Former SNC-Lavalin executive jailed over Montreal bridge bribes

Montreal bridge bribes
Montreal’s Jacques-Cartier Bridge opened in 1930 (Mourial/CC BY 3.0 Deed)

A former vice-president of SNC-Lavalin has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for fraud and forgery in connection with a contract to repair a bridge in Montreal some 20 years ago.

Normand Morin was given the penalty on Tuesday after his conviction for corruption and fraud last month.

An investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) found that SNC-Lavalin executives paid bribes of C$2.3m to secure a C$127m contract to repair the Jacques-Cartier Bridge deck in the early 2000s.

The bribes were paid to Michel Fournier, a former chief executive of the Federal Bridge Corporation, a state agency that takes care of a number of major Canadian bridges. He received a tariff of five and a half years, and has since been paroled.

Morin, 82, was sentenced to three concurrent terms: 42 months for “fraud over $5,000”, 36 months for “fraud on the government”, and 24 months for forgery, by Superior Court Justice Eric Downs.

Inspector Guy-Michel Nkili of the RCMP commented: “After a lengthy and complex investigation, we are happy with the outcome. I am proud of the professional work of all involved.”

SNC-Lavalin, now known as AtkinsRéalis, agreed in 2021 to pay the government of Quebec C$30m to draw a line under the affair.

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