The William R. Bennett Bridge, linking Kelowna and West Kelowna across Okanagan Lake, was built by, and is currently maintained by, a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin. Seen here beside the former Okanagan Lake Floating Bridge (right) that it replaced on opening day in 2008. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)

SNC-Lavalin maintaining WR Bennett Bridge amidst controversy in Ottawa

The engineering company designed and maintains the bridge between Kelowna and West Kelowna

The company at the centre of the scandal currently enveloping the federal government has a strong Kelowna connection.

SNC-Lavalin, a multi-national Canadian engineering company, designed, built and and now maintains the 11-year-old William Richards Bennett Bridge between Kelowna and West Kelowna, the only crossing of Okanagan Lake and a vital highway transportation link in the Okanagan.

The company, through it’s subsidiary Protrans WRB Bridge, won the 30-year contract from the province to to maintain the bridge after building the $144 million floating structure in 2008

The bridge is Canada’s only floating bridge, according to the company’s website.

SNC-Lavalin is at the centre of a controversy that lead to former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould quitting the federal cabinet after she was moved to veterans affairs last month. Wilson-Raybould claims, as justice minister, she was pressured by officials with the prime minister’s office and others in the government to intervene in ongoing criminal legal proceedings against the company stemming from its dealings in other countries, and to abandon prosecution in favour of a deferred prosecution agreement.

Wilson-Raybould is married to Tim Raybould, who was the chief negotiator for the Westbank First Nation when it negotiated its landmark self-government agreement with Ottawa in 2004.

Operation of the WR Bennett bridge is not directly connected to the company’s current problems in Ottawa.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Bennett Bridge turns 10-years-old

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which awarded the contract to maintain the bridge and oversees it, said in a statement it cannot comment on any specific company, or any case before the courts.

READ MORE: Wilson-Raybould says she’s sticking with Liberals for 2019 vote

“In general, depending on the nature of convictions of a federal offence, the province could be in a position to place restrictions on a company from entering or moving forward in a procurement process,” the statement said.

In 2018, when the bridge celebrated its 10th anniversary, the ministry’s Okanagan-Shuswap district manager said the province was pleased with the performance of bridge and that the ministry had a positive working relationship with SNC-Lavalin.

READ MORE: Wilson-Raybould invited to testify at committee on SNC-Lavalin affair

READ MORE: MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

READ MORE: As MPs pull all-nighter, Philpott breathes fresh life into SNC-Lavalin scandal

An email has been sent to SNC-Lavalin for comment.

More to come.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Truck crashed and dumped near Predator Ridge

Police are looking for two men in connection with a stolen vehicle

Salt and Brick chef to compete in Canada’s Great Kitchen Party

Chef James Holmes will compete in the fall competition

UPDATE: Police swarm residence near UBC Okanagan, arrest 3 men

Five RCMP cars were seen outside 755 Academy Way Wednesday evening.

UBC Okanagan makes addition to womens volleyball, basketball

Lucy Faba and Amaya Perry will join the Heat next season

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Man seriously injured after driving wrong way down B.C. highway

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Candidates ready for Summerland Blossom Pageant

Royalty pageant will be held at Centre Stage Theatre on May 3 and 4

Shuswap society finds pets often suffer in domestic abuse cases

SPCA, SAFE Society working together to provide shelter for pets of women fleeing abuse

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Give Canada geese at Okanagan beaches a break

LETTER: Tour busses, full of photographers, local goose guides and an annual goose festival

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Most Read