As the government is set to invest billions of taxpayer dollars in a controversial project with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), it is also working behind the scenes to silence potential whistleblowers at the CDPQ.
During a recent clause-by-clause revision of Bill 87, the Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings within public bodies, the government altered the text to exclude the CDPQ.
“The project between the government and the CDPQ is the largest P3 in Quebec history and it’s plagued with many problems and irregularities. It has caught the attention of the UPAC (Quebec’s anticorruption unit). Several government ministries have publicly expressed their concerns. Agricultural groups and environmentalists are also opposed to it. But if someone at the CDPQ wants to alert authorities about problems with this project, they won’t be able to. It makes no sense,” said CUPE Quebec President Denis Bolduc.
Last April, the government paraded their announcement of a partnership with the CDPQ to build the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) through a public investment of nearly $3 billion. The voices opposing this project have been growing ever since.
“Is our memory so short that we forgot about Montreal’s MUHC and CHUM P3 hospital disasters? We needed this bill to shield the whistleblowers who want to protect public assets. Did we learn nothing from the Charbonneau Commission?” said Bolduc.