Whistleblowers: Quebec misses the mark, says a former engineer MTQ

The bill of the Quebec government supposed to protect whistleblowers completely misses its target, critic François Beaudry, a retired engineer of the Ministry of Transport that was an important informant of rigging bids for public contracts.

While the Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance now undertaking consultations on Bill 87 to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoing in government agencies, Mr. Beaudry argues that this law would have been of no use at the time of her revelations he relayed to the Charbonneau Commission and on which the latter was based. ‘Nothing in the bill would have supported the case, quite the contrary, “Has he told La Presse.

“My informant would have received no protection since the private sector and that the law is intended only concerns employees of public bodies. ”

Thus, a person working for a bank, a consulting engineering firm, enterprise under construction, a planning consultant or law firm that would witness collusion or corruption in obtaining public contracts could not be protected by this law, regrets François Beaudry.

“It will not hold a candle to the recommendation of the Charbonneau commission, he slice. The most revealing testimony to the Charbonneau commission came from the private sector: entrepreneurs, engineers, directors who were captives of a system to which they had to participate to not disappear from the circuit. ”

In its report published last November, the Charbonneau Commission argues that a “general system of protection for whistleblowers is necessary” and must thus offer support and financial support, if necessary, more protect the identity of all whistleblowers. “People who work in an organization or working with it are often best placed to become” whistleblowers “,” recalls the Commission.

The bureaucratic and police inaction

In 2003, François Beaudry engineer was Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Transport of the office. A contractor informed of the existence of a system of collusion in the Montreal area. Entrepreneurs agree among themselves to divide contracts awarded in Montreal and Laval, with the engineering firms of complicity. The Mr. Beaudry informant chooses to provide proof of what he says that is not directly related to the Department of Transport (MTQ). He gives her a list of companies that will get the next contract from the City of Laval, when tenders are not yet open.

Senior management is informed of the MTQ, the file is forwarded to the Sûreté du Québec who meets Mr. Beaudry informant. But nothing moves until 2009. That’s when Mr. Beaudry, who retired two years ago, publicly speak about the case to the Enquête. “The Montreal Mafia controls 100% of contracts in the territory of the City of Montreal,” he said then.

Later, he testified at the Charbonneau commission. And today, Mr. Beaudry does not hide its “deep disappointment with Bill 87, the application is so limited that it all appears cosmetics and almost useless to the needs identified by the Charbonneau commission.”

“I had stress and insecurity related to the fate of a whistleblower, but anxiety that faced my source is much worse. She paid dearly for his involvement in the police investigation, “he says without providing details, lest the whistleblower suffers no further reprisals.

François Beaudry was asked to present his views before the Committee on Public Finance. He will testify next Tuesday and remind elected officials who serve as “the reappearance of stratagems is only a matter of time.”

Bill 87 facilitating the disclosure of wrongdoing in government agencies

Bill 87 was tabled last December by the President of the Treasury Board, Martin Coiteux, who sees “a great first step.” Employees of public bodies such as ministries, school boards and Crown corporations (but not municipalities) may disclose a wrongdoing to the Ombudsman or an official within each agency. If there is a serious risk to the health or safety of a person or the environment, employees may disclose information to the media.

Retaliation is prohibited against whistleblowers, under penalty of fine.

Recommendation Charbonneau commission

The Charbonneau commission recommended that the government establish a general system of protection of whistleblowers from both the public and private sectors. She said the reporting process to the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) has limitations. The Commission justifies its position by recalling the need to “promote greater citizen participation in the consolidation of contractual practices relating to public infrastructure, the funding of political parties associated with these practices, and infiltration of the industry construction by organized crime. ”

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