The iO Experience event is getting 150,000 …

May 24, 2022

A citizen wonders about the process

The iO Experience event raises $ 150,000 from MRC

By: Katy Desrosiers

At the May 18 meeting of the MRC de Pierre-De Saurel council of mayors, amounts of $ 130,000 and $ 20,000, from two parts of the Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR), were donated to the Corporation of Sorel-Tracy Events for iO Experience. Citizen Corina Bastiani wondered about the legitimacy of providing such an amount for the benefit of a private company.

The council provided the Corporation des Evénements de Sorel-Tracy (ÉST) with an amount of $ 130,000 from FRR component 2, part 3-support for the development of municipal projects, obtained from the envelope reserved for Sorel-Tracy that, in total, contains approximately $ 185,000.

A remittance of $ 20,000, this time from FRR component 2, part 4 – support for the development of regional projects, was also authorized. This secondary amount comes from the regional envelope and could benefit projects throughout the MRC territory. For example, values ​​have already been given to GEST, Gib Fest, Maison de la Musique, etc.

During the interview, Sorel-Tracy resident Corina Bastiani wondered about the legitimacy of donating $ 130,000 to an organization that only supports one private company, iO Experience.

MRC de Pierre-De Saurel Director General Denis Boisvert pointed out that verification has been done with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Territory (MAMH) and even private companies can submit a project in this section, up to $ 150,000.

MRC de Pierre-De Saurel prefect, Sylvain Dupuis, mentioned in an interview that the Corporation’s request was received a few weeks ago. The project was evaluated by Développement économique Pierre-De Saurel and it complied with established rules.

“The council said We want to advance our region, we agree with that. […] We manage the region. We see in iO an offer for young people. As for Gib Fest with the Cowboys Fringants, we are involved. There will be action in the region and that is what we want to have a living region, ”explained Mr. Dupuis.

First come, first serve

On Monday, May 16, at the city council meeting, Sorel-Tracy requested $ 185,223 from the same side of FRR for the construction of its synthetic field. But since the envelope reserved for Sorel-Tracy is approximately $ 185,000 and $ 130,000 will go to the Corporation des Evénements Sorel-Tracy, only about $ 55,000 is left.

Sylvain Dupuis explained that one of the rules established over the years in allocating FRR values ​​is the principle of first come, first served. Also, he specified that the envelope is intended for all projects in the territory of the City of Sorel-Tracy and not just for the entity that is the City of Sorel-Tracy.

Mr. Dupuis did not receive the city’s resolution until Wednesday, May 18.

“When we looked at the Sorel-Tracy resolution, it said in the 2020-2025 envelope. With $ 55,000 left this year, we’ll freeze it for them and we’ll offer them to freeze the envelope for next year, so they can have money for their synthetic turf. In addition, unbuded money was given to the wind farm ($ 181,922). So they still don’t leave with empty pockets, ”explained the prefect, recalling that all other MRC municipalities are also committed to contributing to land operating costs.

Mr. Dupuis mentioned that it is possible to change the rules, but this discussion needs to take place between all the mayors.

Questions

IO Experience is a private company of which Olivier Péloquin, the son of Mayor Serge Péloquin, is the president. During the MRC council meeting, when it was a question of allocating values ​​for Corporation ÉST, Serge Péloquin specified that he had withdrawn from discussions with the other mayors and that he would not participate in not deciding.

“We don’t want to be between the tree and the bark of nothing. This discussion took place with 11 mayors, Serge finally left the room, he was not part of the discussion. The goal is to move our region, ”Sylvain Dupuis said.

In the interview, Ms. asked more. Bastiani himself. “Why did Serge Péloquin withdraw two points when his son is in iO Experience with an interest and not in the Corporation? If allowed to donate $ 150,000 to a private company, why not make the request to iO Experience? I’m tired of going through an organization created in a weird way, with no expertise in events, that seems like a shell to me, to direct funds to a private company, ”she denounces.

The former municipal councilor of Sorel also wondered how iO Experience found out in front of the Sorel-Tracy municipal council that FRR’s call for projects is open. “Why did iO come first, before the synthetic pitch? Is there any favoritism, with privileged internal information? I just want things to be clear, ”replied Ms. Bastiani.

“I know everything that was done was legal, but it was the appearance of a conflict of interest that bothered me,” he concludes.

In collaboration with Jean-Philippe Morin

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