2A rail project in the United States,” said spokeswoman Christine Myatt

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Provincial government officials say they are excited by a proposed Alaska-to-Alberta rail line to get goods to Asian markets.

Donald Trump gave the $22-billion project a presidential approval on Friday.

“Based on the strong recommendation of @SenDanSullivan and @repdonyoung of the Great State of Alaska, it is my honor to inform you that I will be issuing a Presidential Permit for the A2A Cross-Border Rail between Alaska & Canada. Congratulations to the people of Alaska & Canada!” the president tweeted Friday.

Officials with the A2A Railway said there needs to be three more years of planning and then three more for construction before the line from northern Alberta to tide water in Alaska starts to operate.

“The Government of Alberta is glad to see to see the approval of the A2A rail project in the United States,” said Christine Myatt, a spokeswoman for Premier Jason Kenney

“We support the development of trade corridors that can unlock new markets for many of Alberta’s products including oil & gas, new mineral production and agriculture.”

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage tweeted the same statement.

A2A Rail vice chair Mead Treadwell said the so-called A2A Railway will succeed where others have failed, because markets are hungry for resources that Canada produces, but can’t export quickly enough to meet demand.

A2A proposed route

The company will start by constructing rail from North Pole, near Fairbanks, where the Alaska Railroad ends today. From there the railway will move south and east through Alaska, across into Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and into Alberta.

“It is approximately 1,600 miles, with roughly 200 miles of new track in Alaska, and the remaining 1,400 miles in western and northern Canada. We estimate our investment to be $15 billion CAD in Canada and another $7 billion CAD in Alaska,” said the company’s website.

“The port capacity and sometimes the rail capacity at other places in Canada are just so choked that there’s a potential market for a new port and a new method to get to Asian markets,” Treadwell said in an interview in August with KUAC.

“The Alaska Railroad right now runs 512 miles from Seward to North Pole we’re going to take that track and extend it 1500 miles to connect up with rail lines in Alberta,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell said the the system will transport bitumen, potash, sulfur and grains.

“We believe we have a project which is competitive with pipeline and one of the reasons why it’s competitive is because its risks can spread over several different commodities,” he said.

Treadwell says if all goes according to plan, work on the project would begin within three years and be completed in six. 

The company said it will now begin an “extensive environmental impact assessment” (EIA) under Canadian legislation for the Yukon, B.C. and Alberta.

Company founder Sean McCoshen has already spent over $100 million USD through the pre-feasibility, feasibility, and detailed engineering phases of the project. 

A2A Rail has also started talks with Indigenous groups along the proposed path.

“The proposed route for the A2A Rail project includes portions of traditional, treaty and heritage lands of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the United States. A2A Rail has initiated dialogue with Indigenous Peoples along the proposed route to brief them on the project,” said the company.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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