EDC investigating claim it backed SNC-Lavalin on corrupt Angola dam contract

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OTTAWA — Export Development Canada says it’s reviewing support it gave to SNC-Lavalin after learning of an allegation the agency backed the company on a dam project in Angola that it won corruptly.

The accusation, first reported by CBC News, is based on information from an unnamed insider at the beleaguered construction and engineering company.

On Wednesday, SNC-Lavalin spokeswoman Daniela Pizzuto declined to comment on the CBC report except to say the allegation in the story “dates back to prior to 2012.”

A statement from EDC, which acts as a credit agency for firms looking to do business abroad, says the Crown agency would have never knowingly taken part in any deal involving bribery or corruption.

EDC spokeswoman Jessica Draker says after learning about the insider’s accusation last month, the agency hired an outside lawyer to investigate the specific allegation related to the dam project in Angola, for which she says EDC provided “political risk insurance.”

The company is at the heart of a political controversy that has engulfed the federal Liberal government for nearly two months and has cost Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two senior cabinet ministers, his most trusted adviser and the country’s top public servant.