Although CUPE-Quebec welcomes the $200 million investment earmarked for soil decontamination in Montreal, it has warned the CAQ government against managing this huge financial contribution of public funding through some non-transparent NGO.
“As we saw with the Formula E or with Montreal’s 375th anniversary, NGOs are not designed to manage public funds in a transparent manner. They can often be used as a facade, a fertile ground for cronyism,” pointed out Denis Bolduc, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “Soil decontamination is a key issue with many development projects, and since for-profit projects will be receiving direct subsidies, this could create a situation conducive to scheming,” he added.
For years, CUPE has been fighting to have NGOs systematically covered by the Access to Information Act. Although the City of Montreal has adopted new regulations pertaining to the transparency of NGOs under its jurisdiction, much still remains to be done.
“As we see it, Mr. Legault’s government should be wary of ideas that sound good but aren’t. His team ended up in office, in part due to the fact that the electorate wanted to send a clear message that the time had come for change and transparency. Instead of choosing an option that involves an NGO and all its shortcomings, the premier should instead implement structures that are truly accountable to taxpayers,” said Bolduc.