Winning superhospital bid announced internally before made official

Construction taking place on the new MUHC superhospital site on May 13, 2014. Global News

MONTREAL – McGill University Health Centre officials circulated an internal memo naming SNC-Lavalin the winner of a lucrative contract for a $1.3-billion superhospital contract, despite the Quebec government later deciding to send the deal back for a second look.

Immacalata Franco, an assistant director at the facility, told the Charbonneau Commission on Wednesday that she was pressured by her boss to push for the SNC-Lavalin-led bid.

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Her supervisor was Yanai Elbaz, who faces fraud charges in the project.

Franco said Elbaz reminded her who signed her pay cheques and told her who the hospital boss Arthur Porter wanted to win.

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Porter is also facing fraud charges in the scheme, which involved alleged fraud worth $22.5 million.

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Franco said a memo was circulated in December 2009 announcing SNC-Lavalin as the winner, even though internal committees she’d sat on had concluded the opposing consortium had a better bid.

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