UPAC struck at the heart of democracy in Quebec on Thursday, pinning the former Liberal deputy prime minister, Nathalie Normandeau, in connection with “criminal schemes” of political financing.
The arrest in the early hours of the former politician and broadcaster FM93 superstar at his home has had the effect of a bomb in the political-media universe Quebec. Cogeco station was quick to suspend without pay the co-host of the popular show noon-Duhaime Normandeau “in accordance with the standards and practices of the company.”
Ms. Normandeau was rounded up with six other people, including his former chief of Bruno Lortie firm and the former Liberal minister Marc-Yvan Côté. UPAC’s Police also picked a former political attaché PQ, François Roussy, a former employee of the constituency office of Pauline Marois, Ernest Murray, and two big gums of the engineering firm Roche, Mario Martel and France Michaud .
At the end of the yoke and Ivy investigations, the UPAC found “systemic” schemes allowing elected officials to get gifts or political financing and business people of contracts or grants. Former Deputy Prime Minister Normandeau is within the scope of charges including conspiracy, official corruption, frauds on the government and breach of trust.
“These offenses are serious,” noted Commissioner UPAC, Robert Lafrenière. “They are not only in violation of the law, but they undermine the very principles of democracy and good management of the commons.”
The charges against the defendants were held between 2000 and 2012.
The case of Ms. Normandeau was addressed by the commission of inquiry on the construction industry. The defense presented in his testimony was not believed by the commissioners France Charbonneau and Renaud Lachance. Contrary to its claims, it “could not ignore” that using its discretion to prioritize certain projects, it favored the Roche firm involved in her own political financing, it said in the report.
The record of the water purification plant in Boisbriand has also attracted the attention of police over time. The former Minister of Municipal Affairs in 2007 had granted a $ 11 million grant, despite many unfavorable opinion of its officials.
On the waves of FM93, counsel for Ms. Normandeau, Mr. Maxime Roy, said he was “surprised and amazed” by the accusations. His client has “absolutely nothing wrong criminally,” he said. Ms. Normandeau will plead not guilty.
The PQ wants to know
The Parti Quebecois wants to know who could put together the “financial system” observed by officers of the UPAC. “She was Deputy Prime Minister,” says the PQ member Agnes Maltais. “There are officials from corruption charges at the highest state level. You realize the gravity? It’s monstrous. ”
The two people linked to the Parti Quebecois (PQ) will pay for their crime if the committed, continued Ms. Maltais. “We have no mercy for illegal financing of gestures,” said she said. But we must make a difference because there is no “system in question” and that the PQ was in opposition, she added. On coming to power, the PQ has passed three laws to clean up political financing, said Ms Maltais.
The future Quebec Coalition considers that the situation is “worse than what happened with the sponsorship scandal.” The Prime Minister should apologize on behalf of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), reimburse any amount that has been illegally harvested and reassure the population about the probity of the other team members, asked the caquiste Nathalie Roy. “The criminal charges filed show that the PLQ was probably riddled from head to feet,” she began.
In Quebec Solidaire, co-spokesperson Françoise David believes that Philippe Couillard will not “save as easily” with the Charbonneau report. “Listen, Mr. Couillard, Mr. Hamad, other ministers were present at the time was an organized system of collusion and political corruption, said Ms. David. Or they displayed an ignorance or an extraordinary blindness or they knew and they preferred to ignore. ”