Two SNC-Lavalin engineers admitted at the Charbonneau Commission on Thursday that they copied technical details from plans put forward by a rival firm for their own winning bid for building the MUHC superhospital.
Yves Gauthier and his boss Charles Chebl, the head of SNC-Lavalin’s construction wing, said they were shown a copy of a competing bid from the Spanish consortium OHL and modified their plans based on what they saw.
Chebl had earlier testified that he received OHL’s plans from his boss Riadh Ben Aïssa, who obtained them from MUHC executive Yanai Elbaz.
Chebl said he was pressured by Aïssa and Pierre Duhaime, the former president of SNC-Lavalin, to modify the SNC-Lavalin bid using OHL's plans.
Aïssa, Duhaime and Elbaz have all been charged with fraud.
Both Chebl and Gauthier admitted to knowing it was wrong to use OHL’s plans to improve their own.
However, they said they did so at the insistence of their superiors.
In Gauthier’s case, that was Chebl, he said.
Gauthier said he called the province’s anti-corruption unit after hearing other stories of fraud related to the building of the MUHC.
Yesterday, the commission heard that MUHC officials on the selection committee responsible for evaluating bids for the $1.3-billion hospital project were trying to disqualify OHL's bid. OHL was the main competitor of Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.