The leaders of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal have multiplied questionable expenses in the four corners of the world

The Montreal Public Consultation Office, financed 100% by public funds, almost escapes all control For years. This allowed the establishment of a culture of spending at restaurants, traveling, cronyism and even poisoned a toxic work climate, problems against which the City of Montreal says it is powerless.

At the bar for National Day

June-July 2023 – London, Paris, Rouen

Participant: Guy Grenier

Duration: 11 days

Total cost of the mission: $7,327

In his mission report, Guy Grenier highlights having participated in the celebration of the national holiday in a bar organized by the general delegation of Quebec in London, an event open to all.

He writes that he met three people there, including delegate Line Rivard, with whom he posed for a photo, like many other guests that day. The subject of the discussions is not described in his report.

“It feels like part of it is a celebratory trip. There was quite a bit of travel time or free time. According to the report, it is the appearance that results,” notes professor expert in municipal management at UQAM, Danielle Pilette.

Mr. Grenier also published a photo on Facebook on this occasion with his partner, beer in hand. During this trip, he also shared several photos of his wife’s London activities.

Just before going to Rouen to attend the European Participation Meetings where he takes part in a panel, Guy Grenier makes a one-day stop in Paris, again at taxpayers’ expense, to record a podcast .

  • Listen to the interview with Aref Salem, Leader of the Official Opposition at Montreal City Hall via QUB radio :

The host and he shared a microphone at Radio Centre-Ville and are good friends, according to what she writes on social networks. During this 53-minute interview, Mr. Grenier mentions working in “participatory democracy” but neither the OCPM, nor his last name or even his title are mentioned.

Back in London, he attended a 90-minute conference broadcast in full on YouTube.

Guy Grenier in Paris during the recording of his friend Danae Moyano Rodriguez’s podcast.

Photo taken from Guy Grenier’s mission report

A stopover to see friends with your taxes

April-May 2016 – Amsterdam, Paris, Lyon, London, Mozambique

Participants: Guy Grenier, Dominique Ollivier, Luc Doray

Duration: 23 and 9 days

Total cost of the mission: $23,496

Photo taken from Luc Doray’s Facebook page

Just before a three-day congress of the International Observatory of Participatory Democracy (OIDP) in Mozambique, Secretary General Luc Doray makes an equally long stopover in London to visit friends. This stoppage, even if it has nothing to do with work, cost Montrealers $805 in hotel, transportation, restaurants and incidentals.

“Well, yes, I saw some friends, it seems to me,” admits Mr. Doray. According to what he wrote on Facebook, he took advantage of Saturday to attend a concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church and spent Sunday walking with his friends.

Meanwhile, Guy Grenier and Dominique Ollivier, former business partners, make stops in Amsterdam and France. In Paris, Mr. Grenier takes the opportunity to spend time with his son.

A round trip from Paris to Lyon by train for the OCPM duo cost more than $1,000. Asked about this very high amount, Ms Ollivier’s press secretary, Catherine Cadotte, did not want to confirm whether it was a first class ticket.

“All trips were made in compliance with OCPM standards, always in economy class, except when it was impossible for reasons of availability of space or schedule,” she replied.

Luc Doray former secretary general of the OCPM

Photo taken from Luc Doray’s Facebook page

Four meals in the same day

November-December 2016 – Paris-Lyon-Strasbourg

Participant: Guy Grenier and Dominique Ollivier

Duration: 9 and 15 days

Total cost of the mission: $11,120.16

On December 7, 2016, while in Paris for an OpenGov Partnership meeting, Dominique Ollivier claimed maximum reimbursement for three meals (morning, noon and evening) for a total of $160. But she also charges $103 on her corporate card for a “meal” at La Bastille.

According to what his press secretary explains, one of these amounts was for a meeting held in a Parisian café with “five partner organizations”, without however naming them. The former president of the OCPM would have paid the bill, she indicates, without providing an invoice.

“All the expenses I have made, to the best of my knowledge, meet all the criteria [des cadres de l’OCPM]», swears Mme Ollivier in interview.

Extract from Dominique Ollivier’s detailed expense report for this trip.

For the Parisian part of this trip, M’s motherme Ollivier shares the same Airbnb apartment as his daughter and consultant Guy Grenier.

According to the expense report, it is specified that the president paid for accommodation at $3,027 for 9 nights with her personal card and requests reimbursement for 2/3 of the bill since “her mother” assumes the other third.

Dominique Ollivier’s plane ticket for this mission cost $1,500, almost double that of Mr. Grenier. No invoice was provided to us to explain this discrepancy.

Guy Grenier also charges $435 for a round-trip flight between Toulouse and Paris. Nothing in the mission report explains this move.

Business expenses, during personal trips

January, April and July 2016 – Brazil

Participant: Luc Doray

Total cost: At least $1900

In 2016, Luc Doray traveled to Brazil three times for personal reasons. But each time, he charges hotel nights, restaurants and transportation on the OCPM credit card.

On April 16 of this year, he announced on his Facebook page: “Arriving in Porto Alegre for the wedding of my great friends.” During this ten-day trip, $360 was billed to his corporate card, including hotel costs in Porto Alegre. No expense or mission report was produced.

In addition, on the day of his return, while Mr. Doray is not working, a taxi fare of $60 and a meal in a restaurant in downtown Montreal for $72 are billed to the Office.

In the summer, he spent nearly five weeks on vacation in Brazil and spent nearly $800 there with his employee credit card. This time, an expense report is produced, but none on professional activities.

In fact, of the three trips there is only one report, that is for the January trip where the Secretary General received an award on behalf of the OCPM, during the meetings of the Brazilian Participatory Budget Network.

Photo taken from Luc Doray’s Facebook

“I had limited work activities in Brazil at those times, with the authorization of the president [Dominique Ollivier]. Since I was already there, it allowed us to promote our conference for the coming year,” explains Mr. Doray in an interview.

He also mentions a congress in Sao Paulo possibly in June or July and a meeting with people from the office of the mayor of Porto Alegre, but could not confirm the dates.

April 2023 – Argentina and Panama

Participants: Isabelle Beaulieu and another employee

Duration: 8 days

Total cost of the mission: At least $4240

Isabelle Beaulieu, president of the OCPM, writes that she left Panama on April 29, 2023

Photo taken from Isabelle Beaulieu’s Facebook page

Last April, Isabelle Beaulieu was invited by the City of Cordoba in Argentina to take part in a conference on citizen participation. She is accompanied by an employee of the Office, who is the son of one of her good friends.

On-site activities last three days, from April 25 to 27. According to the mission report, the OCPM delegation left the closing ceremony before the end in order to make a stopover of more than 36 hours in Panama City, where there was no professional activity.

Taxpayers paid nearly $1,000 in hotel expenses in this city, according to credit card statements, but they are not recorded on Ms. Beaulieu’s expense report. A third of the amount appears on the credit card two days after the president returned to Montreal.

Still according to the mission report, Ms. Beaulieu took part in two official dinners during the congress, including one at the invitation of the mayor of Cordoba, but still requested a reimbursement of $52 for each of these dinners.

Isabelle Beaulieu, president of the OCPM, during her trip to Cordoba, Argentina

Photo courtesy OCPM

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