Former ‘slush fund’ director allegedly gave millions to own companies, quietly resigns from Infrastructure Bank

Venture capitalist Andrée-Lise Méthot, a former board member of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), reportedly signed off on $23,065,853 to companies with ties to her firm, Cycle Capital.

Former ‘slush fund’ director allegedly gave millions to own companies, quietly resigns from Infrastructure Bank
YouTube / Recyclage Carbone Varennes Carbon Recycling
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A government-appointed director at the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) quietly tendered her resignation last month following allegations of funding mismanagement at a taxpayer slush fund.

Venture capitalist Andrée-Lise Méthot, a former board member of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), served on the Project Review Committee from July 2015 to September 2021. She reviewed and approved funding projects before sending the proposal to the entire board.

Méthot, a managing partner for the firm Cycle Capital, reportedly funded several firms with ties to Cycle Capital through the Crown corporation. From May 2, 2017, to September 15, 2021, the board approved $23,065,853 to MineSense Technologies, Spark Microsystems, GreenMantra Technologies, Concentric Agriculture, Polystyvert, and VueReal.

It is worth noting that Cycle Capital employed now-Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault from 2010 to 2019.

The Poilievre Conservatives earlier accused SDTC of approving $42.5 million for companies with ties to the firm, a figure Méthot disputed before the Commons industry committee on November 28.

At the time, she claimed four companies in Cycle Capital’s portfolio received $10.7 million in fund money.

“I recused myself every time I declared a potential or actual conflict of interest. That was the common practice,” Méthot told the committee. However, she allegedly failed to recuse herself when the fund approved emergency pandemic payments to portfolio companies.

Méthot subsequently resigned from the Bank on April 16, after joining its board of directors in late 2022.

Housing and Infrastructure Minister Sean Fraser disclosed her resignation at the Commons transport and infrastructure committee on May 21. 

Conservative Party MP Michael Barrett asked Fraser if he endorsed Méthot’s tenure with the Bank. “I actually understand that person has resigned, so there is no such service to endorse,” he replied. 

Minister Fraser oversees the Crown corporation as part of his portfolio duties. He refused to comment on if the resignation was linked to the SDTC investigation. 

Méthot also served as corporate director for Enerkem, a biofuel company in which the SDTC board paid $12 million on February 2, 2016.

SDTC approved Enerkem for $63,600,000 in funding on November 28, 2014—the same month Méthot joined the Enerkem board, and eight months before joining the SDTC.

Méthot did not return a request for comment by True North and the Epoch Times.

CIB spokesperson Ross Marowits told the latter she had “decided to step down from her role as a director due to other work commitments.”

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has allocated tens of millions of dollars to firms in which its board members are financially vested, according to media reports.

In December, a whistleblower testified that private companies, some with ties to top SDTC leadership, received nearly $150 million in taxpayer subsidies.

Under its current agreement with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) the ‘green fund’ had $1 billion to distribute to renewable energy enterprises through 2026.

Auditor General Karen Hogan earlier announced an investigation into its spending, while the federal government hired Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton to identify conflicts of interest and problematic spending within the foundation.

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced a funding pause to the organization in October. Several top executives resigned in the following weeks.

Leah Lawrence, SDTC president and CEO, attributed her departure last November to “a sustained and malicious campaign to undermine my leadership.”

Board chair Annette Verschuren reportedly approved $217,000 in pandemic relief funding to her own firm in 2020—one of roughly 140 firms that received equivalent pandemic funding. She allegedly did not recuse herself from the vote and resigned from the board in December.

Other SDTC directors reportedly did the same and are being investigated by the ethics commissioner.

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