Barty Quebecwa is asking the Ethics Commissioner to “highlight” the $50 million in financial assistance the government has paid to a company whose director is close to Pierre Fitzgibbon.
We have repeatedly asked that decisions about loans and grants be made by [ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI)] To be transparent and to be awarded according to objective and predetermined criteria, and not according to the whim and preference of the Minister. “We once again ask the Ethics Commissioner to shed light on this story,” PQ Member of Parliament Joel Arsenault said in a written statement sent to QMI.
The Journal de Montreal revealed Monday that the Quebec government gave $50 million in aid to LMPG, a company whose directors acted as a blind trust agent for Pierre Fitzgibbon, when the minister “authorized” the aid to be given to the company.
According to Mr. Arsenault, it is important for Pierre Fitzgibbon to understand that “transparency is no longer optional”, particularly because of the new functions of the High Minister entrusted to him by François Legault.
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On the part of Quebec Solidaire (QS), we regret the “deja vu impression” that emerged from this file. “I know Minister Fitzgibbon likes to reiterate that he knows everyone in the Quebec business ecosystem, but that doesn’t allow him to cut corners, especially when his friends are involved in transactions with public money,” Representative Vincent Marisal said.
Mr. Marsal added that, for the time being, Solidarity workers have not taken any steps to contact the Ethics and Professional Conduct Commissioner, but they are not ruling out doing so.
According to Pierre Fitzgibbon, government assistance given to LMPG does not pose an ethical problem. In an interview with Philippe Vincent Foissy’s microphone on Monday morning, the minister noted that the company’s director had left his duties as trustee when the investment was awarded to LMPQ, but wanted to defend the deal. He said it would have happened. In any case.
“It’s a great record, it’s a great company, and we can be very proud,” he said.
Mr Fitzgibbon regrets the lack of understanding of “the safeguards that exist” among political commentators, and stresses that “the process is very rigorous”. Before arriving at his office, the file could have been studied by the Investissement Québec and the Economic Development Fund, the minister confirmed.
There are people who think I sign checks on Monday morning when I get to the ministry. He breathes before making sure that “the ways of doing things work.”
Moreover, the minister does not rule out that there will be “other such news” in the future.
Contrary to their custom, MEI and Investissement Québec (IQ) did not publish any press release to announce the $50 million deal, despite its significance. The investment also does not appear in IQ’s latest annual report.
Pierre Fitzgibbon argued that it was not a matter of concealment, claiming that Investissement Québec had been “very active” in the past four years.
“Sometimes not all companies want to advertise either. The advertisements are the companies that decide, not the government,” the minister said.
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