September 17, 2005
The timing of Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed’s letter to the Canadian High Commission on the SNC-Lavalin grant is crucial as a top Canadian delegation comprising ministers, politicians and businessmen is scheduled to land in Delhi soon. Any report on SNC-Lavalin backtracking on the grant would adversely affect the trade plans of both the countries.
A section in the KPCC and the UDF advised the Oommen Chandy government against pressing the Canadian High Commission on the grant commitment made by the SNC-Lavalin to the Malabar Cancer Hospital.
Their apprehension was that any positive response would benefit CPM State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and the LDF in the coming local body elections.
A section in the CPM had also been using the issue against the official group. And while the Chief Minister’s office yielded to pressure and kept silent, Aryadan shot his letter urging a speedy release of the grant amount.
One important point of discussions between India and Canada is the doubling of trade between both the countries by 2012.
The Canadian government is under tremendous pressure as Probe International, an organisation similar to Transparency International, has been exposing the controversy through a media campaign.
The reports on Kerala and SNC-Lavalin appearing in the media here are frequently being posted on its site under ‘Odiousdebts.org’.
Probe International exposes the devastating environmental, social, and economic effects of Canada’s aid and trade abroad.