Québec solidaire (QS) aims to request an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner of the National Assembly into a $ 100 million transaction announced in early May by Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon.
QS MP Ruba Ghazal on Tuesday recalled that Mr Fitzgibbon had previously been reprimanded by the commissioner in another case.
“It would be a good thing, yes, I will make the request, she said in a press briefing. This is important because no effort can be saved in the face of Mr. Fitzgibbon’s ethical violations, and it is important to make the request. »
The duty reported on Tuesday that the leaders of Investissement Québec (IQ) and the company Polycor were at odds with each other about the communications they had prior to the announcement of a $ 100 million transaction.
The company is also commissioned by merchant bank TD Securities. According to Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie’s website, the investment bank and its manager in Montreal, Abe Adham, made a donation worth $ 750 to a team that includes IQ President and CEO Guy LeBlanc and Mr. Fitzgibbon in 2014.
“How can Mr. Prime Minister allow his Minister of Economy to tarnish the role of a minister, like Mr. Fitzgibbon? He has a public office and he does not understand that there are rules governing us, we cannot operate as he runs the private business with his personal money, ”Ms. Ghazal said.
As for Commissioner Mignolet, his office indicated that no investigation is underway.
“No investigation has been conducted regarding the steps taken at Polycor at this stage,” spokeswoman Anne-Sophie St-Gelais replied. The commissioner will review all requests for inquiries received for this purpose, if applicable. »
In early May, Mr. Fitzgibbon announced that IQ and the government were taking a nearly $ 100 million stake in Polycor, a company active in granite extraction in Quebec.
The checks began
QS then requested an investigation by Lobbying Commissioner Jean-François Routhier. According to the political group, Polycor president and CEO Patrick Perus, was supposed to enter the register of lobbyists in connection with a communication he had with Mr. Fitzgibbon about two months before the announcement of the public funds investment.
The Office of the Lobbyists Commissioner has indicated that verifications are being conducted on this file.
Liberal MP Marc Tanguay said on Tuesday that the conflicting versions expressed by the leaders of IQ and Polycor show the need to be seen more clearly in this file.
“The fact that the actors are in conflict with each other shows the paramount importance that the lobbying commissioner has certainly shed light on,” he said. We can’t wait to see the conclusions so that the different versions can be tested and we find out what really happened. »
Mr. Tanguay declined to comment on the possibility that an invitation from Mr. Fitzgibbon to Mr. Perus to call him, two months before the announcement of the transaction, constituted a display of favoritism.
“Conflicting versions only raise doubts about how this transaction was started and ended,” he said.
PQ MP Martin Ouellet also felt the need to clarify the conflicting versions expressed about the communications of Polycor and IQ leaders.
“We have two different versions, we need to rectify that,” he said.
According to Mr. Ouellet, the phone call between Mr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Perus raises the issue of accessibility to the Minister.
“This raises the question of who has access to the minister,” he said. Is it because we know him? »
In early May, Mr. Fitzgibbon introduced Mr. Perus as a business acquaintance whom he had only met about five times.