Expenditure scandal at the OCPM: Quebec modifies the law after our investigation

The Quebec government amended the law on Friday in order to prevent questionable expenditures like those made at the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) and revealed by our Bureau of Investigation.

• Read also – The Montreal city council shows the door to the president of the OCPM, Isabelle Beaulieu

• Read also – OCPM: Dominique Ollivier continues to minimize his expenses

“I act immediately. We’re going to reframe that right away. It will even help the City of Montreal and supervise the City of Longueuil,” declared the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest on Wednesday.

Employees of the OCPM and its Longueuil equivalent, the Office de participation publique de Longueuil (OPPL), will now be full-fledged municipal civil servants.

They will thus be subject to the same spending and ethics rules as other municipal employees.

In addition, in the new law it is specified that the president of these two offices will now be responsible for applying municipal policies for the management of human, material and financial resources.

These legislative changes are amendments to the charters of the cities of Montreal and Longueuil which were unanimously adopted by the National Assembly within an omnibus bill Friday afternoon.

Thanks to our investigation

They aim to plug holes revealed by our Bureau of Investigation which allowed OCPM leaders to make numerous questionable expenses and appointments.

“Everyone was shocked when we saw the stories of a certain Public Consultation Office,” said Mme Laforest before the adoption of his bill on Friday.

Our reports have reported numerous internal meetings at the restaurant at taxpayers’ expense by former presidents Dominique Ollivier and Isabelle Beaulieu, as well as general secretaries Luc Doray and Guy Grenier.

These leaders also made numerous trips abroad, with sometimes unclear results, which cost Montrealers tens of thousands of dollars.

Mme Beaulieu was fired from her position for “serious misconduct” in the wake of the scandal and the OCPM was placed under supervision by the City of Montreal.

Dominique Ollivier has resigned from her position as president of the executive committee of Valérie Plante’s administration.

Before the modifications adopted by Quebec, it was also possible for the president of the OCPM to hire whoever he wished and to set his working conditions.

This is how Dominique Ollivier was able to recruit his former business partner, Guy Grenier, without meeting other candidates.

Upcoming interim

The new charters also provide that an interim president can be appointed by simple majority to the municipal council for a maximum of six months.

This should help the City of Montreal to appoint a successor to Isabelle Beaulieu more quickly.

Due to his dismissal, the OCPM is currently headed by secretary general Guy Grenier, who has also increased questionable expenses.

Mayor Plante and Minister Laforest called for his resignation, but he remains in office, because he can only be fired by the president of the OCPM.

Valérie Plante also asked the Auditor General (AG) of Montreal to do a “performance audit” of the OCPM in the wake of our revelations.

Minister Laforest also committed to following the recommendations of the VG.

Favorable reception

These amendments were favorably received in both Montreal and Longueuil.

“The adopted bill completes the accountability mechanisms that we have put in place to control the OCPM’s expenses while the steps to find a temporary worker continue,” said Catherine Cadotte, press secretary at the OCPM’s office. Mayor Plante.

The mayor of Longueuil, Catherine Fournier, says she is satisfied with the legislative changes.

“They maintain a balance between strengthening the financial accountability mechanisms of the OPPL and maintaining its total independence from politics with regard to participatory approaches and public consultations,” he judges. -She.

Mayor Fournier recalls that the OPPL had already adopted a code of ethics and internal expenditure rules which will be made public soon.

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