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Revolving doors for tax professionals | Revenu Québec wants to tighten its moral code

Revenu Québec intends to tighten the ethical rules imposed on its key employees when they leave to work in the private sector, explains the agency’s CEO. But for the opposition, the measures it evokes represent the “minimum”.

IRS chief Christine Tremblay spoke about the changes to come on Tuesday during a study of budget appropriations, accompanied by Finance Minister Eric Girard.

“We’re talking about, for example, our people who work in extensive tax planning,” she explained. We could have statements to them that would be more substantial. The lawyers and accountants who work on this team try to figure out the blueprints that help millionaires pay as little tax as possible.

The CEO and Minister were responding to a question from MNA Frédéric Beauchemin referring to a report he had prepared Journalism Posted in Feb. investigation1 Focus on Mathieu Gendron, a lawyer who left the powerful planning division in October, before joining BCF and taking over from former Gildan Sportswear CEO Greg Chamandy, from whom Revenu Québec is asking for more than 10 million.

Image provided by Business Attorneys at BCF

Mathieu Gendron, a former Revenu Québec employee who shuffled between the private and public sectors, returned to the private sector last year at BCF and in the service of his client, millionaire Greg Chamande.

The tax expert is on his second journey back and forth between the public and private sectors. He was already working for the controversial millionaire until 2014 at Heenan Blaikie, and then in 2016 during his eight months at Deloitte.

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“I am amazed that such a thing is possible. But we have to think that we should not be surprised by many things today,” said the judge in charge of the trial, Daniel Bourgeois, when he learned of Mathieu Gendron’s march on February 6.

“strategic functions”

The CEO of Revenu Québec wants to set up a “more detailed follow-up” for civil servants who leave the tax department “to add a little bit of leverage, particularly in these strategic jobs where we’re seeing more mobility between the agency and the private sector”.

Journalism He wanted to know more clearly how he intended to realize these intentions, but Revenu Québec declined our request for an interview with the CEO.

The Communications Department has a policy of never conducting a telephone interview and did not provide further details via email.

“It is too early at this stage to discuss the details of the modifications and improvements envisaged since work is still in progress and these modifications will be submitted to the Revenu Québec Board of Directors before they become applicable,” writes the door. by Claude Olivier Vagnant.

The next meeting of the agency’s board of directors is scheduled for June.

” minimum ”

The opposition’s spokesperson for finance, Frédéric Peuchmin, considers Revenu Québec only sticking to “the bare minimum” for now. “In my head, I left the door open for more conversations about it,” he says. We’ll give the enemy a chance. »

For liberals, the investigation into Journalism He explains that Revenu Québec’s moral standards are very weak. They suggest that the agency takes inspiration from the Code of Ethics for Federal Employees.

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For one year, an attorney working in Ottawa must obtain approval before “interfering on behalf of another person with a department or agency with which he has had official dealings.”

By applying these criteria, Matthew Gendron would have needed permission to act in any lawsuit against his former employer, the tax authorities.

Image courtesy of the Revino Quebec website

Christine Tremblay, CEO, Revenue Quebec

In examining budget appropriations, Christine Tremblay suggested that the Quebec rules are “above the federal public service,” because they do not contain any deadline. It says, “There is no time limit.” Not only would the restrictions in the Code of Ethics last for a year, they would be eternal.

However, the verification made, Revenu Québec’s Code of Ethics does not contain a similar clause to that of Ottawa. It only prohibits “employees who acted in connection with an action” from subsequently acting on behalf of others “in connection with the same action”.

In other words, under this law, if Matthew Gendron did not work in the Chamandi tax file, then today there is nothing to prevent him from helping the millionaire fight his ex-colleagues.

According to liberal Member of Parliament Frédéric Beutschmen, a job restriction must in any case include a time limit to be in effect.

“They can’t ban something for the rest of your career,” he says. With a clause like that, you go to see a lawyer and a judge, and it gets automatically overturned. »

The story so far


Mathieu Gendron, Heenan Blaikie’s company is dissolved. Mr. Gendron joins Revenu Québec. So he no longer represents Gildan’s former CEO, Greg Chamande.

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Matthew Gendron leaves the IRS for eight months at Deloitte, where he reconnects with Chamande, before returning to Revigno-Quebec.


The lawyer leaves the tax office again to join BCF and advise Chamandi in the 10 million-plus litigation against his former colleagues.