A reader of the piece about BC Investment Management Corporation’s holdings in unethical companies asked if the agency has a relationship with SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
Unfortunately but not surprisingly, it does. And, it has been a costly relationship. At the end of March 2011, the agency’s shares in SNC-Lavalin were worth over $100 million dollars. A year later, despite acquisition of more shares in fiscal 2012, bcIMC’s investment had dropped in value to $72 million dollars.
So, pension beneficiaries get the worst of all worlds. Their money is invested with a scofflaw accused of bribery, corruption and other ethical failures AND they take a financial kicking.
Of course, it is only coincidence that SNC-Lavalin chairman Gwyn Morgan is an important guru and financial backer of Premier Photo-Op and the BC Liberals. There is a certain similarity in their approaches to ethical matters.
Another reader suggests we read Canada Line foreign workers not paid after tribunal ruling:
“Three dozen temporary workers who helped dig the Canada Line say they still haven’t been paid after a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal awarded them more than $2 million because they were paid half what their European counterparts received.
“…In 2008, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled a group of Latin American workers were discriminated against when they were paid half of what workers who had been brought in from Europe were given.
“The ruling ordered the employers — SNC Lavalin and Seli — to pay each worker the difference between the salary paid to them and the salary paid to others, the difference in paid expenses, and an additional $10,000 for injury to their dignity…”
The contractor has refused to pay the amounts awarded and will try to overturn the four year old Tribunal verdict by arguing in court that they should be allowed to pay wages based on the workers’ home countries, not the rates typically paid where the work is performed.
That’s an important principle for today’s multinational corporations. They want to import workers from low-wage economies and set pay rates at third world levels. That, of course, is a prescription for making Canada a third world country complete with a small layer of super-rich and a large pool of citizens competing for subsistence level jobs.