May 5, 2014 2:21 pm

Former Quebec official says warnings about collusion went unheeded

Francois Beaudry, former advisor for the Quebec Transport Ministry at the Charbonneau Commission on May 5, 2014.

Charbonneau Commission/The Canadian Press

MONTREAL – A former government engineer said he sounded the alarm on collusion on Quebec government contracts more than a decade ago and warned the highest levels of bureaucracy as well as the transport minister himself, but to no avail.

Francois Beaudry, a former Transport Department official, told the Charbonneau Commission corruption inquiry on Monday that he was tipped off about collusion on provincial contracts in 2002 by an informant.

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Beaudry said the informant provided a wealth of information, including claims that construction firms were dividing up contracts among each other and engineers were divulging sensitive information to help construction companies circumvent the bidding process.

Beaudry said the informant’s information was reliable and he was able to successfully predict which companies would win a series of contracts in Laval, a city just north of Montreal.

When it became clear the provincial government wouldn’t act, Beaudry said he suggested to his informant that he go to the police.

But the informant told Beaudry he would never speak publicly about the collusion because those involved in it were part of an influential network with a wide reach.

Beaudry is best known for coming forward to Radio-Canada’s investigative news program Enquete in 2009, where he claimed that Mafia-linked companies controlled much of the road building contracts doled out in Montreal.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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