Michael Ford

Former SNC Lavalin exec charged with illegal federal political contributions

MONTREAL — A former executive of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin has been charged by the Commissioner of Canada Elections with helping to orchestrate illegal political donations paid to federal political parties between 2004 and 2011.

Normand Morin, 76, faces five charges related to soliciting employees to make political contributions and concealing their identities.

The charges were laid Wednesday in the Court of Quebec on the recommendation of the director of public prosecutions.

The former SNC-Lavalin vice-president is the only person charged, with the commissioner concluding his investigation into the event.

The Montreal-based company agreed in 2016 to a compliance agreement, which detailed almost $118,000 in donations to the Liberal and Conservative parties through company employees or their spouses who were then reimbursed by SNC-Lavalin.

This illegal practice for skirting corporate donation limits was identified by a Quebec anti-corruption inquiry as a widespread problem in municipal and Quebec provincial politics.

Federal Elections Commissioner Yves Cote investigated the donations since the provincial Charbonneau Commission's mandate prevented it from following federal political threads.

Morin couldn't be immediately reached to comment.

The case is slated to resume June 27 in Montreal.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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